ZMF Vérité - Open-Back Dynamic Headphone - Official Thread

I’ve been taking some measurements of the Verite (Silkwood) with different pads on our GRAS 43AG, and I’ll be putting together a more comprehensive article eventually that highlights all the differences and includes some EQ suggestions for anyone interested in getting into that. At the moment, I don’t have all the pads, so I’ll just post what I do have here for now.

For these initial measurements I’ll be posting them relative to the 2018 Harman target (which has an unreasonable bass shelf in my opinion), just so people can get a sense of that relative to a common target that’s being used in other places. I think the custom target of Harman 2013 bass and 2018 mids and treble is more appropriate, so eventually I may include those, along with a more flat bass target as well.

BE2 Perf Suede pads

BE2 Perf Lambskin pads

Verite Perf Lambskin pads (flat)

Universe Perf Suede pads

Universe Perf Lambskin pads

I think there are a few things to keep in mind with this as well. The first is that I’ve tried my best to keep the target normalized for 1khz. This means it may look a bit more mid forward below that range than it actually sounds in some cases. So for example, if it were normalized at 300hz instead, you’d end up with something that looks much darker above 2khz.

The second thing to keep in mind is that the tonality differences shown in these measurements aren’t the only differences I notice. I find that the pad material and thickness also has an impact on the perceived detail, speed and stage. So for example, I find the Universe pads to have a larger and more spacious soundstage, but at the same time slightly less immediate detail than the flat Verite pads. Similarly, the Suede Universe pads may have a more agreeable frequency response to my preference, but I find them not quite as detailed as the BE2 pads. And for the BE2 pads, I find they lose a bit of space and stage character.

At the moment, however, my favorite is the BE2 Suede, because I find it to have a more agreeable treble presentation, even though it’s still quite dipped at the primary ear resonance. This is an area I find much easier to EQ than trying to boost smaller ranges in the treble. I still think the best technicalities are had from the flat Verite pads but it’s pretty close.

Lastly, as far as overall tonality and frequency response goes, I think one of the Verite’s defining characteristics is the sharp cut between 3-4.5khz. I do think this is one of the reasons it has such a spacious presentation to begin with, and because it still has an appropriate amount of energy on either side of that range, it sounds more like it’s just excluded a particular resonance, as opposed to the kind of muted and muffled presentation I hear on something like the LCD-X. For this reason, I think the cut adds a kind of flavor that makes a certain amount of sense - a non-fatiguing quality that I imagine is appealing to a lot of people. But I can also see why some people aren’t into its default tonality. If you’re expecting something like a HiFiMAN Arya or Ananda, the Verite is kind of the opposite of that.

In any case, the reason the Verite is one of my favorite headphones (if not my favorite) is because for all of its technical characteristics, it doesn’t require a trade off in one area or another. It has exceptional speed and detail, a spacious presentation, punch and slam for days, and the ZMF timbre. I do personally EQ the Verite, but I do still like to keep some of that non-fatiguing flavor to it, and every time I go back to the Verite I’m reminded of how awesome it sounds.