March 26, 2020 § Leave a comment
“Although the Elegia uses a closed enclosure, it has two vents; one is part of the driver itself while the second vent is actually built into the logo design in the centre of the earcup. The entire earcup design has been optimised to an ideal volume for optimal decompression and damping. It uses both internal diffusers as well as EVA foam to break up any standing waves and spread the energy evenly throughout the enclosure. According to Focal, “The main objective here being at all costs to prevent the energy emitted by the back wave from returning to the speaker driver cone and thus turning into an additional unwanted sound signal.” Even Elegia’s microfiber earpads got a redesign so as to optimize their isolating abilities while enhancing their comfort and preserving Elegia’s high acoustic impedance.”
March 10, 2020 § Leave a comment
“Most rivals, usually closed-back designs, sound less lively and more shut-in. Equally, these same rivals offer more in the way of bass punch and authority. It’s a major advantage innate in the closed-back configuration.
We play Olafur Arnald’s Broadchurch soundtrack and the Grados render the music’s low-key but powerful emotions brilliantly. It’s down to expressive and fluid dynamics and the GS3000es’ wonderfully composed organisation – every sound fits perfectly into the whole, never seeming random or redundant.”
February 25, 2020 § Leave a comment
“As with Meze Empyrean, the ZMF Vérités are certainly headphones where people gravitate towards their vocal-centric tuning. While the headphones escape from an overly “warm” or romantic tuning, the Vérité has enough richness in its midrange to really propel it into an affable listening experience. Tracks sound lively without resorting to thin or unnatural leading edge transients that 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. Every track just sounds right, which is not an easy feat for headphones to achieve owing to their propensities to exaggerate frequencies here and there. While the Empyreans opt for a smoother and “darker” tonality, the Vérité leans toward a relatively more vibrant character while still maintaining incredibly low levels of fatiguability, sibilance, or grain. Compared to HiFiMAN’s HE1000 V2, the Vérité sounds relatively more intimate, but more solid in its presentation compared to the former’s more airy, diffuse, and ethereal presentation. For orchestral music and tracks which benefit from a large soundstage and TOTL separation of instrumentals, the HE1000 V2 certainly wins but it is incredibly hard to take the ZMF Vérité headphones off for tracks where vocals prevail, and therein lies its magic.
February 21, 2020 § Leave a comment
“I was relieved (and not really surprised) to find that the Panda impressed in the sound department straight out of the box. It has a rich, balanced sound that’s super-enjoyable with decent levels of detail. It’s not quite your classic ‘planar’ sound – if you’re expecting fast, lean and ruler-flat response, you’ll be surprised by how the Panda manages to somehow bottle the natural tonal warmth and decay more associated with dynamic drivers.
The Panda’s bass is done tastefully, with satisfying but not overwhelming quantity and impact. Steely Dan’s ‘Peg’ shows the Panda to have taut, agile bass performance balanced with nice texture and speed. There’s a slight hint of ‘bloom’ in the mid-bass area moving toward the lower mid-range, but that’s nit-picking – for a $400 close-backs headphone (let alone a wireless one) it’s superb”