Duel of the ZMF: Eikon vs Auteur

So, I like many others before me have been put at a crossroad. Eikon vs Auteur, in a head to head battle at the end one will be purchased. Who will be the victor, help me decide based on the information below!

Focal Elex
Sendy Aiva
Beyer Dynamic DT 880 @ 600 Ohm and 80 Ohm
Fostex T60rp

Monoprice Liquid Gold x
Bottlehead S.E.X.
Drop THX 789
Emotiva BasX A-100

I use the Liquid Gold X amp the most out of all my amps, followed by the bottlehead. My preferred headphones are def the Focal and the Fostex.
The sound I enjoy the most would have to be the focal, though the fostex is close for it really shines on some genres. I find myself wanting more from the focal, a bit more bass.
My most listened genres are Metal, Electronic, Rock / Indie, with some classical thrown in. I do value accuracy, but I value musical enjoyment more.

Other headphone suggestions are welcome but these are the ones I had narrowed down to via my research.

The Eikon’s are very different than anything on your headphone list.
I like the Eikon a lot, But it was a sound that took me a good hour to “get”, bass is elevated, and it initially seems to lack treble extension. The latter part of that went away for me, either through burn in or getting used to it. The treble presentation is actually really nice, but it’s going to be VERY different than an Aiva or a DT880.

It stages very large for a closed back (only the Verite C is bigger in what I’ve listened to), but it’s still closed. I bought mine for my secondary system where I need a closed back.

The Auteur is going to be more neutral, and probably closer to what your used to, but it’s one of the few ZMF’s I haven’t spent any time listening to.


I own both. I’ll echo pretty much everything @Polygonhell said above. The Auteur is the technically more competent headphone, but I listen to the Eikons twice as often. I think either should work on your amps, and the Eikon even sounded ok on the 789 to me.


Regarding this, why do you listen to the Eikon twice as often. Also this is going to be a purely pleasure can, no mastering etc. The Sendy and DT880 are on the lower end of my collection for a reason, I didn’t in particular like the Sendy UNLESS it is through the Fiio BTR5.

I think it’s just a preference thing. I have a few headphones that are technically superior to the Eikons, but the physical slam it delivers is tough to match in my collection. I think the reason I pick the Eikon over the Auteur is that the Auteur sacrifices a little of that impact by opening up. And all my headphones are strictly for enjoyment, no mastering for me


I enjoy my Eikon a lot. It’s my daily driver if you will. I pair it with a Liquid Platinum, I did want a smidge more high end so I paired it with a silver plated Oidio cable. Originally I got the Eikon because I wanted a closed back with a similar signature to an LCD2 but it quickly became the one and only for my desktop.

One thing I’ll add is that the original thing I got the Eikon for, late night listening sessions that wouldn’t wake my wife like the LCD2 did. The thing is pretty much entirely quiet, nearly zero sound leak.

No Auteur experience for comparison.


For some info to you guys that have helped, I decided to go with the ZMF Eikon(I had been leaning this way) Marblewood, when I get them I will take pictures and post them in here!


Just to come with my 2 cents…
I can’t remember where, but someone (was it Zach?) mentioned that the Eikon is great for electronic music and I really like mine for that genre for sure.

Good choice and Marblewood sounds cool :+1:


You better post some pics!


How’d you end up liking it if you’ve gotten it yet?

Do you wear glasses with your Eikons? I’m wondering how the glasses impact the seal - I’ve heard from some that wearing glasses while using closed-backs can have not so great repercussions for the sound.

I’d pose the same question to @Onaha too. Really eyeing a ZMF - and the Eikons seems really appealing. Thinking about them or the Aeolus.

I don’t think it’s the glasses, but the type of glasses. If the legs are close to the head, no problem. Some glasses the legs are far from the head and create a gap. I think the pads on the Eikons are supple enough to seal around to the point where I get no difference with or without.

I wear glasses and I don’t see much of an issue with the Eikons.

As the others above me said, the pads on the Eikons are pretty forgiving. My frames are pretty thin, and I only wear them occasionally when listening to headphones, so if it is an issue I’ve never noticed but your experience may be different

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I do not have it yet, it’s in assembly soon. I am waiting with baited breath for it!