🔶 ZMF Auteur & Auteur Classic

I got my pair. And these sound awesome with the few hours i have been listening to. I watched Joshua Valor’s review and he seemed to really like them with the suede pads. He says it really brings out vocals, but he says it sacrifices a lot for that. Anyone try pad swapping on these?

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I haven’t felt a need to switch from the stock pads yet. Not even slightly


Hahaha, same here. I’m curious to eventually try different pads on mine but i have had ZERO desire to change anything about them. Also, to be completely honest, I’ve looked at other headphones the past few weeks but honestly have no desire for anything in particular.

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Gratuitous sexy pictures.


I see that coin and patch collection in the background :eyes::wink:

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I also have a most awesome, prized, charcoal, hand-drawn, bust shot of Deadpool I had done out in Vegas by a street artist, now that’s something to admire! :muscle: The rest of this stuff is just mementos of a full and long career…


Thanks for serving!


Yeah, this Deadpool pic came from me talking with ValentineLuke about how the clear pros look like a headphone Deadpool would rock. So I had to have a Deadpool wearing clear pros lol


I think this has to be my next not cheap headphone.


auteur are just the most chill headphones. so smooth and well balanced. very natural sounding timbre. little heavy but not hard to settle into once you find what fit you like. i liked the blackwood cups the best as far as sound quality (little added bass/warmth)

Here’s mine in Curly Black Limba:

Of course, this headphone is beautiful lol. looks like something out of Myst isle. All of ZMF’s headphones do. And one thing Zack Mehrbach has proven himself with, is tuning. Remember the Ori?

So guess what? This headphone is tuned perfectly. And something fantastic happened when i put it on my head and heard my music, which ive been listening to since i was a kid. It took me back there. BACK TO THE PAST! (As opposed to the future, see what i did there? :grin:) I coudnt believe it. it sounded just like i remember my music sounding when i was a kid. Now i tried a lot of headphones before i got this. and my music never sounded like that. In an instant i was back in my room listening to my records on my 12" speaker stereo.

So this is it. I hadnt experienced a “Neutral” headphone till now. This is almost perfectly neutral. Great bass extension, mids and treble extension. great imaging. great dynamics. great detail. great soundstage. everything is here. And the big added bonus: they can be used with a tube amplifier! I’m blown away with these headphones. But theres a storm cloud on the horizon. A big dark cloud that threatens to rain big gigantic fat droplets of rain on my parade. If i squint i can see something written on the cloud. umm, A…r…y…a? Arya? Yeah thats it! it says Hifiman Arya!

Ok so heres the problem. The Arya is everything the Auteur is and better. They are the same price :flushed:. I bought it and tried them side by side. After a while, I found i gingerly put down this beautiful headphone, careful not to mar its handsome surface. Put the Hifiman Arya on my head. And never touched the Auteur again. ok thats not wholly true. There’s an Achilles heel to the Arya, and it is called treble. It has too much of it. There are some tracks i cant listen to with it. And granted those are few. but they do exist.

Exhibit A: Duran Duran’s “Is There Something I Should Know?”. This song is treblrama. With very imperfect mastering. Sounds terrible on the Arya. So i found i was gingerly picking up the Auteur again, careful not to mar its lovely surface, and started listing to this unfortunate track. and it sounded good. Then i gingerly put it back down… you get the picture… and never listened to it again.

Ok. is it just a matter of preference? Am i a bad boy by using the “better” word in comparing the Auteur to the Arya? I…dont…think…so… :confused: The Arya is a very impressive headphone with depth and sound the Auteur just cant match. However if your treble sensitive… I still recommend getting the ARYA! WOOOOO! ARYA!!! YEAH! :partying_face:


Ok so in respose to my review @Zachary_Mehrbach said this

Now recently i just got a DarkVoice sitting in the quarentine zone (my dining room) And ive been thinking about what Zack said. So i finnaly pulled it out and unpacked it. I also had purchased a russian tube 6H8C i got off ebay for 10$. And WOW :exploding_head: these headphones really come alive! Soundstage is increased. Bass sounds fantastic. and despite the reputation of tube amps i found the detail has increased. These headphones now sound fantastic!I The vocals pop much more to the fore than the Arya. Has a more natural presentation. These headphone now compete with the Arya’s.

So ive picked up this beautiful headphone, careful not to mar its charming surface, and have not put it back down. So what do i recommend now? The Arya or the Auteur? I recommend you get them both! WOOO! :partying_face:


I’m mildly concerned I’ll have a similar issue with these or the Eikons when comparing them to my LCD X. Granted, the LCD X doesn’t fatigue me so far on treble.

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yeah the LCD X is a great headphone i heard. would like to hear it

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I’m not trying to be “that guy”, but comparing a dynamic driver wood cup headphone to a planar with shallow cup space is extremely unfair due to design limitations of both driver types.


Yeah but Hazi i got to buy it. and at 1600$ its one or the other. granted i did buy both lol. but i’m gonna sell the Auteur soon. maybe the tube performance gives it an edge? i haven’t tried it on tubes yet.

You should try it on tubes. My Aeolus is very different from a SS to a tube and I actually don’t use it on anything but my Cayin tube amp anymore. And as I understand then the ZMF HP’s are all benefitting from a tube.

I have never owned a Hifiman HP, but the one thing that scares away is their lack of build quality. It may not extend to all their designs, but that is a clear no-go for me. It may sound great, but it doesn’t matter if it breaks easily.


Ive bought 4 Hifiman headphones. 4XX, sundara, ananda and arya. haven’t had any problems. but again i didnt have them for long. i’ve heard other people have had problems. but the way things are going hifiman are making the some of the best headphones around. ive also heard people who have problems have been able to get their HP repaired from Hifiman np. :man_shrugging:


This is true - comparing a planar and high impedance dynamic driver headphone on the same amp isn’t really beneficial to see an exact comparison. Hypothetically you’d want to match damping factors via the impedance out of the amp to see which headphone subjectively works best for your tastes, albeit that’s a complicated task.

So at the end of the day with the auteur - it does adapt greatly to amps because of the high impedance voice coil, but sometimes it can be a blessing and a curse for subjective preference, as planars really just need power/voltage > impedance matching aside from the innate differences baked in to the two driver types.


Thanks for weighing in Zach, and welcome to the forums!


Wow! its great to see you posting here Zack! Hope to see more of your posts. but i know there are difficulties in someone like you posting to a public forum like this. hope you didnt take offense at my post. It was a little tongue and cheek. I think your headphones are fantastic! i’m especially blown away by their tone and timbre. And i loved both the Aeolus and Auteur. Thanks a bunch. I would love to get your Verite sometime soon. from what i hear its right up my alley.