ZMF Headphones - Official Thread

I have the Verite back and hope to begin finalizing my review and comparisons with the other ZMF cans I own. Hope to start that after the Thanksgiving and Black Friday stuff is over.


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I stumbled across people talking about them last week. I almost was ready to get them, but fortunately for my wallet they were all spoken for. They look like they could be serious contenders for " Kill of the Hill ". I’m sure you’ll let us know when you get them.

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It’s kind of interesting and an embarrassment of riches for our industry (and us as consumers that we can consider buying $2000+ headphones and all of the negative compounding that goes with them, i.e., amps, dacs, etc), but I have a feeling Zach’s stuff will never be king of the hill. I think this, mostly because you’ll always have a detail monster competitor like the Big Company utopia or Senns, etc. Zach’s dynamics seem to have a unique sound (and style) that people either like or move on.

I’m surprised at the number of people that have both moved on from their ZMF Original closed-backs, and then those that have kept them:

  • Surprised at the number of people who’ve sold, say, Eikons, because why would you want to get rid of Eikons? For me, you either know you want an heirloom closed-back or you don’t, but hey we’re all fickle.

  • Surprised at the number of people who’ve kept them because there are so many great new offerings, it did seem like the Eikon/Atticus could get left in the distance as that thing that was cool for a few minutes.

In any event, I’m super glad to have my Eikons & Atticus, won’t be selling them, and would probably consider only the Verite for an open-back if I ever have a need for one (which I can’t see happening any time soon).

I’m actually hoping Zach creates a new top-of-the-Zach-line closed back based on the Verite. Hint @zach915m Hint. I’d love to see this before any planar, but … business is what it is …


No doubt headphones have reached extremely high prices. By the same token, research, engineering, voicing and marketing must cost a tidy sum. Including the fact there will always be the next one that is even being thought of to replace the new one. I’ve never had any ZMF products. My comments about King of the hill are only about the hype I’ve read. I am too often a victim of that. I will reserve that comment until I listen to them. Who knows they may even make it to the Loaner Program @torq (hint, hint)

I do think the Big Companies Focal, Sennheiser and Audeze ( I had to add them ) since I ove their bass, imaging and other aspects. I’ve owned the Utopias and always thought overall they were not worth the $$$. They were one of the fastest phones I’ve ever heard, but I was not fond of the lack of depth for me. I can say I loved the Clears and no doubt think they are one of if not the best value for the $$$ in the industry. In fact I loved them more than the Utopias. I regret having sold my Clears and know they will soon make a return visit to my home.

My apologies for getting close to hijacking an intended ZMF thread to anyone who might be offended,


It’s a nice idea, and I’d love to see them there - but unless Zach wanted to put gear into that program it’s unlikely to happen, at least in the short term. Community Preview Program gear is currently all provided by - so if it is not something they’re a dealer for then it’ll come down to the manufacturer wanting to put their gear out there.

That may change in the future, but I imagine it would be heavily dependent on there being a lot more participation in general, and a larger Core Team base, to make it happen.

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I agree with you here, the Eikon is still one of my favorite closed back headphones to date!

Came across Dave Hanson’s review of the Verite:

I’m getting more and more excited for mine to arrive.

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Quick question about zmf Aeolus will it be a upgrade over mr speaker AEON headphone.

Not exactly, more of a complement?

I don’t think it’s easy to say that one is an upgrade over the other given the differences between planar and dynamic. Here’s my assessment, but take it with a grain of salt because I don’t have the Aeolus:

The Aeon is definitely the faster headphone because again, planar speed. So if you value transient speed, then there’s not much the Aeolus can do there, since it’s not using the Beryllium coated polyethylene nephthalate driver of the Verite, but instead the existing driver from the Atticus. In terms of resolution it’s likely a wash between the Aeolus and the Aeon, but I’d be quite confident in saying that the Aeolus would beat it in staging and overall size of the images. Tuning might be more ‘fun’ on the Aeolus as well. So while the Aeon is more ‘in your head’, the Aelous is going to sound more like a concert. If you already own the Aeon, imo the Aeolus would be a great companion, and you’d probably end up using it a bit more often, but to me they trade blows and just have a different (not better) sound from one another.


Open or closed?

Personally, I don’t think either sound like the Aeolus, and I don’t recall the AFO having anywhere near the bass impact the Aeolus does… Or as rich mids… Or as smooth treble. They are comfy though.

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Thank you for your response. I do own the mr speaker AEON open.Just looking for a fun sounding headphone in the 1000$ music I listen to is classic rock.

Honestly… I think the Auteur would be a better partner with the Aeon open. Or just something with a bit more neutrality. The Aeon open hits way harder in the midbass than the closed does (surprisingly), and it’s a bit more coloured and “romantic” as Tyll says. Personally I love the Aeon Open for precisely those qualities, but I wouldn’t use it as a statement on neutrality or linearity. So in that sense, getting the Aeolus would be doubling down on the same kind of thing, just not quite as fast, but with a bigger stage. I think the way to go is one planar and one dynamic, one coloured and one more neutral/reference. That way you can switch between the two depending on your mood and music.


I’m probably biased, so keep that in mind. I personally think the Aeolus kicks the AFO’s butt all over the dojo when it comes to classic rock and blues. It checks a lot more boxes for those genres, specifically in the mids where the guitars and vocals live.

You said Auteur, which is a fair bit more neutral than the Aeolus.

I guess it depends on which way he wants to go, improve on the afo, or get something much different that complements it.


Yeah fair enough. Just out of curiosity, what’s your dac/amp for the AFO? I found myself merely… whelmed by the AFO at first, until I threw it on the IHA-6’s balanced out, and now I’m addicted haha. I found myself reaching for it about the same amount of time when compared with my Auteur, which surprised me actually, considering I tend to be a neutralhead. I think I’m also just addicted to the planar speed in general, so I’m likely biased the other way.


The ZMF Vérité have landed … just in time to be thoroughly snowed in for a long-weekend! These were my favorite headphones from CanJam @ RMAF 2018. I’ve been looking forward to receiving them ever since the pre-order’s initially went live in, I think, November.

You’ll have to make with quick-and-dirty, basic, entirely non-artistic pictures for now as, despite their striking good looks, I’m much more interested in listening to them right now than I am in piddling around with the camera:

These are the Limited Edition Pheasantwood version, finished with polished silver grilles and rods, and the “grey” chassis, which is quite dark and can shift between a tinted grey and a dark bronze finish (you can get all the hardware in various colors).

I’ll put prettier - or at least more imaginative, pictures in the Gear Pics and dedicated Vérité threads once I’ve done some more listening. But they look beautiful in person. A nice satin finish to the wood, with a rich, fine, and obvious grain …and ultra-crisp lines in the metalwork …

First impressions are excellent, and are complimenting the Hi-Z cathode output option on my tube amp rather nicely. But more details there will require letting them run for a while and some more listening.


Would you like a large manchild to help listen to them? Iol, those are awesome I have been eyeballing them today…and of course you end up having them on hand! I’m jealous :sob:


Looking great! I’m excited for mine (Silk) to show up. Looking forward to your impressions!


Those are a magnificent looking pair of headphones! Zach’s craftmanship in his cans is always fantastic.

I haven’t listened to a ZMF since the Auteur last year so definitely excited to see what you think of them compared to the rest of the lineup! (and @Resolve when he gets his pair in). The early hype has been enormous so it’s good to see the units are arriving in people’s hands now.


I’ll be sure to bring it over for you guys to have a listen haha