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December 2019
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

ZMF Verité Closed Back Over Ear Headphones
ZMF's closed-back flagship is the perfect blend of fun and precision.
Review By Dave Hanson

 

ZMF Verité Closed Back Over Ear Headphones Review

 

  Last year, the ZMF Verité took the flagship headphone landscape by storm. It was the first headphone to bring beryllium-coated drivers to the 300-Ohm format. The result was a punchy, precise and musically intoxicating combination which garnered a 2019 Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Award. Also, you can read my World Premiere Review of ZMF's Vérité open back headphones at this link. Now, the Verité is back in a new incarnation with the Verité Closed ($2499).

The Verité Closed is a somewhat new physical shape among the ZMF closed backs, moving away from the compound curve design of Atticus and Eikon in favor of a more rounded cup design. Even still, ZMF fans will be well pleased, as it retains the gorgeous musical tonality and dynamic wallop for which ZMFs have become well known.

 

ZMF Verité Closed Over Ear Headphones Review

 

The sound is reminiscent of the open Verité in a number of ways, bringing gobs of resolution and a vast soundscape. It differs slightly in the tuning, however, being a bit more linear overall, especially in the upper midrange. While it's not ruler flat, it's less recessed around the 2kHz region, and for many listeners, this may actually make it a better choice as an all-rounder than its open counterpart. I felt the flatter midrange made it especially effective with rock and heavy metal, where the increased presence gave guitars an extra bit of lift and energy.

The Verité Closed also excelled in many of the same areas as the open version, absolutely crushing with electronic music and instrumental jazz. Over the long haul, it will be interesting to see where the Verité Closed pans out in the community's opinion relative to the open version, as they are just different enough that people will likely have a strong opinion one way or another. In my opinion, I would probably give the very slight edge to the closed version due to the more linear response and the fact that a closed headphone this good is nearly impossible to come by.

Let's dive into the sound.

 

ZMF Verité Closed Over Ear Headphones Review

 

You Said It Was Closed, Right?
I feel any discussion about this headphone must start with the soundscape, which is absolutely immense for a closed back headphone. When I first put on the Verité Closed, I was absolutely blown away. It doesn't sound closed at all! Not in terms of staging, at least. The soundscape seems to extend well beyond the limits of the cup and the separation is beyond excellent, giving every instrument lots of room to breathe.

I tested the Verite Closed with 3 sets of pads: the Universe Pads, Auteur Pads and the Suede Auteur Pads – these each had a pronounced effect on my perception of the stage. The Universe pads presented the stage in a very natural way, while the Auteur pads took me several rows back adding a very noticeable amount of depth. With the Auteur Pads equipped, I'd be hard-pressed to name a more spacious closed headphone. The Verité Closed sounds absolutely HUGE.

The tradeoff in switching to back to the Universe pads was a bit more linear, gently downward sloping frequency response. The Auteur pads, in comparison, were a little more W-shaped and fun. The Suede Auteur pads struck a nice balance between the two, not being quite as dark as the Universe pads, but having less coloration than the Auteur pads overall. I also felt they were the most comfortable, so I used them for the majority of the review.

 

ZMF Verité Closed Over Ear Headphones Review

 

In terms of tonality, the Verite Closed fits nicely into the closed back landscape. Compared to other popular closed models, I would characterize the sound as warmer and lusher overall than the Ether-C, and more natural sounding than the Fostex TH variants. Verite Closed does a great job of presenting things in a very crisp and resolving way that manages to always stay musical and non-fatiguing. It is easy on the ears, but dynamic and exciting at the same time. This makes it a very, very easy headphone to want to listen to.

Bass is nicely extended, tight and very punchy. It's not excessive, as some closed headphones tend to be, and definitely doesn't bleed into other frequencies, but it's still more than enough to make bassheads smile. Like it's open brother, I found Verité Closed especially adept with electronic music, where the dynamic, explosive bass performance and crisp imaging became very involving. I also found Verité Closed to be particularly good with classical music, where the big stage, lush and full sound, dynamics, extension, and resolution all shined.

The midrange is exceptional, to say the least, offering and incredible sense of "fullness" that was almost overwhelming at times... in a very, very good way. The Verité Closed delivered the music with weight and gravitas that was simply intoxicating. Listening to Beck's new collection of singles on the Verité Closed demanded repeated listens, and when I found myself replaying "Uneventful Days" a fourth time, I felt like that was a pretty good indicator that I was enjoying myself maybe a little too much.

Treble, like the Verité Open, is incredibly quick, with the beryllium-coated drivers showcasing their incredible aptitude for scintillatingly brisk transients. Verité Closed has a terrific sense of snap, which brings sonic images into clear focus immediately. This is especially apparent with the Auteur and Suede pads, which brought out a little more sizzle up top with their fun, slightly "W" shaped response and deeper stage.

The dynamics, however, are the real star of the show. No matter what I threw at the Verité Closed, the music just felt alive. Whether it was a massive orchestral crescendo, a slamming bassline or anything else I could find, Verité Closed absolutely unleashed it like a tidal wave every time.

 

ZMF Verité Closed Over Ear Headphones Review

 

Final Thoughts
The Verité Closed is a rare breed. A headphone that is uncompromisingly resolving, yet musical. Blisteringly dynamic, yet easy to listen to for hours on end. I often times found myself listening for way too long, ignoring other responsibilities for just one more song. 

What's more, it wasn't picky. I enjoyed it pretty equally on tubes, solid state, hybrid and straight out of the FiiO M11 Pro DAP. In every case, the Verité Closed showed composure, nuance, space and tons of macrodynamic slam. This is not always an easy combo to achieve. ZMF's Atticus and Sennheiser's HD800, for example, are two headphones that change quite a bit, depending on the amplification. The Verité Closed had some nuanced differences, but you won't need to change your amplification in order to fully enjoy it.

If you're looking for an end-game closed back that delivers resolution, space and musicality; is versatile and dynamic in sound; and can be driven easily with your full size rig and DAPs alike, Verité Closed is the total package and an absolute must-audition.

 

 

Equipment Used During This Review
Sennheiser HD800
Stax L300 Limited
ZMF Verité
ZMF Aeolus
ZMF Atticus
HiFiMAN HE6se
HiFiMAN HE1000se
Wells Audio Milo
KGSSHV Carbon
Glenn OTL Tube Amplifier
MonoPrice Monolith Liquid Platinum
Chord Hugo 2
LampizatOr Amber III
Bellari VP130
Pro-Ject Carbon Esprit
Grado Prestige Gold 2 Cart
FiiO M11 Pro
DanaCable Lazuli Headphone Cables
DanaCable TruStream USB
Wireworld Starlight 7 USB
DanaCable Onyx Interconnects
Wireworld Electra 7
Pandora AC-9 SE
DanaCable PowerForce
Pandora Vulcan
Schiit Wyrd
Uptone USB Regen
Audirvana
Tidal HiFi

 

 

Tonality

Sub–bass (10Hz – 60Hz)

Mid–bass (80Hz – 200Hz)

Midrange (200Hz – 3,000Hz)

High Frequencies (3,000Hz On Up)

Attack

Decay

Inner Resolution

Soundscape Depth

Soundscape Width

Imaging

Fit And Finish

Self Noise

Value For The Money

 

 

Specifications
Type: Closed back over the ear stereo headphones

Frequency Response: Approximately 10 Hz to 25 kHz

 

Company Information
ZMF Headphones
E-mail: contactZMF@gmail.com
Website: www.ZMFheadphones.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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