There are some audiophile headphones that have an untouchable quality, and it becomes hard to argue that anything is better. The Ultrasone Edition 15 is one of those headphones. The Edition 15 has become quite a prestigious product since its release back in 2018 and very sought after despite its rather upscale price point. Although it’s been out for a while, Ultrasone has now unleashed a closed-back version of this model, called the Veritas. This is sure to change up a few elements of both the staging and sound signature. It’s still being priced the same as the previous open-back iteration at 3,499.99, so let’s see if the Edition 15 can still retain its prestige.
What You Get
The Ultrasone Edition 15 Veritas is an audiophile headphone that packs only the essentials. The headphones themselves come in a fashionable protective carrying case, the presentation of which makes the Veritas feel like something special like you’re being presented with a brand new watch. Ultrasone keeps things minimal but organized, with the last two items featured in a row with the headphones. The Edition 15 comes with 2 Litz-style detachable cables, one for 3.5mm connection, and one for 6.3mm.
Look and Feel
If you aren’t familiar with the original Edition 15, then the Veritas will appear completely fresh and stylish. You’ll be immediately amused by the headphone’s luxurious architecture, with its cherry-wood housing and engraved aluminum. However, if you are familiar with the open-back version, the Veritas has pretty much the same architecture jus twitch the grill holes replaced by a solid faceplate. The Veritas also sports a more matte finish to its aluminum parts, compared to the originals glossier aesthetic. It’s quite funny then that the headphones still come with a cloth to wipe away fingerprints, as it made more sense with the original Edition 15. The slightest touch would form the most noticeable print, but the Veritas avoids that. The overall look is still the most glamorous in Ultrasone’s collection, which is filled with fine-looking headphones already.
Then there’s the fit, which may see some slight differences. The main thing to note is the new earpads, which aren’t only a different color, but different material. The Veritas comes with new red-colored ear cushions, made with sheep’s leather. Supported bt a solid aluminum headband, these headphones feel really stable. Even if I may prefer the softer feel of the original, the Veritas still keeps things rather relaxed for long listening sessions.
Ultrasone’s Gold Titanium Compound(GTC) technology is brought over from the original Edition 15 to the Veritas. This innovative driver tech combines a gold foil membrane and a titanium dome to ensure maximum performance, making sure no part of the sound spectrum goes unnoticed. Along with that is Ultrasone’s patented S-Logic design, which arranges the drivers in a specific way to arrive at a more naturalistic sound with an authentic specialty. S-Logic also achieves perceived volume with a lower sound pressure that allows for more sustained listening time without fatigue.
The dynamic driver of the Veritas operates with an impedance of 40 Ohms. Both 3.5mm connections to laptops and smartphones will have enough power supplied for listening at nominal gains, but using an amp is my preferred method for experiencing the Veritas since dynamic shifts are much smoother. The Veritas features a frequency response of 5Hz-48kHz, leaving an ample amount of room for detail extension.
It’s unfair to just compare the open-back nature of the original Edition 15 to the closed-back Veritas in soundstage. So I took the Veritas for what it was and wasn’t disappointed. While staying consistent with a more linear stage, spatiality is not lost, and the imaging is just as full and defined. Left/right panning is focused and accurate as instrumentals are and effects attain to their positions while feeling separate and distinct within the stereo field. Ultrasone’s S-Logic technology allows for this wrap-around sensation, and while the closed design restricts the stage from reaching outward, the stage still retains a sense of width and immersion.
The bass on the Veritas is both smooth and impactful, boasting a just noticeable sub-bass feel. The lower frequencies bloom into the spectrum with clarity and depth, while maintaining its distinct positioning in the stage. Details range from the punch of the mid-bass to the soft lift from the sub-bass. This creates a dynamic low end that always feels big without being overbearing in any way.
Most of the excellent mid-range resolution from the original Edition 15 is retained in the Veritas. The amount of clean, full textures on display here are nothing short of amazing, and performances are really highlighted in this blissful clarity most headphones can’t replicate. This is what you spend three grand on, it’s where you’ll get the most lively sound out of the Veritas. Elements like Amy Lee’s performance on Bring Me The Horizon’s “One Day The Only Butterflies Left Will Be In Your Chest As You March Towards Your Death” make light of Veritas’s detail retrieval. The way her vocals sound on these headphones makes the performance seem that much more emotional, with the imaging of the mids presenting them with significant weight.
While not as airy, or as textured as the original, the highs on the Veritas still perform smoothly and accurately. In the track selection I mentioned before, Amy Lee’s vocals sustained a crispness well into the highs, with a few lip smacks and sibilances being present. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but I certainly love those types of details. However, it’s not all perfect in the highs. I found more ultra-high bands to be a tad harsher than on the original. Something might have been lost in translation when moving the Edition 15’s sound to a closed-back principle here. Tracks like “O, My Daughter, O, My Sorrow” from William Basinski showed a slightly more present ringing that I felt blurred the ambient instrumentation and made it a little unclear. Other than that, cymbals sound just as sparkly, and female vocals just as serene as the open back version.
The closed-back Veritas is a welcome variation of one of my favorite set of cans around. Some aspects of the Veritas feel less significant than in the original. The Soundstage and imaging still retain its majestic nature, but the holographic sensation of the open-back version outclasses the closed Veritas. However, timbral properties are mostly maintained, and that’s really all you can ask for in a variation of the same model. For those who preferred a closed, more isolated audiophile headphone, the Veritas is one of the more top-tier models on the market and Ultrasone continues to prove that they are a brand to look out for.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Crisp timbre, classy build, fit, isolation
Cons: A little more limited in the highs
The Ultrasone Edition 15 Veritas is available at Audio 46.
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