ZMF Headphones announced a new release this month, and I got a chance to hear it this weekend. The new can is the Atrium Closed, and its sounds pretty awesome.
Now that you have the headline, allow me to expand. The people who run ZMF Headphones (Zach and Bevin Mehrbach) are some of the most approachable people in the business, which is nice, because they also happen to make some serious headphones that really compete well in the high-end space. Originally starting as a Fostex T-50RP modder, ZMF has now expanded their wood-based headphone offerings to driver technologies that include beryllium, bio cellulose and even planar magnetic in recent years. The ZMF Atrium Closed represents the newest application of Zach’s best damping techniques and it really shows with how well the sound staging was presented on the floor of the Ear Gear Expo at AXPONA 2023 in Chicago.
Listening to the latest prototype of the ZMF Atrium Closed at their booth in the dedicated headphone section of the big US audio show, I was able to get a sense of solid focus, but expanded listening field represented by the notoriously difficult-to-manage closed-back design. The isolation from outside noise was very good, but instead of a dead, small space surrounding the notes of music, my experience with the ZMF Atrium Closed was one of expansive staging outside of the head, both out and up. Detail and tone matter, but ultimately the hurdle for a high-end, closed-back headphone is bass and staging for many manufacturers. The new sample at the show had a great handle on both these angles.
The new ZMF Atrium Closed becomes available April 28th and will start at $2.5k for the stock wood options. The company is known for select runs and unique opportunities to buy the wood in bespoke formats, so buyers can change the headphone up a few different ways to make it their own, if they wish.
More info: ZMF Atrium Closed
Video of the headphone from the event: https://www.facebook.com/reel/246552421107082