ZMF Headphones - Official Thread

Exemplary piece of writing here, audio or otherwise.


Thank you. :vulcan_salute:

You’re too kind


So I got rid of my Auteur a while ago. Utopia and VO made it non-existent within my audio sphere.

The reasons are kinda similar to what you are saying. As my single higher level can for a while I thought it was great, nice all around performance. When I got a couple “better” cans the Auteur just collected dust. Why? As you said, so frickin boring…

The Autuer does nothing really wrong but it also does nothing exceedingly well. I have my thoughts re timbre which I wont get in to now, but that was the only area one could argue as a true strength of the Auteur and it wasnt near enough for me to keep it around. Just became dull by comparison for my tastes.

I do not miss it at all.


I agree. I think the VO is a much better headphone than the Auteur. I also don’t agree that the Auteur does nothing wrong. I find it to have some glare/grain in the upper mids/lower treble. In addition to having much better overall resolution/plankton and speed on the VO, I feel that it has the better tuning. I do feel that the Auteur is closer to neutral than the VO, but I still don’t prefer it. The VO is a masterpiece with how much it does right.


I agree with every word of this. I don’t usually post about headphones I listened to & couldn’t love (or even like much)–but since we’re there now, I must say the Auteur is that headphone for me. I heard it numerous times at shows and once for a longer period in my system.

Like all ZMF dynamics it’s a strikingly handsome headphone–but I never could come to terms with the sound. Often there was too much energy in the upper mids & treble. Ironically, the same-driver sibling headphone, the Eikon, also had a bit too much energy in the same places, but because the Eikon’s sub-bass, midrange, and dynamics were so good I found ways to work around it (the Eikon is a real thrill-ride HP).

With the VO, there is nothing for me to work around. All of it, top to bottom, just works. Sure, I can hear that its sub-bass falls short of the Eikon; mid-bass lacks that entertaining bump the Aeolus has; and the dynamics aren’t as epic as the Eikon’s or VC’s. But the VO has the most beautiful tone & timbre; every note pleases me. Throw in the high resolution and level of detail (absent any glare or brightness), and it’s a sound I immediately loved. Every type of music I play on the VO sounds just right.

BTW, I don’t hear the midrange recession everyone speaks of. I can hear it’s not a midrangy headphone in general–but don’t hear a downslope in the mids. Either my hearing sucks or I’m just not sensitive to that range…? Not sure…also not concerned. When I like a headphones as much as the VO, I’d rather just listen to it than search for flaws in its sound…


@Sturosen So all this talk about which ZMF is the best, or better than “insert ZMF”.
It does not matter what a bunch of random internet folks think is better or best, find the pair that is most aligned with your sonic preferences.

Or if you can’t decide, buy another of your current pair in a different wood.

Or buy one of each and call it a day.

- finis


I’m not really looking for direction, just impressions. But that “buy them both” has a nice ring to it.


I don’t want to derail this excellent discussion, but I do want to agree with what @ProfFalkin and others have said, that Aeolus should be good enough for most normal people. I understand what you mean now that I have my hands on a pair.


Has anyone studied the ZMF / baldness link?


“normal”? that’s a bridge too far…

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  • Are you a ZMF owner?
  • Are you :woman_bald:?
  • Naturally Bald?

0 voters


The poll is multi-choice. You can pick 2


I have a wide parting.

I’d like to have a ZMF.


I’m “balding”. Haven’t evolved to my highest form yet


I’ve been shaving my head for 17 years. I was 28, went to my sisters wedding, and I looked like an opera singer in all the pictures, and not in a good way. Receding hairline had long before taken over and now there’s nothing on top.

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Not gonna lie, I kind of miss those amazing headphones, but it is good to see they are actually getting some use. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


I’m not bald, but I seem to be losing my hair at an accelerated rate since becoming a ZMF owner. It must be that, and not my age! :rofl:


Having the same type of ZMF headphone with different pads offers a sound signature variety as well. Probably more of a difference than just the wood composition.


This is indisputably true. One of the great things about ZMF is that there is a range of ZMF earpads specifically recommended for use with each headphone. And changing from one such pad to the other clearly changes the sound, but not in that uncontrolled “it might be great, but it might be awful” way that freerange pad rolling can do.

For example, I’ve heard the Aeolus with all 3 of the pads typically recommended for it: the stock pads; perforated suede universe pads; and Verite pads.

I greatly prefer the per suedes–IMO the ideal sound that shaves off some midbass bump but retains all the excitement, dynamics, and expressive midrange of the Aeolus. The Verite pads are very interesting, too–they produce the most neutral sound I’ve heard from the Aeolus, meaning the frequencies are mostly level and the midbass bump is smallest of any pads, but the overall relaxed/entertaining Aeolus is still there.

All to say that Zach really listens to various earpad options for each headphone and freely communicates the resulting recommendations.


Good choice, if it is a lot that is gone, then this is the only way. (I was 30, when I decided to do it. Even if I can get it back, I won’t. This is my style for life)

-Greetings from another Baldy Audio Brother

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