Now it gets harder to answer. There is much more to these headphones than tonality/how they are voiced.
I own a silkwood Verite Open – my favorite headphone ever. I had a stock wood VO & VC here on loan for a couple weeks 3+ yrs ago. So I’ve heard the VC at length IMS, but not recently. Also, I will confine my comments to the Aeolus, which I am so familiar with (far less so the Attticus).
The Aeolus is warmer than the VO/VC. But the warmth gets dialed back when one moves from the stock Universal performated pads to the Universe perforated suedes, and even more when one moves to the Verite pads (perforated lambskin). My preference is the Universe perforated suedes, which IMO maintain the perfect balance.
No matter which pads one uses, the Aeolus has a midbass hump that is either noticeable (stock Universe pads) or nearly unnoticeable (Verite pads). But at least some midbass bump is always there, and this puts a natural weight in the lower registers. The VC and Atrium do not have this.
The Aeolus is a more resolving headphone than one first thinks (w/stock pads) as soon as one starts pad swapping. But it doesn’t approach what the VC can do in terms of speed and detail. The VC itself is slightly warm, but has great musicality due to the realistic tone and timbre of every instrument and voice. The special sauce of the VC is how realistic and natural musical instruments and voices sound. It’s very fast but not edgy or bright (a neat trick).
The Aeolus and the VC both image very well, very pleasingly with large soundstages and plenty of depth. The sound from both is spacious, perhaps a bit more so with the Aeolus.
The Atrium is another species altogether. I reviewed the Atrium, bought it, sold it to a friend, then recently borrowed it back and got reacquainted with it. Tonally the Atrium strikes me at the “Golden Mean” of all the ZMFs. It’s right down the middle, not edgy or bright at all, but also not conspicuously warm. I suppose people who like treble cannons would call it “warm,” but to me it’s “slightly warm” at best.
But the trick up the Atrium’s sleeve is the ADS, the new damping system, which is remarkably successful–this headphone images like crazy. The soundstage seems to be all around you. Some call it “psychedelic,” and that’s not far off. Listening to the Atrium really means (for me, at least) savoring the way it portrays space in an eerily detailed, three dimensional way. Indeed, the greatest feat of detail by the Atrium is spatial, not tonal. All I can say is, you should try to get an audition with one because the sound is seriously different from other ZMFs (other headphones, period).
Frankly I was very relieved to go back to my VO after my first immersive weeks of listening to the Atrium, and realize I still loved that VO sound. The Atrium really affected my point-of-view for a time, though in the long run the VO remains TOTL for me.
For classic technicalities/“plankton,” it’s the VC. For dynamics, it’s the VC going away (that headphone can really pound). For a big, spacious, natural representation of every kind of music, it’s the Aeolus. And for imaging/soundstaging, it’s the Atrium by a country mile, though the VC and Aeolus have very pleasing (albeit more conventional) soundstaging.