ZMF Vérité C - Closed-Back Dynamic Headphone - Official Thread

Excepting some time at meet this weekend, where everyone else got to spend some time listening to the Vérité C, and they have about 70 hours on them now. Not sure how much of a real difference I am hearing vs. just the normal effects of listening to something for a while, but I would say the bass has tightened up and the top end is smoother (and both were excellent when I first started listening).

But I got to enjoy these on the deck, in the sun, for several straight hours yesterday and the only reason I stopped listening was because I had stuff to do with the wife when she got home. I was quite happily just firing off one album after another from a Cayin N8 into these things. I’d have sat there doing that all day (or at least until the N8’s battery died), otherwise!

Some specific impressions …

Open vs. Closed

The first, and perhaps most impressive (to me), thing to say here is just how much like the open-back Vérité these sound. Among all the headphones I’ve heard that are available in both closed-back and open-back form (or at least in familial variations that amount to that), the Vérité C are easily the closest sounding to their open-back variant I’ve ever heard.

I enjoy both the Stellia and the HD820, and they are both unmistakably related to their siblings (Utopia and HD800S respectively), but they’re both (much) bigger departures than the Vérité C is from the open Vérité.

The Vérité C delivers a very open sound, almost identical tonality and timbre - which is to say they have a slightly richer and warmer tonal tint than pure-neutral and a little more vocal presence than the open-back version. The stage is similar in width, maybe a hair narrower, than the open versions, which still puts it as being meaningfully more expansive than, say, the Utopia. And the sense of space/ambience from some venues is remarkable.

Raw Sound

Bass remains taut, fast, tuneful and very well controlled. There is no hint of boominess nor flab that so often accompanies closed-back headphones, even though the sub-bass seems more present, and the transition from the bass into the midrange is very clean, with no muddying of the lower-mids.

Treble is smooth (and smoother still after some run-in) , without giving up precision, crispness, detail or bite and exhibits natural levels of air and sparkle. Even pre-burn-in I was not able to excite any sibilance at all. Raucous brass had suitable impact and bite without being unnatural, while higher-pitched draws on the violin were pure and sweet.

The mids are wonderful … some modest extra upper-mid/vocal presence, which adds to the perception of overall clarity and openness, without being so much that it buggers up overall tone or timbre. Oodles of detail, excellent coherency, and a nice even delivery that, coupled with the slight tonal richness, makes for a very engaging and beguiling sound.

Isolation

Isolation is very good (these are reportedly the “most closed” headphones ZMF offers). There’s a graph in the first post that shows how much sound they keep in. Without music playing, and sitting in the office, they almost completely shut out the drone of the AC, and do enough to mute voices from the next office over that they’re unintelligible and consequently much less distracting. WITH music playing, nothing else is audible, and I find I can listen at significantly lower volumes without hearing anything but the music (for the sake of comparisons, I’m not doing that).

Comfort

Comfort is excellent. They feel lighter than they are (they still feel that way when picking them up), and even with the un-perforated Universe pads installed, I was about to sit in the sun, in 78 degree weather, and wear them for several hours straight without getting hot or sweaty ears.

Build

Excellent, and absolutely what I have come to expect with Zach’s headphones. The wood finish is gorgeous and very high quality, and grain structures in the wood are very well highlighted by said finish. Hardware is perfectly finished (black magnesium in this case), moves fluidly with no squeaks or binding or rattles. The yokes are the usual … a little stiff to extend/retract, but once in place they stay put and you shouldn’t have to fiddle with them once they are.

General Thoughts

If you’ve heard and enjoyed the original Vérité, and wanted a closed-back headphone, then the Vérité C is a very safe bet. If you can only have one headphone, and it has to offer isolation, these are, for once, not robbing you off the best parts of the open-back experience (especially vs. the open Vérité)l and, for me, are one of only two, current, closed-back headphones, that I would consider for such a case.

I am really enjoying my time with the Vérité C. They’ve gotten by far the bulk of my listening time since they arrived. And I’ll say more once I’ve had more time with them, with a full review coming when I am done with my upcoming travels. For now, though, I think they’re excellent!

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Awesome mini review. Thanks Torq! Much appreciated.

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Still amazes me how much the color on these changes depending on the light. The picture at the top of the thread is definitely closer to how they look in diffuse indoor lighting.

Sitting on the deck, thought I’d take a couple quick pictures before I got lost in more listening, and the early, golden-hour, light really makes these things glow:

Oh, and the cable you see here is the latest Vérité Silver (the 4-strand version), which uses a
pure silver outer conductor, and 2K copper inner conductor with a TPE insulator/coating (no microphonics and super-flexible).

And for @Darthpool’s sake, the splitter on that cable is available in anodized purple …

Coming up on 100 hours of runtime on these so should get some in-earnest review-style listening in, as well as a chance to compare measurements with my open-back version, and do some proper pad rolling.

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I’m waiting on my 4strand with purple purchase order from Zach lol… I want that neck candy damn it! Lol…plus, if all goes according to plan…it will be a nice contrast! :wink:

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Since these cans have had a chance to run-in bit now (just over 100 hours total at this point), and I’m not hearing any changes at this point, I wanted to re-run my frequency response measurements, as well as compare them to my open-back Vérité.

So, first I’ve updated the first post with the new measurements (original ones are still there for comparison. And second, here’s how the Vérité C (in Monkeypod) stack up against the original Vérité (in Ziricote), with the same pads on both (Universe, Lambskin, Unperforated), with alignments at 300 Hz and 1 kHz, for HEQ and CUST compensations:

I’ve got measurements with all variants of the Universe pads (Lambskin and Suede, Perf and Un-Perf), Eikon (Lambskin, Un-Perf), Auteur (Lambskin, Un-Perf) and Vérité (Lambskin, Perf) - which I’ll get posted when I get a chance.

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ZMF Vérité Closed - Universe Pad Variations - Frequency Response

While doing some more listening to the Vérité C, now that they’re over 125 hours of run time, I figured I should post the next set of pad rolling comparisons.

These are all the variations of (Un)iverse pads, both in (L)ambskin and (S)uede, and both (NP) non-perforated and §erforated configurations (e.g. Un-L-NP is a Universe, Lambskin, Non-Perforated Pad). And with both HEQ and CUST compensation curves (see here for details on the rig and measurement approach ):

Verite%20C%20(Monkey%20Pod)%20-%20Universe%20Pad%20Variations%20(HEQ%20-%2084%20dB%20at%20300%20Hz)

Verite%20C%20(Monkey%20Pod)%20-%20Universe%20Pad%20Variations%20(HEQ%20-%2084%20dB%20at%201%20kHz)

Verite%20C%20(Monkey%20Pod)%20-%20Universe%20Pad%20Variations%20(CUST%20-%2084%20dB%20at%20300%20Hz)

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Any favorite pads rising to the top yet? Or are the stock pads the preferred still…

Which pads corresponds with which colors? I’m not seeing it listed.

Must resist… Must.

It’s right at the bottom of each graph.

Label length is limited, so abbreviated … with the initial letters, in brackets, for each denomination.

The “Un-L-NP” means Universe, Lambskin, Non-Perforated …etc.

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So far I’m leaning towards the Universe, Lambskin, Non-Perforated with the Vérité Closed.

Loving these things!

No more closed-back headphones, I said …

No more headphones at all that didn’t replace something else, I said …

Yet here I am, actively contemplating what wood I want these in.

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I see now, thank you. Those Un-L-NP appear to be the most neutral.

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Unperforated suede… mmm

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ZMF Vérité Closed - Auteur, Eikon & Vérité Pads - Frequency Response

Some more pad response measurements, for the three remaining pad sets that I had on hand to test with - namely the (Au)teur, (L)ambskin, (N)on-(P )erf, (Ei)kon, (L)ambskin, (N)on-(P )erf and (V)érité, (L)ambskin, (P )erforated.

And with both HEQ and CUST compensation curves (see here for details on the rig and measurement approach ):

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ZMF Vérité Closed vs. Focal Stellia - Frequency Response

I think the most commonly requested comparison I’ve had so far, regarding the Vérité Closed, (excepting comparisons to the Vérité Open, of course) has been for the Focal Stellia:

Black trace is the Vérité Closed with the Universe, Lambskin, Non-Perforated pads installed. Red is the Focal Stellia. And since both plots are within 0.5 dBwhen calibrated at either 300 Hz or 1 kHz, I’m only showing the 300 Hz plot.

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Woah. That’s way closer than I expected. Thx Torq.

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This makes me think the Stellia is still slightly more smooth in the treble. It’s something I loved about it when I heard it. I may be oversimplifying things but the shape of that rise for the Stellia at 8.5khz is definitely my preference for that region (as I’ve noticed with the Ananda vs Arya as well), and speaking as a Verite Open owner, that’s the one area that I think could be improved upon. Still, the overall technical ability of the Verite (open in my case) has me preferring it over the high end Focals. You get almost all of the detail without losing the stage.

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The FedEx guy brought me something nice this AM. :slight_smile:

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Is that the Monkey Pod or Desert Ironwood?

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Theyre Monkey Pod.

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