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Verum Audio Verum 1 Review (Headphone)

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 13 7.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 21 12.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 80 47.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 56 32.9%

  • Total voters
    170

Robbo99999

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This is the best headphone under $1000 that you can buy for 350, performancewise.
Probably not, or not necessarily, but they are some good but not perfect measurements, it's a good achievement for an individual beyond a shadow of a doubt, but I don't agree with your statement.

I say "probably not", because the frequency response is not particularly smooth suffering from some typical planar sharp fluctuations, albeit it's only above 5kHz where this phenomenon really kicks in, but you can still see it below that point as fine high Q fluctuations ("fine grass"). Re distortion it shows imperfect characteristics above 500kHz towards the region where we are most sensitive to distortion, albeit you'd have to listen very loud to tickle that. The ultra low distortion in the bass is good but to be honest it probably doesn't need to be that good in that area, as we are less sensitive to distortion in that frequency zone, so the ultra low distortion in that area is probably psychologically skewing people to think it's a low distortion marvel whilst "ignoring" the not so good distortion above 500Hz.

Below $350 you have very many headphones. HD600 / HD650 have better smoother frequency responses and lower distortion in the above 500Hz region, albeit more distortion in the bass......I'll admit the HD600 is not the best in the bass after EQ from my own experience, but it's beautiful in the rest of the frequency range due to it's smooth & accurate frequency response, the headphone in this review would definitely not be better from that point of view. HD560s is another one, it has low distortion in the bass and ultra low distortion above 500Hz, and it has a smoother frequency response than this reviewed headphone - as well as having very good imaging & soundstage due to angled drivers (and perhaps other different unfathomable reasons as soundstage is not fully understood albeit it's a thing). Does this headphone have angled pads or drivers, if it doesn't then chances are it doesn't have the best soundstage. To be honest a good headphone like the HE4XX or HE400i could sound as good as this reviewed headphone after EQ as they are planars that have smoother or good frequency responses that are easily EQ'd whilst having comparable (or in case of HE4XX perhaps better from some measurement sources) distortion in the above 500Hz zone whilst having worse but still good inaudible distortion levels in the bass....and also having angled pads in the case of the HE4XX which should help soundstage. My point is a blanket statement saying "This is the best headphone under $1000 that you can buy...performancewise" is a bit of a nonsense.
 
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deafenears

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imho, I find sundaras very thin sounding and bit metallic like...
That would likely be due to the bass drop off making it "thin" sounding? Also perhaps the peaks above 5 kHz making it sound metallic?

IMO, the HE-560 v4 Adorama sale price seems like a better alternative.
 

Χ Ξ Σ

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I am not sure when or if this thread would derail so let me get this out of my system.

These are the most uncomfortable headphones I have ever worn. Even the Abyss1266 are better than these. The clamping force is ridiculously strong. The metal pieces are too elastic and won't stay stretched. I bought a replacement headband on Aliexpress. I had to drill the holes bigger but it worked nonetheless. The stock pads are also very stiff. Both the leather and the foam are stiff. This makes the mid-bass punchy but sub-bass lacking. It reminded me of the Fostex TH-X00 which also uses angled leather pads: there is bass, but there is no deep bass. I have tried four different pads and I currently settled on the ZMF auteur perforated pads. Now these headphones have slightly more high frequency and softer bass. But the pads plus headband costs about $200, which makes the whole combo cost more than $500.

So, if you want good sound, care about comfort, and are willing to spend more than $500, you should... just get the Hifiman Edition XS plus Dekoni fenestrated sheepskin pads, This combo is much better.
 

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Human Bass

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There is a whole polemic around he being an old school Eastern European who, how can I say, struggle with the concept of diversity. But well, he makes a good HP that can be enjoyed even by the people he is not a fan of.
 

cheapmessiah

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Probably not, or not necessarily, but they are some good but not perfect measurements, it's a good achievement for an individual beyond a shadow of a doubt, but I don't agree with your statement.

I say "probably not", because the frequency response is not particularly smooth suffering from some typical planar sharp fluctuations, albeit it's only above 5kHz where this phenomenon really kicks in, but you can still see it below that point as fine high Q fluctuations ("fine grass"). Re distortion it shows imperfect characteristics above 500kHz towards the region where we are most sensitive to distortion, albeit you'd have to listen very loud to tickle that. The ultra low distortion in the bass is good but to be honest it probably doesn't need to be that good in that area, as we are less sensitive to distortion in that frequency zone, so the ultra low distortion in that area is probably psychologically skewing people to think it's a low distortion marvel whilst "ignoring" the not so good distortion above 500Hz.

Below $350 you have very many headphones. HD600 / HD650 have better smoother frequency responses and lower distortion in the above 500Hz region, albeit more distortion in the bass......I'll admit the HD600 is not the best in the bass after EQ from my own experience, but it's beautiful in the rest of the frequency range due to it's smooth & accurate frequency response, the headphone in this review would definitely not be better from that point of view. HD560s is another one, it has low distortion in the bass and ultra low distortion above 500Hz, and it has a smoother frequency response than this reviewed headphone - as well as having very good imaging & soundstage due to angled drivers (and perhaps other different unfathomable reasons as soundstage is not fully understood albeit it's a thing). Does this headphone have angled pads or drivers, if it doesn't then chances are it doesn't have the best soundstage. To be honest a good headphone like the HE4XX or HE400i could sound as good as this reviewed headphone after EQ as they are planars that have smoother or good frequency responses that are easily EQ'd whilst having comparable (or in case of HE4XX perhaps better from some measurement sources) distortion in the above 500Hz zone whilst having worse but still good inaudible distortion levels in the bass....and also having angled pads in the case of the HE4XX which should help soundstage. My point is a blanket statement saying "This is the best headphone under $1000 that you can buy...performancewise" is a bit of a nonsense.

Just because my opinion and yours don't match does not mean that what i'm saying is nonsense, perhaps you would have liked a more nuanced explanation and the use of best value rather than best headphone, but still, far from nonsense.

This headphone has in a single package traits that some other great regarded headphones have separately, has the bass extension that makes the HE6se worth dealing with its power requirements, has relatively good target adherence on stock (even tho amirs measurements differ from others) and can adhere almost perfectly post EQ, in both regards much like the aeon noirs, and as a platform that hits above its weight class once eqed is very similar to the LCD-2 Classic. And all of that for a price thats 2 to 3 times lower than its actual competitors, making it so that for the price of one of the other units you can buy this, a great headamp and a great dac on today's market, provided you are willing to put up with the customer experience that comes with such low price.

Are there other great units for similar or even lower prices that perform almost as much as this one? Yeah, but they don't nail the sweetspot on as many good traits at the same time for such "affordable" price, and that to me is what sets it apart, that most of the concessions you have make with this headphone you do in customer service, not in performance, and that the next step in performance comes very costly since diminishing returns start hitting hard from this point in price-performance forwards.

You might have other metrics to analyze this unit and come to different conclusions based on your needs and preferences, and thats fine, both yours and my opinion can coexist without them being mutually exclusive.

PS: I didn't mention the edition XS as i think its too new and i haven't tried it yet, but, i believe, and i might be very wrong, that this is hifimans answer to the verum 1, a headphone that hits many sweetspots at a price that puts most competitors in this price bracket at check, but with logistics and customer service to back it up.
 
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Icboschert

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I have the one of the 'first editions' of this headphone and have mixed feelings. Liked the idea of supporting a startup with great materials but upon delivery, there was channel imbalance issues that could only be resolved by literally banging on the cups until the balance was equal. It didn't seem worth the expense or wait time to send these to Ukraine when his backlog was immense at the time

I EQ these heavily due to lack of bass and bright, mid forward vocals. After that they do sound wonderful.
 

TheBatsEar

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I wish @amirm would measure distortion without AND WITHOUT EQ. Will the distortion raise much if i use EQ, and if so, by how much?
 
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amirm

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I wish @amirm would measure distortion without AND WITHOUT EQ. Will the distirtion raise much if i use EQ, and if so, by how much?
As I have explained before, you have distortion shown at 3 loudness steps separated by 10 dB. So if you boost 10 dB -- which I did not, you go from the blue line to the red one. To the extent 104 dBSPL results is low distortion, you have ample room to boost as much as 10 dB:
index.php


I would measure this for you instead of writing these answers but I have no way of importing the EQ into Audio Precision pipeline to make a measurement. I have a work-around but it is a pain to use so I don't bother.
 

Earfonia

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Conclusions
I can't fathom how a single person could design and manufacture these headphones yet sell them for just $349. Response out of box is good enough that you could use them if you have no EQ ability. With EQ, their performance rises to quite a high level, putting a smile on my face.

I am going to recommend the Verum One headphone without EQ and strongly so with EQ.

Thanks Amir!
Subjectively and without EQ, do you think Verum One is better than Hifiman Sundara? From the graphs it seems less bright than Sundara:

hifiman sundara frequency response measurements.png


Verum Audio Verum 1 Measurements Frequency Response Planar Magnetic Headphone.png



Thanks!
 

Earfonia

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guys, Russia attacked Ukraine 11 days ago.
Verum Audio's CEO Igor is in Kharkov city (and production also is there) and city is bombarded by russians aircraft and rockets for about week.
Igor is ok but THIS IS WAR.

Thanks for the update! I hope this war ending soon!
 
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peniku8

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I wish @amirm would measure distortion without AND WITHOUT EQ. Will the distirtion raise much if i use EQ, and if so, by how much?
I agree. Distortion measurements without EQ are of much less value because you can't compare headphones on a common ground. I think Amir normalizes the THD plots to the preference curve already, but that assumes distortion rises linearly with level, which isn't the case of course.
 

Thomas_A

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Robbo99999

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Just because my opinion and yours don't match does not mean that what i'm saying is nonsense, perhaps you would have liked a more nuanced explanation and the use of best value rather than best headphone, but still, far from nonsense.

This headphone has in a single package traits that some other great regarded headphones have separately, has the bass extension that makes the HE6se worth dealing with its power requirements, has relatively good target adherence on stock (even tho amirs measurements differ from others) and can adhere almost perfectly post EQ, in both regards much like the aeon noirs, and as a platform that hits above its weight class once eqed is very similar to the LCD-2 Classic. And all of that for a price thats 2 to 3 times lower than its actual competitors, making it so that for the price of one of the other units you can buy this, a great headamp and a great dac on today's market, provided you are willing to put up with the customer experience that comes with such low price.

Are there other great units for similar or even lower prices that perform almost as much as this one? Yeah, but they don't nail the sweetspot on as many good traits at the same time for such "affordable" price, and that to me is what sets it apart, that most of the concessions you have make with this headphone you do in customer service, not in performance, and that the next step in performance comes very costly since diminishing returns start hitting hard from this point in price-performance forwards.

You might have other metrics to analyze this unit and come to different conclusions based on your needs and preferences, and thats fine, both yours and my opinion can coexist without them being mutually exclusive.

PS: I didn't mention the edition XS as i think its too new and i haven't tried it yet, but, i believe, and i might be very wrong, that this is hifimans answer to the verum 1, a headphone that hits many sweetspots at a price that puts most competitors in this price bracket at check, but with logistics and customer service to back it up.
I still don't agree for all the reasons I already mentioned. It's not gonna be the best headphone under $1000 nor $350. To be clear I did vote this as "Great" in the poll, but that was for the fact he did it all himself which is a massive achievement, otherwise I would have voted it "Fine".
 

TheBatsEar

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1641216834073.gif

Don't even start. Let's stick to the hardware, or else the cat attacks.

As I have explained before, you have distortion shown at 3 loudness steps separated by 10 dB. So if you boost 10 dB -- which I did not, you go from the blue line to the red one. To the extent 104 dBSPL results is low distortion, you have ample room to boost as much as 10 dB:
Right, that's enough to estimate distortion stays low, even if EQed hard.

I would measure this for you instead of writing these answers but I have no way of importing the EQ into Audio Precision pipeline to make a measurement. I have a work-around but it is a pain to use so I don't bother.
Fair enough.
I guess you heard this before, but thanks for the work you put into this, you give that hobby of ours a lot more depth with your measurements.
 

fricccolodics

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I am not sure when or if this thread would derail so let me get this out of my system.

These are the most uncomfortable headphones I have ever worn. Even the Abyss1266 are better than these. The clamping force is ridiculously strong. The metal pieces are too elastic and won't stay stretched. I bought a replacement headband on Aliexpress. I had to drill the holes bigger but it worked nonetheless. The stock pads are also very stiff. Both the leather and the foam are stiff. This makes the mid-bass punchy but sub-bass lacking. It reminded me of the Fostex TH-X00 which also uses angled leather pads: there is bass, but there is no deep bass. I have tried four different pads and I currently settled on the ZMF auteur perforated pads. Now these headphones have slightly more high frequency and softer bass. But the pads plus headband costs about $200, which makes the whole combo cost more than $500.

So, if you want good sound, care about comfort, and are willing to spend more than $500, you should... just get the Hifiman Edition XS plus Dekoni fenestrated sheepskin pads, This combo is much better.
well, i own one of these from the early kickstarter period and i must say, though they are real heavy, the weight is well balanced, so when i am sitting or lying i am never feeeling the actual weight. moving your head with the verums on is not a good idea...
As for the clamping force, it is REAL low and the earpads are soft and comfy, no problems at all.
I wear them for hours at night when i am already tired and never had any problem.
Compared to my HD 560s the clamping force is nothing at all.
The 560s are like a vice for my jaws and almost unwearable at times.
 

fricccolodics

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The sound of those cans is special as it aims to reproduce the sound of a good pair of speakers in a room.
Igor had years of experience designing speakers before he started manufacturing Verum headphones and one can hear this immediately.
So they are not as "in your head" as other headphones, which is nice. The soundstage is felt a bit above and in front of my head.
My HD560s have everything the Verum 1 is lacking, they are more dynamic, more in your face(too much so on mediocre recordings though), the mids are superrealistic, brilliant decay of sustained sounds.
Most important for me: the 560s are easily equalized. Small variations of EQ bring out their qualities without harming the overall picture.
The Verums are tough to equalize, no matter how hard i try, the result is good rather than great.
 
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