ZMF Auteur VS Focal Clear

Who wins? Discuss…

Personally I don’t think there is an obvious winner or anything tbh, they are both great but do different things. I do think they are on a similar tier of performance, but not that similar sounding, more preference. Also it would depend on what amp you pair them with too

For build and comfort though, I might have to say I prefer the zmf. I don’t mind the comfort on the clear but I think zmf has the comfort down better, and the craftsmanship is superior. Also the zmf stock cable is so much better than the shite focal cables


For the record… There obviously is no “winner”. I know both cans are fantastic for what they each do well. Just wanted to stir up some discussion/comparisons between them to have a little fun. :slight_smile:

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Do you think that we can agree the focal cable is pretty bad though at least lol, and zmf cables def take home the cake (especially the higher end ones)


I second what M0N said, have not been able to say i enjoy one more than the other or even have a preference in genre’s for them. Both scale with quality sources and any differences are really in the sound signature not so much SQ IMO.

No way! I’m love with my Focal cables. :rofl:

That’s actually even difficult to type. lol

ZMF cables are to die for.


Hmmm, I don’t know if I would personally say that. I think the auteur has better timbre and better impact, but it’s not as speedy as the clear. The way they present differs as well, and the spatial recreation is done differently on the other headphones

Hmmm, well the focal also comes with a designer womans handbag, better step up your game zmf

I’ve got a zmf 2k copper on my verite c ltd and it’s an excellent cable


The ZMF sit on my head better, clamp better and I prefer the headband. The Clear Pro’s are RED dammit which would usually make them a superior product in my eyes and in everyone else’s, because we KNOW RED is a power color, but the wood on the ZMF is such pretty wood! Ahhh…now I need to know which is the superior product somehow😂


Soooo, you think the ZMF have superior SQ Then? Hmmm🤔. (Trouble maker🤣)

I own the Aeolus and the Elex and a whole lot of other cans and have been thinking about my next purchase. Auture or the Clears. I think I know which one I’d prefer but thought I’d get some opinions. Never know what you might learn in this forum.

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I didn’t say that lol, just noting some differences, didn’t say one was clearly better than the other

IMO that depends. I would honestly stick with the elex IF you don’t plan on upgrading your amp. And tbh I might say the same if you go for the auteur. I think the clear is more amp dependent than the auteur, but both will take nicely to a more suitable amp

I know you are a fan of your lawton mods, and you also like the elex, but which do you tend to prefer and go for in an upgrade?

@PapaEmeritus, i HAD to buy both to satisfy my cravings, so sorry I can’t provide a worthwhile answer. I honestly wanted the RED pro’s real bad and the ZMF Autuer’s because they sounded so good to me. The Clear sound good too though so i have managed to say a bunch of nothing!:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I wouldn’t say upgrade per say. I look at headphones as allowing me to look at my music through different lenses. They are different flavors. I’m leaning towards an Auteur. The Elex is probably a perfect headphone, but I prefer a more laid back presentation. I as well prefer the ZMF comfort build and the woods are works of art. The Clear would just be nice to add to my collection.

I hear ya. I want both for my collection. Just figuring out what will be next. When comparing both headphones, I think it’s difficult to choose either one. Both are fantastic.

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Gotcha, well if you wanted something different from what you have then, I think the auteur might be a bit more up your alley, as the clear is a more neutral elex taken up another level (with the right amp). And you mention work of art, which makes me think another zmf might be in your future as well lol

Agreed. I rarely ever listen to the Elex too. I think the Auteur will probably be the next in line.


I love both the Auteur and the Clears, but I think the difference between the Aeolus and Auteur is more pronounced than the difference between the Focals. Like M0N said, you may not see too much difference between the Elex and Clear on a lesser amp (not sure what you have)

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Makes sense then, I think you have it figured out for the most part lol :+1: