And it's free! ZMF’s latest creation, the Vérité C (for “closed”), is Zach Mehrbach’s latest addition to his dynamic headphone collection. 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. The stock ZMF OFC cable has taken months of research to find an affordable but capable sound to add to the ZMF’s tonality. Focal Elegia vs Stellia Sound Signature. Dr. Chesky’s Sensational, Fantastic and Simply Amazing Binarual Sound Show. PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE || We will price match any better price you find during the Holidays. Essentially, these are the closed-back version of the Utopias. The slight added tonal richness the ZMF cans bring to music is most evident in the mid-range. 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. Both the Empyrean and Vérité have a pleasant low-end with the Empyreans sounding slightly more boosted and leaning more towards the smoother and warmer musical tonality. 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. This is a combination that I find seductive, engaging and highly enjoyable. The Stellia is close though… and if it was in a different color scheme I probably would have the Stellia right now lol… it is one of the most comfortable headphones I’ve tried, and the quality of its build and materials is very Focal awesome! The wire is 24 AWG per conductor and features aluminum and copper shielding for improved microphonics and a super quiet noise floor. But on a technical level, much has been re-engineered to account for the different configuration. Expect more pictures than usual in this review! Materials have also been chosen to keep the weight to what it currently is with the use of featherweight magnesium chassis and wood finish. Overall, the Vérité headphones combine the best traits of technicality and tonality to give an incredibly pleasing listening experience. Secure payments with Credit Card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Cryptocurrency. Brass retains its bite without being emphasized and more enthusiastic cymbal strikes remain brassy and don’t stray into steeliness. 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. The ZMF Vérité is Zach Mehrbach’s latest open-back dynamic-driver headphone offering, and is the current flagship in ZMF’s range. The same goes for comfort. 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. Also, I’m in the camp that prefers an unmodified HD800S over the original HD800, even if the HD800 in question has the SDR modification. Tracks sound lively without resorting to thin or unnatural leading edge transients which some headphones implement to artificially boost clarity levels. Instead, vocals have great body with a slight warm tilt while maintaining high levels of resolve and liveliness. But, for me the Verite Closed is my preferred closed back sound wise. 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. Their coatings are different which not only will affect the sound, but will also affect how they feel. Schiit Audio Yggdrasil 2 DAC and MicroZOTL 2.0 Amp (w/ Linear Power Supply). Both are stuffed with soft foam. Also included is a ZMF OFC Cable (with the options to upgrade), universe and auteur pads, lifetime warranty and magnesium chassis. 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. I’ll make comparisons with a few, notable, competitive headphones here. Tracks sound engaging without ever resorting to over-blooming or exaggerating bass lines. 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. For another perspective, make sure to check out @Resolve's review of the ZMF Vérité (in Silkwood)! Maybe not close enough that these would be what I’d choose to use when assessing an amplifier or DAC’s native tonality, but not that far off, either. 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. 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. I have a slight overall preference for the Vérite Closed, but could easily see that flipping for others. Keeping the driver thin reduces mass and improves responsiveness and acceleration, which leads to better transient response, resolution and dynamics. On on hand, the Stellia’s earpads are coated in super soft leather. The open Vérité’s tonality lies closer to neutral with a more natural and real to life presence compared to the closed Vérité’s livelier character with its added treble presence and punchier bass. 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. At a starting price of $2499, the Vérité is competitively priced. The look has really grow… As this is a semi-open design, the Vérité open adopts a concentric grill design where users can choose from a copper, rose gold, brass, black or stainless steel plate. With top-tier resolution, sense of pace, detailing, rich tonal timbre and depth – the Vérité are one of my favorite pair of headphones to date. This review shall be focusing on both the open and more recently released closed version of the Vérité headphones. 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 … Nevertheless the differences are quite marginal and I am surprised to see how the closed model retains much of the same magic of the open’s midrange charm. The quick-fire start-stop introduction to the titular track of the “Die Another Day” soundtrack, establishes a baseline for excellent control, and moving into something faster still, such as “Drum Warfare” (David Felysian, “Elimination”) provides a very direct example of the speed, control and articulation on offer here as well as showcasing the impact and power these cans so readily convey. But “liquid” is still the best term I can muster. Substantial, fast, articulate, well delineated, taut, punchy and present are all words that come to mind even within just a few minutes of putting these headphones on. The headphone-end connections are mini 4-pin XLR, and are both physically and electrically compatible with Audeze headphones and cables. 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. And if electronic music is “not your thing” and you really want to get a sense for the low-end delivery, tone and precision the Vérité render in the lowest registers, then you’ll find a more-present-than-the-plot-suggests sub-bass performance with Felix Hell’s “Organ Sensation” or a number of tracks on Jean Guilloui’s “Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition; Stravinksy: Three Dances from Petrouchka”. 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). Thick, bassy, and downsloping compared to Utopia, with technicalities a fair bit lacking in direct comparison but still generally impressive. NB: Impressions are done with Vérité Silver cable and stock pads. It is unfailingly engaging, no matter what genre I feed it. The new FocalStelliais the the French company’s second successive closed-back headphone release, and second in line to the crown title of “flagship” in their audiophile headphone range. Having said that, the Vérité closed is the best closed back headphone I have heard besting the Focal Stellia in staging and my preferred tonality. Higher frequencies are fully extended from the midrange frequencies which allow the Vérité headphones to have a sense of air amongst the refinement. For my sensibilities and tastes, and I’ll admit I’m a sucker for the combination of exotic woods, polished metal, and leather, they make the most beautiful headphones you can buy today. Schiit Yggdrasil 2 DAC and Schiit Mjolnir 2 (w/ TeleFunken E188C amps). Surprisingly, the Vérité Closed offers a soundstage that capably keeps up with its open counterpart with the added benefits of isolation. Vocals are more upfront and clearly defined. It is nice to see that ZMF offers in-house cable upgrades with the Vérité Silver and 2K copper cables being the top of their collection which retail from a starting price of $399 each. 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. 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 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. A warranty/ID card, a pair of Allen-wrenches that fit the fasteners on the chassis, and the stock cable, in a termination of your choice, as well as any upgrade cables you have selected. The PH are similar to the HD650 in that they seem to run out of space on songs with multiple instruments. 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. 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