I am always intrigued about the ZMFs in particular the Aeolus as an upgrade to my 6xx and Ananda. I had the chance to try them out at a local dealer recently. It’s not often I get a chance to demo headphones side by side being relatively new to the hobby, but I didn’t feel like the Aeolus had the same soundstage or detail retrieval than the Anandas. Then the Eikons, I was very surprised by the air and openness for a closed back and overall to me an upgrade to what I currently own.
I really want to like the Aeolus, and absolutely love the LTD Wood they are current doing on it but sadly don’t have it on the Eikons. unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to try Atticus and the auteur, or the money for Vérités. Has anyone tried both of them and possibly the ananda and share your view on them? Cheers
I’ve only owned he Eikon, and as for hifiman, I’ve owned the sundaras,edition xx, and hexv2. The Eikons pretty much blow them all out of the water, the hexv2 is the closest as far as enjoyment, especially with the right amp. From what ive read, the Eikons/auteur seem to be the most reccomended. The aelous appears to be too smooth, and sacrifices other things. The appearance of the aelous does seem to be the appealing factor honestly. As For the ananda, ive seen that it is a neutral bright signature, sort of like the sundaras. Even if the ananda is a better done sundara, the Eikons would blow those out the water as well. So i can highly reccomend the Eikons or hexv2. The autuer is supposed to be a more neutral and open version of the Eikons, so couldnt go wrong with either, supposedly. Hope this helped!
The Ananda are pretty bright, so if you are treble sensitive, I wouldn’t recommend.
I currently own an HD650, Atticus and Aeolus and have tried the Auteur. The Aeolus is my favorite of the bunch, but that is just preference as I like warmer sound signatures.
The Auteur is probably the better headphone as far as technicalities and detail, and is much more neutral compared to the Aeolus. The Atticus has a mid bass hump and slightly elevated treble…very tasteful slightly U-shaped signature. Good soundstage for a closed back.
I havent tried the Verite, but they are high on my list of possible next purchases down the road, specifically the Verite Closed.
M0N previous advice I’m sure you can find in places on the forum summarizes the line pretty generically for a “I want ZMF” for a good tl;dr.
- Atticus and Aeolus -> Keep it on tubes for best experience
- Eikon and Aeolus -> solid state or tube.
I was lead to believe the Eikons would provide the most unique ZMF experience my M0N, I can say that my experience with my Eikons meet that expectation. They’re natural and just elevated, resolving, and just pleasant. 100% recommend the Eikons if the research you do on them seem appealing enough.
I own both the Aeolus and Eikon, I think it’s easier to be initially impressed with the Aeolus, it’s a more familiar sound.
But if I could only own one it’s a relatively simple decision it would be the Eikons.
My extremely pretty Camphor Burl LTD Aeolus, are in their case and not even in my regular rotation at this point, I’ll probably sell them at some point.
Eikons are not particularly Amp picky, I use mine on Tubes (SW51+ currently) but they sound good on SS.
Aeolus to me really need SS, they are OK on tubes, but they are so relaxed that to me they really need something to provide an edge to the sound.
I also own a Verite C, it has many of the same characteristics as the Eikon, faster bigger stage, better separation, more neutral sound signature, as to value I can’t comment, they are worth it to me. I know @M0N recently sold his because he felt it was too much of an all rounder, doing everything well, and nothing exceptionally, so they don’t really fit in his collection.
I have not heard the Ananda.
FWIW, I like my Atticus equally on tubes and SS. The Aeolus sounds great on both, but I slightly prefer them on tubes.
So I agree that the Hifimans (my experience was with Edition X V2s) will generally have more obvious detail retreival and soundstage than the Eikon / Auteur. The hex tended to push detail more forwards than the eikon does. However, to get that sound they end up losing the ‘natural’ timbre, intimacy, and really phenomenal imaging that the Eikons have. Entirely up to your preferences. I liked my Eikons and Clears better than the Hexv2 (and am not a huge fan of hifiman’s house sound (from what I’ve gathered it is)). The Eikons are really nice for a closed back imo. I’m moving away from them towards IEMs (as they fill the role I have the Eikon in right now), but if you really want a great closed back, the Eikons are a good choice imo.
I do have some nitpicks with them, but that might be because of the other headphones and the source gear I have.
If anyone wants an Eikon in great condition I’m selling mine…
Very well said for eikon vs hexv2
Also, big fuck off planars vs smaller biodynas. You trade really nice fast transients and that planar resolve for nice fast punchy attacks and slower transients with the biodyna imo. The hexv2 just didn’t have that nice bite. Entirely preference. I really like when things have the appropriate attack and bite and care a bit less about the decay and resolution. The Eikons doesn’t do it poorly, but it doesn’t have 50mm big fuck off planars now does it lol.
Yea the hexv2 can punch crazy when called for, the Eikons kinda just puff it out just right, or enough. Hexv2 does have that better detail retrieval, especially in the highs, but def seems more artificial than the eikons detail retrieval. And then the vertical stage of the hex is unique but i guess not natural? Lol glad to own both, cause i like certain music with both. Also, ive seen mentioned the hifiman house sound a lot. Having owned 3, but never really thinking about it too much, i would have to say maybe its like a better done basic stereo sound or something? Like an old stereo in your dads garage haha
for me hexv2s were less of a punch and more of a fistbump, felt almost blunted or not quite full impact. Didn’t quite have the omph or bite that hte dynamics have. It technically ‘hit’ but it felt wrong to me, so I never really considered it impactful in the sense of the clears or even the eikons. That might just be me though.
Probably simular experience just different ways of explaining it haha
I am tilting towards the Eikon given everything I have are open back, but the mono tone stock camphor wood just doesnt appeal to me as much, the Eikons on the zmf website looks great I wonder if you can request one with more coloration and tones on the stock camphor? I will get another chance to demo them again before pulling the trigger. The dealer also says they have the Verite s there to try, i hope i dont prefer them over the Eikons, cos I may have to sell my car to reach for that one …
I would ask Zach about doing something with a dual tone finish or something.
Did you end up pulling the trigger on the Eikons?
I actually ended up with the Verite closed. If they had the marblewood ltd like currently I would have definitely jumped on those.
How do you like them? Out of what you own, I’ve tried the Ananadas (enjoyed the sound but couldn’t stand wearing them longer than a few minutes - too much pressure on my jaw and upper neck areas), and own the 6xx (find them super comfortable, and enjoy them for vocalists like Neil Young and Beach House - my Bifrost 2/Asgard 3 has made them sound a lot better than when I first heard them, but I don’t really rely on them for most of my music listening).
How do you think the Verite Closed compares to the 6xx? Do you feel like the Verite Closed excel at a wider range of genres? Do you feel, ultimately, it was worth it?
I have gone through quite a few headphones, and 6XX is something I have kept. But its not much of a comparison between the VC and 6XX, one’s close the other open, not to mention the price differential. you literally hear more of the music as the detail retrieval and clarity is 2-3 lvls above the 6XX, but the mid range magic of the 6XX, in particular pair with my BH crack and BF2, is special. ive also owned the ananda and now i have the Ayra, think the ananda is 80 pct of an Arya, so does it justifying the price differential its up to you. comfort I find the Arya better.
Thanks for the response. I understand they’re not really comparable headphones.
But overall you’re very satisfied with the VC? Find it comfortable? Find the technicalities between the Arya and VC similar? In terms of detail retrieval, etc. And do you wear glasses by any chance? Wondering how they impact the seal on the VC. I heard wearing glasses with some closed backs can be problematic.