ZMF Verite Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

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    I have been comparing Marvs´ frequency response measurements of Verité, Auteur and Eikon.
    From the graphs one would tend to conclude the Verité is the darkest, though some have stated in their early impressions that actually the Eikons are a bit darker.

    Anybody can contribute something how the Verité subjectively compares to the (blackwood) Auteurs in this regard?
    I always found the Eikons lacking a little sparkle and my current blackwood Auteurs are just about right to my ears, but of course I am fascinated by some of the described qualities of the Verité + it is @julie´s favorite headphones which must be the secret highest SBAF (non-schlong?) award :).

    Like others have said, it would be great when one day there would be something like a SBAF ZMF dynamic headphones compendium overview with their relative qualities.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ZMF Verite - Verite Pads Frequency Response with MiniDSP EARS (What the heck is this? Click Here.)
    ZMF Verite EARS verite pads.png

    The Verite pads bring up the highs from 3kHz up a little bit from the Universal pads (see below for comparison). @zach915m's quote "Verite pads: Shallower/flatter, tilted a little counter clockwise FR, more treble/zing." is accurate. The 8kHz zing, which was harder to hear with the Universal pads is subjectively and objectively more evident with the Verite pads. To put things into perspective, it's about on the level of the TH-X00's spike - easily tolerable for me - and actually a bit more tolerable than Elex's 8kHz spike (https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...air-discussion-thread.6216/page-4#post-232262). It might be that Elex's highs are made worse by its metallic timbre.

    ZMF Verite - Universal Pads Frequency Response with MiniDSP EARS (What the heck is this? Click Here.)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  3. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I got a final pair in for review earlier this week but have, unfortunately, been too busy in the evenings to say much about them. I'll drop some quick impressions, and feel free to ask questions if you need more info for the time being. Measurements to come today or tomorrow.

    With Angled Pads:

    - Bass through midrange has some warmth to it but is not particularly exaggerated. A little bit of bloom, or slight roundness on transients (as @purr1n mentioned), but simultaneously fast, tight, and well controlled. But the coloration is not extreme, maybe on par with newer HD650s.

    - Bass quality is kind of like a blend of what you get with the HD650 (newer models) and Clear or Utopia. It has the speed and control of the Focals, but isn't as sharp. It's a little bloomy like the HD650, probably a bit of harmonic distortion, but noticeably tighter. Much better control of textures, pitch, and speed compared to HD650, but similar tonal balance with better extension.

    - A bit of emphasis somewhere in the upper-mids and lower-treble (dual nature thing). I assume this to be the 1KHz cup reverb and and emphasis somewhere at the very upper end of the midrange or lower end of treble. A bit of hissy or hashy sort of quality behind the music, but very mild and only noticeable with rock, metal, etc. About as noticeable as a stock HD650's 5KHz hot spot.

    - Upper-mids as a whole are on the relaxed side of things, particularly the 1-3KHz area. With rock/metal especially, you might notice a lack of "crunch" to the guitars. This can affect how focused, sharp, or lively the headphones sound with some material.

    - Treble as a whole seems fairly balanced. Timbre as a whole is good, smooth. Does NOT sound metallic. Like what I mentioned for the bass and mids, the treble sounds very clean, refined, tight, etc.

    - Very resolving. Even with the upper-mid recession softening things up, it's apparent the sheer control the drivers exhibit lead to wonderful gains in this area. And the upside is you don't have to deal with a fatiguing, rough frequency response and/or timbre like the HD800, Utopia, etc. But you might still find the Verite's coloration not to your tastes.

    - Staging is not as flat and through-the-head as the HD650. Pushed out a little more in front and wraps around head a bit more. But still nothing to drool over. It's fine, I guess. Most headphones are just "fine" anyway. Not as forward as Focals, that's for sure.

    With flat pads:

    - The most noticeable change is the headphone sounds more aggressive, dynamic, less sleepy with these pads. Definitely more forward in staging.

    - Upper-mids are still a little depressed but seemingly improve, i.e. more presence.

    - The hashy, hissy sort of background sound mostly disappears or better blends in

    - Treble becomes less smooth. A little brighter and etched in the lower-treble, but not a problem for me. But it does overall sound crisper to me with these pads in a good way. Despite this, I find the tone and timbre to be more natural overall with the flat pads.

    - Bass sounds a little sharper and stands out a bit better than with Universe pads. Similar balance overall, though.

    So, despite the headphones sounding less hashy/hissy and instead a little brighter/etched with the flat pads, I think the flat pads as a whole provide a more engaging and cohesive listening experience. They are my preference.

    How to maximize listening experience:

    - Try wearing the Verite at different angles on your head

    - Try shifting how far forward or back the headphone sits. Up and down too. I prefer it if I push them back, with my ears closer to the front of the pads.

    - Bend the headband to get the right amount of clamp, both for comfort and sound. You might find some irregularities smooth out with a tighter clamp. Some find the opposite.

    - Try rotating the pads themselves on the headphone in combination with all of the above.

    This is not to say you'll find a listening spot that just makes everything perfect, but some of the peculiarities of the Verite, namely some uneven FR spots, seem to be mitigated a bit through fit, placement, seal, etc. The Verite is very sensitive in this regard, and unfortunately, measurements don't always capture how different this can make them sound subjectively.

    Main Takeaways:

    The word I'll keep using to describe the Verite is "controlled." The driver keeps everything in tight order and keeps a normal timbre throughout the process. It actually sounds very unique in this regard. I haven't heard a headphone sound quite like this. This is a huge plus that I want to emphasize.

    Its resolution as a whole is top-tier. The tradeoff is you have to be OK with a somewhat colored sound. It's a little warm in the low end and recessed in the upper-mids regardless of which pads you pick or how you wear them. I don't find it as colored as the usual Japanese headphone suspects, but it's a little farther off from neutral than the HD650, IMO.

    Metal heads will likely not appreciate the tone. Planar heads will probably want flatter bass with less distortion still, even if the Verite exhibits speed and responsiveness in the low end. Those more fond of the HD800 or Utopia and some of the false ways they present "detail" might just prefer a brighter headphone in general. It's not a headphone for everyone, but it has some incredible strengths that may just be worth the price for some.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  4. Baten

    Baten Almost "Made"

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    Damn it this thing sure has my attention. No one seems to hate the sound of it that's for sure !
     
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  5. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Measurements below. Frequency response first, left channel, comparing angled and flat pads. I can't remember which is named what...

    It's possible the angled pads weren't sealing on my head as well as they could have. But they don't sound as bassy to me as the flat pads anyway, so maybe it's accurate.

    I like that the flat pads have more of a gentle slope up through 1KHz. It sounds a little more natural to me. They also have the slightest extra touch between 1-2KHz. They also soften some spikes around 6KHz and 10KHz, though somehow the increased energy around 5KHz doesn't stick out much to me. Maybe because it's a little less narrow of a peak.

    I wouldn't worry so much about that gap between 7-9KHz, but you can see that the 1-5KHz area as a whole is a bit recessed. You can here a bit of that 2.5KHz bump despite it being a bit shelved.

    The crazy thing is that the Verite measures relatively consistently no matter what you do. But there are noticeable subjective changes even playing around with how you angle and seat them on your head. Pads sound much more different than measurements would suggest.

    ZMF Verite Left FR and Pad Comparison.png

    I would ignore the spike around 30Hz on distortion results. Likely environmental noise. The radon mitigation system is screwed into the house just outside my office and causes hum around 30 and 60Hz (some day I will move my rig). Distortion results overall are fairly good. A little bit of "noise" in the upper-mids/lower-treble, but only notable with everything else being rather low. Bass distortion as a whole remains under 1% but isn't quite the cleanest result I think I've seen on my rig.

    ZMF Verite Left Angle Pads Distortion.png
    ZMF Verite Left Flat Pads Distortion.png

    Flat pads seem to have more of a uniform midrange decay and less prominent resonance in the with the two treble spikes. I think flat pads overall look slightly cleaner.

    I think that hashy/hissy sound I hear with the angled pads is the midrange cub reverb coupled with the slightly hot treble spots. But, really, nothing too bothersome at all.

    These results overall are pretty good but suggest there are some interactions among the cups, driver (which is angled), baffle, and pads.

    ZMF Verite Left CSD -35dB Angled Pads.PNG
    ZMF Verite Left CSD -45dB Angled Pads.PNG
    ZMF Verite Left CSD -35dB Flat Pads.PNG
    ZMF Verite Left CSD -45dB Flat Pads.PNG


    What my measurements don't capture is that "control" I keep mentioning. Marv may have been on to something with his burst response results.
     
  6. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

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    Sharing some comparison charts of the frequency response between ZMF Verite and Auteur based on @Hands´ measurements, which I made for myself out of interest:

    First one takes standard 1K Hz as reference point:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Second one takes 2K Hz as reference point, as I found it a little easier to imagine the differences like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    Which are the ear cavity dimensions of the earpads?
    Btw, looks like a great achievement!

    PS: edited after re-reading @Hands post
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  8. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Friend

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    If it wouldn't be too much trouble, could you also do measurements with the Eikon pads on the Auteur Vs. Verite?
     
  9. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

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    Here you go (again all based on @Hands ´ measurements; I only did some photoshopping...):

    with 1K Hz reference point:

    [​IMG]

    with 2K Hz reference point:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Eudis Fernandes

    Eudis Fernandes Acquaintance

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  11. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    Well I'm late to the party...

    [​IMG]

    Rev1 In short, I preferred Aeolus. This was too damped and just sounded weird. The potential was there, I could hear all these textures that were hidden by many other headphones. But the tuning was too dark, like way darker than stock HD650.

    Production (Rev2) Woah! Sooo much better than the Rev 1. Images just pop out of a black background effortlessly. There is still a warm cast but the sound is not damped to where it sounds like it's behind a wall.

    With Verite pads the sound is open and clear but still has a warmer tilt. This is tuned similarly to the HD800 with a subtle depression between 2-6kHz followed by a peak at 6kHz. There is not quite as much air as HD800 but many like myself will prefer this warmer sound compared to the leaner and potentially fatiguing HD800.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Universe pads make Verite a dark headphone but what's so cool about this combination is the detail is still there! Bass and mids just take the center stage. I can't imagine anyone getting fatigued from these so listening for hours is very easy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tubes really bring these headphones to life. The presentation is more three dimensional and layering is more varied with excellent front to back differentiation.

    In the end I still prefer more treble than Verite can provide but I would use these for sitting back and non critical listening sessions. Bravo Zach!

    BTW, these are so much lighter than the Blackwood Auteur I had previously it's ridiculous. I couldn't wear the Blackwood Auteur for that long even with the excellent suspension strap but these can stay on my head all day if I wanted.
     
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  12. Resolve

    Resolve Facebook Friend

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    Interesting. Just out of curiosity, what would you use for more critical listening? It's funny you mention this because I feel that a bit more air is the only thing I wish my Auteur had. So I've been messing around with boosting 11khz and up by around 2-3db. It does the trick but it's a tough balancing act because there's a risk doing so hurts some of the excellent timbre. I wonder if the same would be true for the Verite.


    I think generally my preferences line up with yours, if you had to pick between the Auteur and the Verite, which would you go for?
     
  13. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    I would probably use an EQed Verite. Verite has a much superior (faster, better resolution) driver compared to Auteur. There was always something that irked me with Auteur and I think it was the 6kHz peak. Eikon pads smoothed that out but introduced new problems.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. brencho

    brencho Loves pumping iron (Moderator)

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    Man I dunno maybe I need some of those sweet Arizona drugs but Verite regardless of pads felt different in almost every way to the hd800 regardless of measurement shapes or leaves. Like, these aren't warmer hd800. Definitely flavored to those that like this kind of flavorful. Need to listen again.
     
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  15. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    I mean closer to HD800 only with the shallower Verite pads NOT the angled thicker pads. The angled thicker "Universe" pads remind me more of an HD650.
     
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  16. brencho

    brencho Loves pumping iron (Moderator)

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    Pads made a difference, certainly, but they didn't do enough to de-flavorfy it for me. As Marv says I am more tolerant of a flatter sig though.
     
  17. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Subjective impressions: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/zmf-new-headphones-vérité-and-aeolus.6893/page-23#post-254513

    Here are EARS measurements of pheasantwood verite.

    According to my own protocol, everything measured at 95dbSPL @ 300hz except distortions measured at 100dbSPL


    upload_2019-4-26_3-28-21.png
    upload_2019-4-26_3-28-28.png

    Both sets of FR results are pretty much consistent with @purr1n 's measurements.
    FR results generally mirror my subjective impressions: rolled-off sub-bass, a bit recessed high mid, and quite uneven trebles. Based on my consistent preference with E2 and verite, thinking I have a strong preference on 9k dip.


    upload_2019-4-26_3-28-43.png
    upload_2019-4-26_3-28-56.png

    As already verified, the result reiterates what Zach quoted: “tilted a little counter clockwise FR, more treble/zing”.


    upload_2019-4-26_3-30-2.png

    Low D2 and much lower D3/D4, particularly in bass. I bet this is largely resulted by the combination between highly rigid diaphragm (be-coated pen) and stronger (n50?) magnet. Verite has noticeably lower harmonics, even compared to other zmf open cans. See below for aeolus.

    [​IMG]


    upload_2019-4-26_3-30-56.png

    Interestingly, step response shows a little rounded leading edge. Aeolus or auteur did not show this pattern. Lasting ringing could be ignored because that’s likely due to concha gains at 4.5k (also seen in spectrogram).


    upload_2019-4-26_3-32-39.png
    upload_2019-4-26_3-32-47.png

    Not only with FR, discontinuity is observed at 3k. Compared to aeolus or auteur, behavior seems more unusual with verite. Potentially associated with “unique” sounding tonality -- but need more thoughts and validations before concluding..

    The bottom line is, I don’t think either step response or spectrogram results represent my subjective perception of verite’s speed.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  18. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Here are FR comparisons with other headphones of interest.

    upload_2019-4-26_3-34-14.png

    upload_2019-4-26_3-34-26.png

    Overall, measured performances of verite looked interesting but required quite an effort on correctly understanding. While I strongly believe some of such strangeness associated with positive uniqueness in the subjective evaluation, I still remain puzzled not fully linking objectivity and subjectivity. At this point, what I can say is that the results were unusual enough to depart from the textbook measurements like senn hd6x0. Measurement-first type audiophiles should go elsewhere (or take autuer/aeolus among zmf). Despite that, my verite love has been persisting!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
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  19. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    upload_2019-4-26_3-55-47.png

    upload_2019-4-26_3-55-58.png
     
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  20. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Adding two more comparisons with hd6x0. Be aware of senn's "new pad" gain.

    upload_2019-4-26_11-2-31.png

    upload_2019-4-26_11-2-40.png
     

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