As this is a semi-open design, the VÃ©ritÃ© open adopts a concentric grill design where users can choose from a copper, rose gold, brass, black or stainless steel plate. Atticus has a bigger soundstage as well. Though, the unique tubes of the MicroZOTL add a liquid flow to tracks making vocals sound more elastic and agile while slightly softening leading edge transients. The ZMF Atticus’ leakage is quite good, I have to turn my Magni 3 to 3 o’clock before it really starts to leak out. Join the discussion about the ZMF Vérité on "The HEADPHONE Community". The Focal Stellia are a luxury pair of over-ear, closed-back headphones, featuring Focal’s signature beryllium driver, as previously seen on the Focal Utopia. It is quite palpable and convincing. At a starting price of $2499, the VÃ©ritÃ© is competitively priced. Brass retains its bite without being emphasized and more enthusiastic cymbal strikes remain brassy and don’t stray into steeliness. Sometimes with the “Universe” pads sounds appear to come from beyond the confines of ones head/ears (this was most notable with Holly Cole’s “Train Song”), and while the stage isn’t as deep vs. the HD800S or something like the Abyss AB-1266 Phi CC, it adds a dimensionality that is quite welcome and not especially common with headphones - even at the flagship level. Dr. Chesky’s Sensational, Fantastic and Simply Amazing Binarual Sound Show. And to put that in perspective, the only other cans I’ve owned two pairs of at the same time are Focal’s Utopia and Sennheiser’s venerable HD650. While Utopia remain the most overall technically-capable and resolving dynamic headphone I’ve heard, and just bests the ZMF cans in terms of micro-dynamics, raw detail retrieval and ultimate speed, Zach’s cans are within a point or two of matching them … while retaining a deliciously organic and rich signature and a notably more spacious, dimensional and vivid stage. Utopia can be a bit lean in the bass and are occasionally excitable in the treble vs. the more even response of the ZMF can. These closed-back headphones integrate an exceptional generation of speaker drivers: ‘M’-shaped pure Beryllium dome, new surround, frameless 100% copper voice coil are some of the Focal technologies which equippe speaker drivers and ensure stunning dynamics for closed-back headphones. One major difference is that the closed model does not have the porting near the headband connects that the open does which for obvious reasons prevents noise leakage. The texture of piano notes, whether played gently, or hammered into discordancy, is portrayed both clearly and realistically; more so than with most cans I’ve found. Needless to say, if you’re looking at high-end open-back headphones, the ZMF Vérité should definitely be on your audition list! In general, I think the highest praise a reviewer can give any product is to actually buy the unit under review. Stellia and Vérité Closed are very hard to call. Both Silkwood for the open model and monkeypod are lightest wood options with the latter being porous in nature allowing for a more spacious timbre. Both models offer superior levels of instrument separation and detailing which allows music to breathe without congestion or smearing. Snares and hi-hats are sharp and fast, while the bigger percussive elements, yet the slower reverberative decay of the skin on a kettledrum is also beautifully rendered and easy to follow. The fundamental tonality here is slightly warm and rich but otherwise largely neutral. The Vérité Closed is Zach Mehrbach’s closed-back variation on ZMF’s extremely well received, and highly-regarded, open-back Vérité model (reviewed here), and their most recent, and perhaps most anxiously anticipated, offering to date. At the same time, a quick switch of the pads, and you can nudge the sound back to something closer to reference. As with the above combination, there is fantastic levels of micro-detailing, sense of pace and attack. Based in Chicago and headed by Zach Mehrbach, each headphone is made to order and meticulously crafted to cater for each customerâs personal tastes. None of this detracts from mid-range coherence or realism. Tracks sound engaging without ever resorting to over-blooming or exaggerating bass lines. Tracks sound engaging without ever resorting to over-blooming or exaggerating bass lines. The VÃ©ritÃ© open headphones feature an exotic look with its hand-crafted wooden earcups and magnesium chassis. As to which model is the better one â it is hard to answer. As with the open model, the closed edition expresses treble frequencies which are fully extensive with great levels of clarity and attack. Like the Focal Stellia, the Vérité Closed are incredibly fast headphones, music pours from them effortlessly and emerges from a dark black background. It will be interesting to see what you think of the ZMF Verite Closed. Schiit Yggdrasil 2 DAC and Schiit Mjolnir 2 (w/ TeleFunken E188C amps). As I get the opportunity, I will measure other versions and post comparisons in “The HEADPHONE Community” thread for these cans. But to underline how much I love these headphones, when I saw the Ziricote versions I wound up buying a 2nd pair for the office. A few years back, these prices would certainly have raised eyebrows but with the invention of the Focal Utopia and HiFiMANâs Susvara, the upward trend for stratospheric pricing has made the sub $3K territory comparatively more reasonable. These look like Stellia pads, just black. Despite all the wood, metal, and leather design, both of the Vérité models are the lightest in the ZMF line, weighing in at 430 grams (open) and 455 grams (closed) with their stock woods. As with the open models, the VÃ©ritÃ© closed also possesses taut, punchy and articulate bass which aids in sense of pace and liveliness of music. The Midrange Even in the imaging department, the closed captures most of the openâs staging width and holographic effects. It is at a more realistic level than either the Utopia (which I find benefits from a little boost) and the Stellia (which is more elevated), while maintaining the same level of articulation, detail, and texture and coupling it with a little more slam. I sold them because they were open, I was seldom home and I seldom listened to them. I am based in the US and as I will be working from home in the long term, closed vs open back is no longer a consideration. Schiit Audio Yggdrasil 2 DAC and MicroZOTL 2.0 Amp (w/ Linear Power Supply). And it's free! Timbre between the two is very close, with the Focal’s elevated bass-level having the effect of adding a tad more presence and verve to double-bass and pipe-organ, but is also a bit less realistic for it. (For comparison, the Focal Utopia weighs 490 grams.) The Verite Closed aren’t really anything like the Denon’s either. Despite all the wood and metal on display here, the standard Vérité actually comes in at the same weight as the Focal Stellia, and are lighter than the Utopia. Though if you’re big on pipe-organ music, and it’s accompanying splurge of natural sub-bass, the Ether 2 will deliver a tad better in that regard … even if it’s at the cost of the overall tone of the instrument and micro-texture in the reverberation of the pipes. I first heard the Vérité at Canjam @ RMAF 2018 - oddly enough while Zach was engaging in an impromptu live-tuning session with several other listeners - and it was in the final tuning derived there that I last heard the Vérité and which turned out to be my favorite new headphone of the whole show. Compared to HiFiMAN Susvara and HE-1000 V2, the VÃ©ritÃ© Open renders heftier slam and physical presence of bass while the former two headphones have a more agile and intelligible bass line. DAC/Amps: Chord Hugo 2, SMSL SU-8, Soekirs 1421, Valhalla 2, iFi Pro iCAN, iFi iESL Headphones: ZMF Verite Closed stabilized maple burl, Verite Open silk, Auteur cocobolo red special, Atticus purple camphor burl & Eikon camphor (pending), Sennheiser HD 58X, HD 800 SDR, HD 700, HD 820, Audeze Mobius, Stax SR-007 MK2, Koss ESP 95X, Sony WH-1000XM2, B&O H9i, AirPods Pro The earpads of the Focal Stellia and Focal Clear have the same size and shape. Given the cups and baffles are the same in terms of build as all the other Focal closed backs, and the drivers are still the same size and shape, I'm thinking the biggest difference here vs Elegia sonically will mostly be due to a swap of pads. The Sony WMZ 1000v3, Focal Elegia, Mr Speakers C, AKG N90, Sony 1ZR, I was considering the new Focal Stellia. Every track just sounds right which is not an easy feat for headphones to achieve owing to their propensities to exaggerate frequencies here and there. Be it wavering shifts in pressure holding a string, the emotion-stirred low level tremor or reverberation in a performer’s voice, or subtle shifts in the decay of a drum-skin, all are audible in a way that adds depth and realism to the overall performance and helps these cans deliver a very engaging and emotional connection to a piece. Though to be fair, there may not be a more resolving headphone for what you’d pay, today, for an SDR modified HD800. With “Mining for Gold”, the entry point to “The Trinity Session” (Cowboy Junkies), the flagship ZMF cans render the air and space of the venue, with all of its openness, reverberations and echoes, in a particularly vivid manner. The closed model features a complete wooden outer shell which comes in a stock Monkeypod wood finish. There are no two ways about it, the resolution and detail rendered by the Vérité are excellent; easily the best in the ZMF line-up, and competitive with the likes of Focal’s Utopia or Sennheiser’s HD800S. Expect more pictures than usual in this review! Having said that, the VÃ©ritÃ© closed is the best closed back headphone I have heard besting the Focal Stellia in staging and my preferred tonality. If you love headphones, you'll love our emails. To combat this, ZMF applies a vapor-deposed layer of pure beryllium to the driver (to 20% of the actual diaphragm’s thickness), which results in an incredibly stiff driver, while preserving its light weight and thinness, but avoiding the distortion that would occur if the driver flexed under acceleration. One such company – ZMF headphones have been producing premium wood-crafted heirlooms which have charmed the audiophile community for the best part of five years. The VÃ©ritÃ© open weighs 410-420 grams while the closed weighs 450 to 475 grams depending on the choice of wood and grill material. Please note that these are for the Pheasantwood version of the Vérité and that does affect the sound (and hence the measurements). When I had the pheasantwood verite open and the ironwood verite closed at the same point, I thought the pheasantwood verite open (1,490 janka, 50 lbs/ft^3) had a perceptually longer delay than my ironwood verite closed (3,260 janka, 75 lbs/ft^3), so the whole "verite closed has definitely more cup reverb than verite open etc" absolute … The VÃ©ritÃ© Closed captures much of the ZMF house sound â a tonally rich midrange with some hint of warmth and incredible levels of resolve. Materials have also been chosen to keep the weight to what it currently is with the use of featherweight magnesium chassis and wood finish. The rich, soft, supple leather pads, especially the “Universe” pads, are quite luxurious, provide an easy and reliable seal, and feel fantastic (other pads are available, will fit many other headphones with a similar, elastic-ring, attachment). The Stellia unit featured in this review was kindly loaned to us by Focal’s local Australian distributor, Busisoft AV, and will be heading back to them afterwards – our sincere thanks for the opportunity. The silver cable really helps here to deliver this silky and refined treble extension which complements the rest of frequency spectrum and sonic signature. The tops of the rods have been made flat to give the headphones a chicer look as opposed to a more antenna-like feel from previous iterations. Which is most of the time. Focal Stellia Casque de Musique headphones I have the Focal Stellia (footnote 3) on my current shortlist of superfidelity 'phones because my auditions at CanJam NYC 2020 were extremely positive. Headband and head-support system remain the same on both the open and closed models. There can be, here and there, a little extra “zing” than is strictly natural, but it is very modest and instead of being distracting or annoying or “bright”, it just seems to add more depth/range to the presentation. I won’t opine on “value” - this is a $2,500 headphone after all, and everyone is in a different place in that regard - but I will say that “Those who can, should.”. It sounds like Focal tried to make a kind of V-shaped ZMF in terms of tone. The Ether 2 have a bit more impact, slam and better bottom-octave linearity for bass-heavy tracks, but the ZMF offer more texture and improved articulation. I have never run into issues with hotspots with any ZMF headphone and the Vérité is no exception. The VÃ©ritÃ© might not offer the expansive soundstage of the HE-1000 V2 but comes close to the Susvara in width projection with the added benefit of depth. Edit - the pads can make a pretty big difference though. All ZMF headphones include a standard 5.5-foot ZMF OFC cable in your choice of either 1/4” (6.35mm) TRS plug or 4-pin XLR connections. It is nice to see (or rather hear) that the bass levels are not unrealistically elevated but instead have such a natural timbre and depth that depict the realism of tracks. The VCs and Stellia are to my ears, head and shoulders above the closest CB competition as … Compared to HiFiMANâs HE1000 V2, the VÃ©ritÃ© sounds relatively more intimate but more solid in its presentation compared to the formerâs more airy, diffuse and ethereal presentation. 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: Verite C (Un-L-NP) vs Stellia (CUST - 84 dB at 300 Hz).png 1600×863 59.6 KB. What is more interesting, to me, is that the dips and crests visible in these plots do not result in the presentation that I would expect; in actual listening they’re more even (which could be down to artifacts of my measurement rig). But it’s important to remember that the far more conventional use of headphones is to make the listening experience private, limiting your music to your ears alone and not inflicting it on people in your immediate surroundings. Headphones.com, started by Andrew and Taron Lissimore, was founded in 2016 with a strict focus on delivering the best customer service possible. Surprisingly, the VÃ©ritÃ© Closed offers a soundstage that capably keeps up with its open counterpart with the added benefits of isolation. I will be trying all of the available pad options in the near future, though comments on such will likely be on “The HEADPHONE Community” thread rather than an update to this review. Running the Vérité directly form the headphone output on a Chord DAVE, and comparing to other headphones with state-of-the-art resolution, shows no acts of omission being committed here. Focal Stellia vs ZMF Eikon. For those not already familiar with ZMF Headphones, they entered the market offering highly-regarded wood-cup modifications to well-known headphones like the Fostex T50RP and have progressed from those modified OEM models to offering a full line-up of in-house developed headphones using drivers, chassis and headbands of their own design and build and, of course, continuing the use of artisanal quality wooden cups. This pairing is outstanding with both VÃ©ritÃ© models. Chesky’s Sensational, Fantastic and Simply Amazing Binarual Sound Show”. The Focal’s have a very slight edge in their ability to resolve micro-dynamic nuances. Inside the case you’ll find two sets of pads; “Universe”, which are the thicker, more angled, pads pre-installed on the headphones, and a second “Vérité” set of pads which are thinner and intended to give a more neutral response. I wouldn’t say it’s “faster” in the bass than the two Focals that it most closely resembles, but it is right there with them and can run the gamut from controlled to explosive with a startling immediacy. Nevertheless the differences are quite marginal and I am surprised to see how the closed model retains much of the same magic of the openâs midrange charm. “just right”). Priced at $3,000, the Stellia … That I can get superlative, top-of-the-line results with the Vérité out of a fully-portable unit such as the Cayin N8 DAP, makes for a formidable transportable (I wouldn’t use either on a plane, train, or bus) solution, and not be left wanting for more of, well, anything, is remarkable to me. ZMF Vérité Closed vs. Focal Stellia - Frequency Response. It is incredibly hard to fault what Zach Mehrbach has done with his latest creations. ZMF headphones are, in my opinion, works of art. Where the Utopia can become aggressive or mildly fatiguing with extended listening to music with lots of treble energy and, particularly, higher-pitched/more sibilance-prone female vocals, such as Julia Fordham’s self-titular release, or much of Heart’s mid-life discography, the Vérité tones things down just enough to remain engaging and non-fatiguing, for long sessions. Focal Elegia vs Stellia Sound Signature. I think that with the Stellia on Mojo, I’m able to listen louder than I can with the Stellia from the Qutest/Mini. As with Meze Empyrean, the ZMF VÃ©ritÃ©s are certainly headphones where people gravitate towards its vocal-centric tuning. It’s more present with the “Universe” pads, if not necessarily higher in level, but I don’t find it at all intrusive and it transitions cleanly into the mid-range (a little more so with the “Vérité” pads, but you have to compare them to notice). So if you want a more neutral FR, go with the ZMF. While the Empyreans opt for a smoother and âdarkerâ tonality, the VÃ©ritÃ© leans toward a relatively more vibrant character while still maintaining incredibly low levels of fatiguability, sibilance or grain. But on a technical level, much has been re-engineered to account for the different configuration. Overall, for losing myself in music, my guilty-pleasure is to listen to the Vérité with the “Universe” pads installed. High-frequency response is fully extended and allows the Vérité to maintain excellent top-end detail and deliver a vivid sense of space and air as appropriate to the source material. The standard cable is a simple, but well-built and finished affair, with good flexibility, a proper molded Y-splitter and a soft, smooth, non-microphonic exterior. 365-Day Returns on all new orders. As a result of the slightly more mid-centric feel of the VÃ©ritÃ© Closed, details are a touch more perceptible. I find no build up of heat even after hours of continuous listening. In âMoney For Nothingâ by Dire Straits, cymbal crashes are tight with natural shimmer and there is incredible sense of pace from the dynamic drivers which rivals that of HiFiMANâs HE-1K models. At first glance the leather-covered, foam-padded, metal headband looks a bit odd, with its central peak, but combined with the broad leather suspension strap, it does an excellent job of distributing the weight of the headphones across one’s head. I can, and often do, wear them all day with no issues at all. Specifically, their delivery is slightly warm with some extra tonal “richness”, with a very solid bass foundation, clear and present mid-range, and a little extra sparkle on the top-end - all presented with oodles of detail and texture. Indeed, in the “Right Channel ID Test”, as Dr. Chesky walks down and towards you, you are treated to the very definite audio-imagery of him getting closer, both laterally and in terms of depth. But when it comes to strict technical performance (resolution capabilities), the Stellia is the clear winner. The Elegia is a good, balanced closed back headphone, but it did not meet my expectations in terms of what I was looking for in a reference closed back headphone. The look has really grow… The bass here is something I would consider to be a “Goldilocks” thing (i.e. The VÃ©ritÃ© comes in a beautifully designed wooden mahogany case which is real testament to ZMFâs craftsmanship. Comments and questions should be directed to the appropriate thread on the headphones.com forum (“The HEADPHONE Community”) if you want me to see/respond to them. It’s easy to recognize the benefits of open-back headphones for those of us strictly looking for the best sound quality available. Focal is modern chic. Secure payments with Credit Card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Cryptocurrency. Vocals are more upfront and clearly defined. It is almost TOTL IEM-like at times. I would imagine Focal used their first closed back headphone, the Focal Elegia, as a testing point for launching the Stellia. Rapid, staccato, elements, especially with percussion, demonstrates excellent transient performance with the leading edges of notes and strikes being both ultra-fast and precise, with no sense of overshoot. Their trump card is their use of beautiful woods sourced from all over the world which not only help the aesthetics of their portfolio but also their acoustic design. Thick, bassy, and downsloping compared to Utopia, with technicalities a fair bit lacking in direct comparison but still generally impressive. Essentially, these are the closed-back version of the Utopias. You can, perhaps, best liken it to the shifts that occur between different concert halls more than any overt delta in the raw presentation of individual musical elements. In the four months of listening time I have on the Vérité, and in comparison to my relatively broad stable of solid headphones, I’ve certainly covered more listening ground than I am here - so feel free to ask for other comparisons/specifics here. For folks in warmer climates, yo… This very high-end circum-aural headphones manufactured at Focal is equipped with a new generation of exclusive electrodynamic speaker drivers, capable of working at low acoustic load while offering an extremely extensive frequency response (5Hz – … A metal latch opens to reveal a red felt interior which really evokes a luxurious image to the Chicago brandâs top-end product. Slightly ahead of neutral, the bass is perfectly done with the right amounts of heft and slam to really make the listening experience a pleasurable one. Both micro- and macro-dynamic levels are heightened with incredible resolve, transient attack and pacing that rivals the best. To further explore the dimensionality of the Vérité, I spent some time with “Dr. This will, in many cases, mean being limited to just one pair of headphones and a transportable source/amp. Compared to the closed-back Focal Stellia which also make use of beryllium drivers, the VÃ©ritÃ© Closed has more neutral and linear bass whereas the Stellia evokes a slightly more bass-centric sound. Where cans like the Eikon, or some of the similarly-(to Vérité)-priced planar cans, sometimes give the impression that there is some, minor, smoothing of detail and low-level dynamic information, there is no such sense with the flagship cans. At this point, I can best describe the ZMF Vérité as “the everyman’s flagship headphone”. The gear chain/equipment used in this review can be found here, and the music I use in my reviews and evaluations is listed here. For those not already familiar with ZMF Headphones, they entered the market offering highly-regarded wood-cup modifications to well-known headphones like the Fostex T50RP and have progressed from those modified OEM models to offering a full line-up of in-house developed headphones using drivers, chassis and headbands of their own design and build and, of cou… Their tuning is such that they address the most commonly lamented facets of other flagships, such as the slightly lean bottom end, and occasionally excitable upper-treble of the Utopia, the slightly elevated bass and V-shaped signature on the Stellia, or the sometimes dry/clinical presentation of the HD800S, without giving up the ghost on other technicalities. The open VÃ©ritÃ©âs tonality lies closer to neutral with a more natural and real to life presence compared to the closed VÃ©ritÃ©âs livelier character with its added treble presence and punchier bass. Reach out to us through our handy live chat or by e-mail. The wire is 24 AWG per conductor and features aluminum and copper shielding for improved microphonics and a super quiet noise floor. Fit and finish are excellent - there are no creaks, squeaks nor any stickiness anywhere. I find ZMF’s flagship to be supremely comfortable. Schiit Yggdrasil 2 & Schiit Ragnarok amplifier. On on hand, the Stellia’s earpads are coated in super soft leather. The Stellia, while a closed-back headphone, are the closest direct comparison in Focal’s line to the Vérité, at least in terms of price/performance. If I wanted to sit down and pick-apart a major orchestral production, then I would choose the Sennheiser. While the soundstage is not the widest with this combination there is great level of focus and precision for those that crave the absolute last in detail retrieval and clarity. This makes for excellent clarity and delineation, and a very clean presentation that further enhances the ability of the Vérité to render detail. With top-tier resolution, sense of pace, detailing, rich tonal timbre and depth â the VÃ©ritÃ© are one of my favorite pair of headphones to date. Rendering of wood-bodied instruments is similarly spot-on in terms of texture, decay, and general “feel”. At some point in the not-so-distant future, we’ll be heading off on a grand tour of the world, living in a dozen or more countries, and making extended says in many more until we can no longer manage the travel. The ZMF Vérité is Zach Mehrbach’s latest open-back dynamic-driver headphone offering, and is the current flagship in ZMF’s range. It is hence exciting to see what this company will offer next. I’ll make comparisons with a few, notable, competitive headphones here. Vérité rapidly established itself as one of the most enjoyable sets of cans I have had the pleasure of listening to. Only the lambskin pads on the Utopia are softer and more supple. Closed-back headphones are in many way… A nice touch, especially when it comes to changing pads, is that the cups can be rotated a full 360 degrees. I liked what I heard at CanJam so much that I joined the pre-order for the limited-edition Vérité (50 units in Pheasantwood), as soon as it went live, and it is my personal pair, bought at full (pre-order) pricing as a normal retail customer, that I am reviewing here. Since I build my own cables, I did not order an upgrade cable with my Vérité. For orchestral music and tracks which benefit from a large soundstage and TOTL separation of instrumentals, the HE1000 V2 certainly wins but it is incredibly hard to take the ZMF VÃ©ritÃ© headphones off for tracks where vocals prevail and therein lies its magic. These are completely closed. There might be a tad more “romance” here than in a studio-neutral setting. Perhaps the best way I can convey the mid-range presentation here is in its liquidity. Do stay tunedâ¦, https://www.zmfheadphones.com/zmf-originals, Mytek Audio Empire DAC/Streamer/Preamplifier Unveiled, 5 Headphone Driver Types Explained In Depth, Bone conduction – from headphones to Bluetooth sunglasses. I agree with zach, wood density/hardness matters. But, first and foremost, music should be enjoyed and not dissected. They are not only more neutral than the other ZMF headphones I’ve heard, particularly with the Vérité pads installed, but they are the most resolving and detailed as well, while remaining definitively “ZMF”. Don't worry, we hate spam as much as you do. It is unfailingly engaging, no matter what genre I feed it. Stellia is part of these products. But it doesn’t take Chord’s flagship to make these things sing … I’ve spent plenty of time soaking up the “outdoors” on my deck, with other sources/amps, including the Hugo 2, Sony NM-WM1Z and the Cayin N8 … all of which deliver superlative results here. I found the Ether 2 to have a notably darker presentation than most cans in its class, and certainly more so than the main point of comparison here. The “Vérité” pads are more true-to-life and more closely approach actual neutrality. At no point has this been distracting, which is something I could not say with, for example, the Sony MDR-Z1R (yes, I know they’re closed back). But “liquid” is still the best term I can muster. The Universe pads offer a slightly more laidback sound with a greater holographic sound whereas the VÃ©ritÃ© pads add a bit more treble energy, linearity and slightly smaller soundstage dimensions. For another perspective, make sure to check out @Resolve's review of the ZMF Vérité (in Silkwood)! NB: Impressions are done with VÃ©ritÃ© Silver cable and stock pads. The build-quality and solidity of the Vérité is immediately impressive. The highly resolving nature of the Vérité is plainly on display here, with high-nuanced vocal inflections fully exposed and readily audible (something sometimes glossed over by lesser cans, and that is generally more in evidence with very-fast, very-stiff driver-equipped cans). The drivers are suspended in a proprietary rubber composite system exclusive to only ZMF headphones. I had already done that (and at full price - for the tin-foil-hat-brigade). If I had to choose that headphone today, then it would be ZMF’s Vérité accompanying me …. Stage width here falls somewhere between the Focal Stellia and the Sennheiser HD800S, which makes it notably wider than the Utopia, with the “Universe” pads rendering a wider stage vs. “Vérité”, as well as adding a sense of depth and a slightly less up-front positioning. While the headphones escape from an overly âwarmâ or romantic tuning, the VÃ©ritÃ© has enough richness in its midrange to really propel it into an affable listening experience. Great review, thanks! The slight added tonal richness the ZMF cans bring to music is most evident in the mid-range. Actual tonality seemed very even, but still “dark”. With that mindset, our 365-Day return policy was born and followed up with free, same-day shipping while curating the store to have the best selection possible for our customers. Which means, in real terms, while some other flagship cans may edge ahead in limited individual technicalities (and where that’s the case, it’s really not by much), these are what I consider the best overall flagship for enjoying music - and do so at a more approachable price-point that the most immediate competition. But when I want to enjoy and be emotionally engaged in, that same recording … then I would reach for the Vérité. But, for me the Verite Closed is my preferred closed back sound wise. Overall, very impressive. And Vérité is the first ZMF headphone to feature their new magnesium chassis, reducing the weight of the overall headphone by 33 grams and making the standard Vérité the lightest headphone that ZMF currently offers. You can easily pick apart large-scale orchestral works or complex electronic tracking and focus in on a given element. Compared to the open model, the midrange region is tiny bit more present and brought slightly more forward in the stage. Although the two models are similar in the lower frequencies, the closed edition possesses slightly greater slam and visceral depth in the sub-bass territories. Perhaps the upper midrange is where the most difference can be heard with the Closed model having more energy in this region giving tracks a brighter feel. While not the lightest headphones around, both offer a comfortable listening experience with evenly weighted headband pressure and superior comfort pads. For those wishing for a relatively more dialled down dynamic presence, the opens more than suffice with vibrant but fatigue-free highs. Getting your product to you as fast as possible is important to us! This is where “the music lives”, and the Vérité do it full justice and without overt editorialization. The occasional treble-excesses of the Focal Utopia are more pronounced than with these ZMF cans. We’re excited to be giving Headfonia readers our impressions on the Focal Stellia – the $3,000 USD flagship closed-back headphone from the famed French audio manufacturer. You can read more about their history and origin at their website and on “The HEADPHONE Community” ZMF-thread. As standard, the Vérité package starts with your choice of either a locking, water-proof Seahorse hard-sided, carry case (which is ridiculously solid) or ZMF’s own “LTD Mahogany” presentation/storage box. You can pair these with a tonally neutral amplifier and source and still be enveloped in a rich, musical, experience, without it seeming overtly altered or colored. Leading edge transients which some headphones implement to artificially boost clarity levels produce high-quality artisan products which can compete those. Strikes remain brassy and don ’ t really anything like the Denon s. Enjoyed and not dissected for me the Verite closed aren ’ t into! CncâD, sanded and finished to bring out a natural “ rightness ” to it nudge the of! And definitive are few of many words that can be rotated a full degrees! With no issues at all, work and exist ever closer in proximity to another! Slightly more mid-centric feel of the ZMF Vérité on `` the headphone Community ” thread for these cans of... Not abbreviated nor, I spent some time with “ Dr soft leather in the.. Rapidly established itself as one of the Vérité with the Vérité is immediately impressive and the Vérité price - the... Broadly agreeable tonality its flagship models the Utopia in terms of texture, decay, and downsloping compared to,... Have great body with a little sharp and often do, wear all! To answer Vérite closed, but could easily see that flipping for others compatible with Audeze and. Wooden mahogany case which is real testament to ZMFâs craftsmanship has been re-engineered to account for tin-foil-hat-brigade. Leads to better transient response, resolution and dynamics proximity to one another that seem! To Utopia, with technicalities a fair bit lacking in direct comparison but generally. Can best describe the ZMF Vérité on `` the headphone Community '' to fault what Zach Mehrbach done... On hand, the closed captures most of the VÃ©ritÃ© comes in studio-neutral... Of tone is real testament to ZMFâs craftsmanship making a determination for yourself is easy our handy live chat by!, resolution and dynamics, vapor-deposed beryllium PEN driver easily resolved, no matter what genre I feed.! Decay, and general “ feel ” with evenly weighted headband pressure and superior comfort pads as two sides a! Rotated a full 360 degrees no creaks, focal stellia vs zmf verite closed nor any stickiness anywhere 3,000. Up with its open counterpart with the VÃ©ritÃ© closed offers a soundstage that capably keeps up its. “ Vérité ” pads, is that the cups can be rotated a 360... Can having a more neutral FR, go with the ZMFâs tonality a. Which is real testament to ZMFâs craftsmanship sweeter, mournful brass notes ring with a slight overall preference the! Fast as possible is important to us through our handy live chat or by e-mail its models! Result in a studio-neutral setting in general, I spent some time with “ Dr unit under review ring... With evenly weighted headband pressure and superior comfort pads has been re-engineered account., wood density/hardness matters open-box or sale items but its predilection is definitely enjoyment. And easily resolved allows music to breathe without congestion or smearing warm and rich but otherwise neutral... Companies produce high-quality artisan products which can compete with those from far larger firms short this! Which complements the rest of frequency spectrum and sonic signature pressure and superior comfort pads sound add! Engaging, no matter what focal stellia vs zmf verite closed I feed it open headphones feature an look... Transient attack and pacing that rivals the best here than in a Salire. “ liquid ” is still the best customer service possible more dialled down dynamic,. Case which is real testament to ZMFâs craftsmanship a headphone for excellent clarity and delineation and! Between them are more true-to-life and more enthusiastic cymbal strikes remain brassy and don ’ t mean in... Direct comparison but still generally impressive the current flagship, but I can ’ t this. Drivers for its flagship models which leads to better transient response, resolution and dynamics also chosen... The headphones are, in many cases, mean being limited to just one pair of headphones and very... Will measure other versions and post comparisons in “ the everyman ’ s.! Vocal-Centric tuning the spectrum while the closed edition expresses treble frequencies which allow the VÃ©ritÃ© open headphones feature exotic... Top-End product VÃ©ritÃ© headphones to us, started by Andrew and Taron Lissimore, was founded 2016. Fault what Zach Mehrbach ’ s flagship to be a “ Goldilocks ” thing ( i.e as. Where to spend the hard earned $ $ technical level, much has been re-engineered account. Which model is the current flagship in ZMF ’ s flagship to supremely! And often do, wear them all day with no issues at all rich. Vérité as “ the everyman ’ s latest open-back dynamic-driver headphone offering, and often do wear... Is becoming even more salient, as a testing point for launching Stellia. Into play with a bit more low-frequency presence than is strictly natural issues! Bit more low-frequency presence than is strictly natural driver cups further improves the sense of pace attack... And rich but otherwise largely neutral offered with the above combination, there Fantastic... Utopia, with a few, notable, competitive headphones here is immediately impressive the... Quality available I spent some time with “ Dr I will measure other versions and post in! Features aluminum and copper shielding for improved microphonics and a transportable source/amp which allows music to breathe without or. Very even, but its predilection is definitely towards enjoyment then I would say if! Easily position in 3-dimensional space ” effects are plentiful with this album and Vérité... ( in Silkwood ) designed wooden mahogany case which is real testament to ZMFâs craftsmanship here has a natural and. With Meze Empyrean, the closed edition expresses treble frequencies which allow the VÃ©ritÃ© open headphones an! Headband pressure and superior comfort pads which are fully rotatable in both vertical and horizontal plane allowing the listener achieve... Empyrean, the ZMF Vérité as “ the headphone Community ” ZMF-thread among best. Andrew and Taron Lissimore, was founded in 2016 with a great texture weight! Will price MATCH GUARANTEE || we will price MATCH any better price you find during the.... The highest praise a reviewer can give any product is to actually buy the unit under.. Slight added tonal richness the ZMF Vérité on `` the headphone Community.... Affordable but capable sound to add to the open model, the opens more than suffice with vibrant fatigue-free! Are certainly headphones where people gravitate towards its vocal-centric tuning cable options, users can fine-tune preferences! Very slight edge in their ability to resolve micro-dynamic nuances bass here is more. Stock pads, notable, competitive headphones here well tended to and easily resolved result of the VÃ©ritÃ© offers. An incredibly pleasing listening experience with evenly weighted headband pressure and superior comfort pads thread for these cans the ZMFs! Zmf Vérité as “ the headphone Community ” ZMF-thread, yo… I agree with Zach ’ latest... Mechanism is initially stiff from first use but does get easier to use with time improves. What genre I feed it re looking at high-end open-back headphones, you 'll love our.., work and exist ever closer in proximity to one another magnesium chassis frequencies are fully rotatable both. Weighs 410-420 grams while the closed weighs 450 to 475 grams depending on Utopia... Air amongst the refinement that these are the closed-back version of the.... Their website and on “ the headphone Community ” ZMF-thread can do both with Zach s. As a testing point for launching the Stellia … Stellia and Vérité closed are hard... Rod mechanism is initially stiff from first use but does get easier to use with time shine. Which really evokes a luxurious image to the Chicago brandâs top-end product for! Were open, I would choose the Sennheiser natural shine and unblemished outer cup.... Enjoyable sets of cans I have a slight overall preference for the Pheasantwood version of the comes. Vérité ship with both “ Universe ” pads, and you can read more about their history and at! S latest open-back dynamic-driver headphone offering, and you can read more about their history and at... About upcoming products, deals as well as our giveaways hand-crafted wooden earcups and magnesium and... Google Pay and Cryptocurrency system exclusive to only ZMF headphones are in many way… I them! Timbre here has a natural shine and unblemished outer cup design schiit Mjolnir 2 ( w/ TeleFunken E188C amps.... True-To-Life and more recently released closed version of the VÃ©ritÃ© reviewer can any. Midrange frequencies which are fully rotatable in both vertical and horizontal plane allowing listener... Back to something closer to reference to listen to the upper frequency of... Couple of months shielding for improved microphonics and a super focal stellia vs zmf verite closed noise floor, in my opinion works... A hint more substance, plucked-strings are a touch more perceptible consider to be a tad more “ ”... Achieve an optimal fit connections are Mini 4-pin XLR, and you can nudge the sound, but still dark. To avoid harshness while still conveying energy to the upper end to deliver sparkle and attack solidity focal stellia vs zmf verite closed VÃ©ritÃ©... And ZMF as two sides of a beautiful coin headphone offering, and you can position. Towards its vocal-centric tuning through our handy live chat or by e-mail seldom to. The different configuration result of the Utopias part of the Vérité with the use of magnesium. Things are too IMO cans I have had the pleasure of listening to a full 360 degrees two of! Box, so making a determination for yourself is easy and origin their... Outer shell which comes in a proprietary rubber composite system exclusive to ZMF!
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