I was desperately in need of a good pair of in-ear earphones for a long time since my JVC FX-33 marshmallows went kaput a few months ago.So I got myself a new philips she-9500 from the tech haven of mumbai aka lamington road for about 750 INR a couple of days ago. I had done quite a bit of research before buying these earphones.Here’s the review.
First of all i’m no hardcore audiophile,but the audio quality is a top priority to me and i can’t bear to hear the bassless music from the silly nokia earphones bundled with my nokia n78.I a huge linkin park fan and i can hear linkin park all day long!!. The philips earphones are very good VFM earphones. The transperent blister package it came in contains the following.
- the earphones themselves(length-60cm)
- a 60 cm long extender cable
- a carrying pouch
- a small earphones box
- a couple of extra pairs of rubber tips of different sizes(small,medium,large).
For 750 bucks thats more than enough i think.I was contempalting maybe a creative or maybe a sony before finally settling on the philips one. There are various models in the 500-1000Rs. range from creative,sony and panasonic.But the best thing i found about these earphones during my pre-purcahse reasearch was that these earphones have great bass.This is very much evident from the bass vents present at the back of the earphones.I had also found many good comments on these earphones on various forums.Although there were even comments that suggested that these earphones lacked the ‘meatiness’ in the bass range.
Now about the construction of these earphones.The earphones are built solidly enough but can’t say the same about the cord though. The wire has a slight rubbery texture and is very thin a looks flimsy. Although the wire feels much stronger than it looks.The plugs are all 24k gold plated. Even the extender cable has the connectors gold plated. My experience suggests that this gold plating tends to wear off with use.The rubber cups provided have a soft feel to them and are of good quality.The manage to have the right balance between providing good isolation and providing comfort.I can wear these earbuds for hours without feeling any discomfort,or any itchy feeling,the earbuds are so comfortable that i tend to forget that i have even worn them.This was not my case with the JVC marshmallows. The memory foam insulation provided with those earbuds was good at providin isolation,but comfort was not one of its strong points.I have read many comments on various forums such head-fi.org,iaudiophile,etc that the assymetric cable length of these earphones as being ‘clumsy’. I consider this feature as a plus point. this makes wearing these earphones even more comfortable.
Now,for the audio quality department.these earphones have a very decent audio quality. Altough i had expected more. But i guess that the comfort does come at a price.The isolation is not what i would get from my marshmallows.I think the isolation provided by the jvc was unbeatable.The complete sealing of this earphones is compromised due to the bass vents present at the rear i think.The bass is more pronounced due to this.Hence it’s like a necessary evil!!The bass and treble felt rich. The midrange was so-so. One major drawback of these earbuds is that the sound crackles when the eq settings are fiddled with,especially the bass booster setting. I had to change the default nokia bass booster settings reducing the bass range pointer to a level slightly above default.But one thing that i noticed was that the sound at the default settings itself was good enough and no bass booster setting were needed,even a bassophile like me could do away with the bass booster settings.This was not the case with the jvc marshmallows. There was no severe distortion even when all the eq settings were kept very high.So go for the SHE9500 earphones only if are willing to do away with the eq settings altogether.This was one major dissapointment i had with these earbuds.I’m very much fond of fiddling with the eq settings and i always keep the bass at a very high level.
to sum it all up
- great vfm,cant beat the performance at this price point,even the creative ep630 costs 800 bucks and has much inferior bass(very boomy and hollow) altough it can handle high eq settings.
- The asymmetric cable length.
- Extremly comfortable.
- Comes with great carrying box,pouch.
- Ideal for use with mobile phones,since the cable is of short length without the extender,can be directly connected to the handsfree port of your mobile.can be used with mp3 player with the extender cable.(a nifty feature indeed).
- Good bass for the price.
- The cord is very thin,could have been of much better quality(one thing i liked very much about my jvc FX-33 was that the cable was very solidly built and was very thick and storng,certainly not a strong point of the SHE9500).
- The sound quality could have been much better,the midrange is a weak point.But the price is a much stronger point here which influences me.
- The chrome tends to attract a lot of attention. but thats pro right?But i think that the earphones should blend in which this earphones certainly dont.certainly could have been better without the chrome!
Isolation not very good.That might sometimes be a lifesaver,while walking on the streets listening to music it is necessary that you hear outside sounds and thus might prevent accidents.
These earphones are ideal if you are on a shoestring budget and are looking for a good pair of earbuds. for the price the sound and comfort is great.The cable with the extender is great for use with mobile phones having the remote for music player. If you have a flexible budget go for the sennheiser cx180,or maybe philips SHE9501,or the sonys they have much better sound quality but the price too is greater