The Verite Open is one of the two ZMF flagships with its Closed variant. It retails for $2500 which puts it in the kilobucks flagship territory, although not as pricey as the Audeze LCD-4, Focal Utopia or Hifiman Susvara.
Build quality is great, with different woods options, leather headband and metal yokes. Pads can be leather, suede or hybrid. Like the other ZMFs, there are several recommended pads to use on the Verite. It comes with 2 pads (Verite pads and Universe Lambskin), but you can buy other pads.
Comfort is excellent, the Verite being lighter than the Auteur or Aeolus, with the same chassis and suspension strap. All pads are very comfortable, even the Verite pads (which are the thinnest of the bunch).
○ Release : 2018
○ Current status : In production
○ Type : Over-ear / Open-back
○ Measured weight : 454g
○ Impedance : 300 Ohms
○ Sensitivity : ~98 db/mW
○ Average used price : $1900-2300
The Verite is by far the most technically competent headphone ZMF has produced until now. It is very punchy, and the Auteur or Aeolus are more laid-back in comparison, especially the Auteur. The general tone of the Verite (with most pads) is on the warm side, with very good timbre, but I have to describe each pad I’ve tried separately to give a better overview of the sound.
Universe Lambskin pads
The tonality is near darkness territory with these pads, with a large recession in the upper-mids and treble. It has an “Audeze-esque” tuning, which is a bit too warm for my tastes. The stage is the widest with these pads, with a great and addictive sense of depth and some reverb. A bit euphonic but not a very precise presentation. I like it but they aren’t my favorite pads ; the treble is a bit too rolled-off with these pads.
These are much better in my opinion. The stage is a bit smaller (but still quite wider than the average headphone) than the Universe Lambskin pads, but everything else seems better : macrodynamics, decay and tone. The Verite still sounds quite warm with these pads, but the upper-mids are a bit less recessed, and the treble is actually present. Bass still hits with nice impact and extension. These pads give the most punch to the presentation.
Universe Suede pads
They improve a bit the tonal balance over the Verite pads (while still warmish), but the counter effect is some dullness to the transients and overall impact of the presentation. It sounds a bit less dynamic. The Verite sounds a bit too “normal” with these pads in my opinion. Not the biggest fan.
BE2 Suede pads
I like them quite a bit. Slightly smaller stage than the Universe pads, but better transients immediacy and intensity, while not being as tactile as the Verite pads. The tonal balance is very good, and even better than that of the Universe Suede pads. The bass hits a tad less tighter than the leather pads, but is still well extended.
The Verite is a great headphone, and actually not too badly priced at $2500, despite being an overly expensive piece of audio gear. But the overall technicalities (very close to an Utopia or LCD-4), craftsmanship and build make it an option to consider for a truely endgame option.
It may sound a bit warm for some people, but the different pads options can alleviate that.
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