For years ZMF Headphones has been known to produce some of the best closed back headphones in the world. Now with the Auteur, we have created an open back flagship headphone, which takes the signature ZMF musicality and combines it with the resolve and spaciousness that comes from an open design.
An Auteur is an artist who controls so many aspects of a specific work that their influence makes them the “author” of that endeavor. With the ZMF Auteur, we have created a tuning and headphone platform that allows the listener to “author” their listening experience. The scene starts with the open, universally appealing ZMF tuning showcasing our version of “neutral.” The listener then authors their experience with either perforated Eikon pads or Auteur pads which will create an even further sense of neutrality. Our premium headphones are responsive to all aspects of the audio chain and will truly allow the audiophile the distinct pleasure of artistic control.
The Auteur will feature Teak as the standard wood option and will be outfitted with black aluminum hardware.
Additionally, the Auteur will be available in limited edition runs expanding into various exotic figured and rare hardwood options.
The first limited batch will be 100 units of African Blackwood and will allow your choice of brass or black anodized aluminum grille and rods.
Blackwood Limited Edition: $1899 list, $1699 preorder.
Teak Auteur: $1599 list, $1399 pre-order.
S3 6500 Airtight Case or Presentation Wood Case (only available as an option with LTD Editions)
Wood Owners and Warranty Card, numbered and signed by ZMF.
Stock Cable (OFC Available for $60 when purchased with headphone)
Perforated Auteur or Eikon pads (both will be shipped for all pre-orders)
ZMF Biocellulose driver, 98dB/mW
The Auteur features our custom ZMF Biocellulose driver. This is the world’s first open, high impedance, biocellulose headphone design. The driver features our 300 ohm voice coil which reacts sonically to the audio chain it’s given. Both solid state and tube amps sound fantastic.
As the perfect complement to the closed ZMF Eikon or Atticus, the Auteur takes the engaging musical tilt that the Eikon represents, and adds soundstage, a more neutral signature, added clarity and resolve with zero fatigue.
The Auteur is lighter than its closed counter parts, weighing in at approximately 475g in teakwood and black aluminum. With less bulk to the cups and our signature “double headband,” you’ll always wear the Auteur comfortably. The weight of Limited Editions will vary based on the wood offered.
Inspired by French stained glass, the Auteur’s grille and overall aesthetic is timeless and intriguing. With our limited series be on the look-out for exciting runs using different metals and woods.
Sonically, the Auteur takes the Eikon’s general downslope tuning and shifts it slightly towards neutral with the perforated Eikon pads, or brings you to what I would consider complete neutrality with the Auteur pads. Regardless of your taste in sound signature, the Auteur will cater to your needs with each set of earpads that I tuned the headphone with.
Despite the more neutral tuning, the Auteur is actually less “sharp” sounding than its closed counterpart. By utilizing an open design, there are far less reverberations as our design has equalized the amount of sonic pressure with completely open porting, an acoustically transparent back grille covering, a ported baffle, and perforated earpads. This is a neutral tilted, musical headphone with a touch of warmth. Unlike many open designs, the bass extends deep and hits hard when called for.
The Auteur’s baffle is vented with 10 3.5mm front ports, 5 completely open back slots, and a 50mm metal grille. None of the ports are covered and there is no “filler” damping material. By utilizing an acoustically “free” design, based on optimal acoustic airflow, the Auteur imparts an extremely natural sound-stage that’s as big or small as the sound requires.
By using a flexible TPU driver gasket, the Auteur has optimized dynamic pistonic action. This creates a punchy, lively response where the listener can feel the full “force” of the music playing.
With perforated earpads, the sound is not restricted, and sonic waves do not get trapped in the ear cavityThis creates an incredibly smooth mid-range with effortless treble while at the same time maintaining bass punch and “feel.”
Using “just enough” wood to affect the sonic character of the headphone, the Auteur sound-waves react to the wood used for the headphone cups. As usual, this is solid wood through and through machined from 5 x 5 x 2 blocks. See our wood page for more info on how each wood has a unique sonic personality.