The Vérité Closed is the flagship closed-back from ZMF, it comes after the big success of its open counterpart and aims for the same sonic characteristics. It features a Beryllium coated PEN driver, magnesium chassis and wooden cups made from ironwood (or monkeypod in the non-limited edition).
In the box
Build quality and accessories
I’ve always been a fan of boutique and handmade items, something about the fact every item is unique makes it that bit more special in my mind. ZMF headphones fill that place perfectly, the headphone cups are all unique even when made from the same type of wood.
As far as build quality and accessories go, the headphones are very well built, the wood has almost a mirror finish to it, the pads are soft and plush, headband while sturdy has a high degree of adjustability being bendable. The headband strap is replaceable, and while I prefer the look of the wooden one I’ve traded that for the comfort of the suede version. The cups feel extremely premium and solid.
The wooden case adds to the premium feeling of the whole package, rather than another generic case or just a piece of foam.
Stock cable isn’t great, and I wish this will be changed to something lighter and softer in the future. A lot of people will opt for an upgrade cable anyway.
The fact the Vérité ships with 2 different sets of pads to tune them to your taste is a nice touch.
Fit and comfort
The Verite C is heavy, due to this adjusting the headband is quite crucial for making it comfortable. Once the headband is adjusted the weight distribution is good and I can easily wear it for hours and hours. This did take a couple of weeks to get used to but once that phase had passed I used them for 6+h sessions without any problems.
The pads are soft and have a large opening so the ear doesn’t touch them or the driver assembly.
The sound of the Vérité C is highly dependent on the pads used. My 3 favourite pad choices were:
Auteur Lambskin: W shaped, pleasant and fun. On the warmer side.
Auteur Hybrid: Less W shaped than the lambskin while still fun and engaging. Slightly better extension and air in the treble. This is my pad of choice.
Vérité Pads: Much more neutral than the previous two, narrower stage, less forgiving overall.
I don’t usually describe my subjective attitude towards a headphone but I’ll make an exception in this case. I don’t usually like closed headphones, picking IEMs over them. But in the case of the Vérité C while at my desk, I find myself using them more than any other headphones/IEMs I own. Even though they are closed-back their open sounding nature makes them an overall great headphone for almost all music no matter if its well or badly recorded. Over the few months, I had them they’ve easily become my favourite.
The bass is extremely fast and dynamic, reaching into the lowest registers with ease and pulling out the detail I’ve not heard before in songs like “Trentemøller – Evil Dub”. Unlike a lot of closed-back headphones the bass is not overbearing, it’s definitely elevated but doesn’t overwhelm and fatigue. Thanks to the speed you can easily follow all bass lines which would often get blended on slower headphones or wouldn’t even be audible due to lack of extension.
Something that ZMF does extremely well is tuning, especially in the midrange. The timbre of the Vérité C is fantastic, the vocals and instrument sound natural with maybe a slight hint of extra richness to them. Tracks like “Moriarty – Jimmy” manage to not only sound very natural but also pull out all the reverberations and micro detail from the mix. The midrange is never shouty or unpleasant in any way.
The treble is slightly north of neutral, it is done very tastefully which gives a bit of excitement and sparkle to the overall presentation. It also helps with the airy and open presentation overall. The extension is fantastic, so is the detail. The timbre while having a bit of romantic feel to it still sounds very natural and lifelike.
Imaging and Soundstage
This is part of the magic of the Vérité C, the stage doesn’t feel like a normal closed-back headphone. It’s not constrained nor claustrophobic, instead, it feels like there’s plenty of space for the sound to disappear into. The overall presentation places you in the middle of the music, but rightfully so, with space from you to the instruments and space between instruments themselves. The images are extremely well defined and happen all the way around the head giving a sense of them being holographic.
If it wasn’t obvious yet, I absolutely love the Vérité Closed. It’s a headphone which plays well with any genre, has a beautiful and unique build and is extremely good technically. While I know spending over 2000$ on a headphone isn’t possible for everyone, I hope everyone gets to at least experience them because they are special. Great job ZMF.