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published: Jul-2-2013

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NO SMOOTHING is applied to the shown plots. Most measurement sites have some smoothing applied which ‘irons flat’ sharp peaks and ‘wiggles’. I do not use smoothing because some info about sound quality is lost when plots are smoothed.

Aside from a small correction of the microphone itself also some correction in the lowest frequencies is applied to the plots to compensate for the perceived loss of bass when using headphones. This is described HERE in more detail.
A ‘horizontal‘ frequency response curve on the shown frequency response plots on this website thus indicates a perceived ‘flat’ tonal signature.

ALL measurements are made with a good SEAL on a flatbed measurement rig.
shape of your head, bone structure, pad size, pad ‘softness,  (compliance), hair or no hair and or wearing glasses may (drastically) change the frequency response of some headphones, so… your personal experience may differ substantially from these plots.

Frequency response (tonal balance) is the most sound-determining aspect of headphones. A horizontal line shows audible neutral response in the plots on this website. Deviations in different severities at different frequency bands have an effect on the sound character.
The bigger the deviation the stronger the effect.

Below an aid to help determining the sound character of headphones with relation to the frequency response.


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Philips SHP-9000


This is one of Philips‘s better attempts to create a good sounding headphone. Alas it is already out of production and very hard to find. It is VERY comfortable and lightweight. The plastic cups can be a bit ‘creaky’ when adjusting it or when moving around a lot. No problem when comfortably listening to music in an easy chair. I find it to be a very pleasant sounding headphone. very ‘airy’ and ‘warm’ in signature but not overly warm. Good quality and level of bass which isn’t flabby nor overblown. Not suited for bass-heads ! The signature has some similarities with the Sennheiser HD650 albeit less ‘warm’ but with a bit more highs. Cymbals e.t.c. sound nice a ‘splash’ in a very natural way. It sounds very airy and detailed. Highs extension isn’t that good though yet it doesn’t sound rolled-off at all. Mids sound very forward but not too much… nicely integrated and ‘open’. A very enjoyable headphone, certainly for the price it retailed for when newer models were introduced to replace this one. Since this is an open design there is no isolation from outside noise and people around you can clearly hear what you are listening to. Left, Right

philips shp-9000

The CSD below shows some lingering (short lived ringing) around 2kHz and somewhat around 3kHz as well.

philips shp-9000 wf-l

SHP9000 #2

This one sounds and measures roughly the same as the first one but this one has somewhat more treble. Voices have a warm character with deep bass. Doesn’t sound rolled off  in the treble unless one compares directly to headphones that do extend a little further. The lack of extension is masked or ‘compensated’ by the, for headphones familiar, peak around 9kHz. Left, Right

Philips SHP9000 L+R

The CSD is slightly less clean around 500Hz compared to the other one. Left, Right

CSD Philips SHP9000 L+R

This is a very good sounding, comfortable and cheap headphone. Very well suited for classical music and ‘audiophile’ music. Rock music becomes a bit too polite perhaps… get out your HD25 in this case. Highly recommended IF you can find one for a good price (< € 100.-). Mechanically probably not among the best out there but if you treat it nice it will last a long time. Perhaps a dab of  oil on the plastic joints may get rid of the occasional and annoying ‘creaking‘ of the hinge while moving around.
Make sure to use oil intended for plastics, not all plastics react equally well to oil !

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