ZMF Eikon Measurements and Review

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ZMF Eikon Measurements and Review

    I'd give the left and right channel matching some slack because of the nature of the thick pads. I've never been seen exact matching on headphones with thick fluffy pads. Heck, even the measured left and right channels of the X00 with less fluffy pads are a bit off. I'll work on getting more uniform results later and post them if I can get better results, but honestly, this looks very good considering the nature of the pads and how hard it is to get them totally uniform on the measurement rig.

    ZMF Eikon Frequency Response (0db line = 100db SPL)
    ZMF Eikon frequency response.png

    The Eikon reminded me a lot of the HD650, but with a "BBC dip" and better bass extension. The tonal signature is subjectively very even - flat to a 200Hz and then with a downward slope - just what I like. I honestly didn't really notice the dip until I measured it, but in hindsight, it was laid-back in this area. Like the Atticus, there's a rise at 5-6kHz, but this doesn't exceed the lower mids so it doesn't stick out. Think of the Eikon has having a major dip between 2-4kHz. This dip is actually very much like the older HD650s. Except the Eikon doesn't have the HD650 veil.

    Past the measurements, the Eikon has a beautiful tone and incredible musicality. (And I've only listened to it on the Schiit Jotunheim, but the uber tube rig yet.) The Eikon, along with the Paradox Slants are the two closed headphones that have really gotten it just right - unless I've forgotten a few.


    ZMF Eikon vs. HD650 Frequency Response
    Eikon = Light Blue
    HD650 = Orange
    Eikon vs HD650 frequency response.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  2. AMW1011

    AMW1011 Friend

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    I'd love to see how they measure on your rig with the Ori pads if you get a chance.
     
  3. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    Dip might not be that bad on the head. Might not even ring on the head, but the way it looks I'm sure it does on the coupler. Sort of like how the FE83En has ringing around 2kHz, with the dip following it. Otherwise bass extension and treble look awesome. How does the distortion compare to the Atticus? Lower bass distortion?
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The Eikon is the more accurate or straight brother of the Atticus. The Atticus is the brother with flair. The Eikon presents it more straight - as it is - but still maintains a rich tone. While the Eikon isn't as punchy as the Atticus, the Eikon actually exhibits slightly more warmth and lushness to the Atticus.

    Interestingly, even though the cups look to be the same with the same slots, the Eikon doesn't have the Atticus' romantic reverb and decay. I don't know if this was intentional from Zach or not. This would make sense given the personality of the Eikon. Would be interesting to pull up CSDs and verify how the 500Hz-3kHz region from 1ms onward looks in comparison to the Atticus and Sony Z1R (which also does a great job controlling internal cup reflections).
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  5. Eudis Fernandes

    Eudis Fernandes Acquaintance

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    Could you put Eikon and Atticus FR side by side?
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ZMF Eikon vs. Atticus Frequency Response
    Eikon = Light Blue
    Atticus = Orange

    ZMF Eikon vs. Atticus Frequency Response.png
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ZMF Eikon CSDs
    ZMF Eikon CSD L.jpg
    ZMF Eikon CSD R.jpg

    For a closed headphone, the results are very good.
     
  8. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Marvey would it make sense to compare the Eikon and Utopia or is the Focal in a different league altogether? (Aside from the fact that one is closed of course)
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Difficult making this comparison because Utopia is open and Utopia has a different sound and presentation. Utopia is in a different league when it comes to speed, transients, and plankton. And then the Utopia driver has different timbre with the Be. Heck, I think the Atticus might even be a tiny bit faster than the Eikon, although don't quote me on this yet because I didn't have enough time to compare comprehensively. Think of the Eikon as a closed HD650 or Audeze. The Elear with its 5kHz dip (which sounds worse than it measures) doesn't even have quite the same sensibilities.
     
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  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Dip between 2-4kHz might even be appropriate, especially that our pinna will elevate this region. (I am so glad the diffuse-field tuning bullshit, which was totally bullshit, at least for headphones, went out of style).

    Here are the distortion figures. Arguably better than Atticus from 100-500Hz. I'm still wondering about that the 1.8kHz D2 spike. The Atticus has this too. There is a very tiny sympathetic signal 3.6kHz (2 x 1.8kHz) can be seen in the CSD. I'm not hearing anything negative related to this. Maybe a wood cup or chamber resonance? The HD800 has a similar D2 distortion spike (I can't recall at what frequency), so I wouldn't freak out.
    ZMF Eikon L HD.jpg
    ZMF Eikon R HD.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  11. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    1.5K and down looks pretty good for a semi-closed dynamic! If these make to to Tempe ( @cskippy ) - I'll need to check them out!
     
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  12. AMW1011

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    Hmm. I'd love to see measurements of the Ori pads on the Eikon in terms of FR and THD. I felt like the Ori pads cleaned up the bass a lot. Definitely adds treble, but I don't find them bright even so. I think its possible I had some anatomical incompatibility with the Eikon pads, but I can't say for sure. I've no clue why the Eikon pads would make the bass sound distorted to me, but the Ori pads don't.
     
  13. MattRG

    MattRG Almost "Made"

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    Wow, I'm loving that FR! It is totally in my wheelhouse in terms of preference. And here I thought I couldn't get any more excited to hear them for myself.....
     
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  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Right? Even up to 200Hz, slope down, take chunk out of 2-4kHz, a little bit of 5kHz edge. Brightheads need not apply, but super compatible with a lot of recordings that I listen to.
     
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  15. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    Lol, that's what I wanted to say with my thread a while ago. I think flat on the head (at the ear canal opening) is a pretty good target, which means a slight 2-5kHz dip on most couplers with most headphones - maybe about 5db. The shape will look different than that sudden dip though.

    Nice, looks like less 3rd order in the upper bass.

    I think part of the spike is also how the data is presented. The 2nd harmonic will be elevated relative to the dip, compared to the other frequencies. It's interesting that the right channel, which has a deeper dip, also measures with more distortion here. It does seem a bit high though to be only from the FR effects. Of course it could also be a resonance.
    The HD800 D2 spike is around 4kHz, but I never got as much distortion there as you did. At 80db at 1m (I did this for hypothetical tweeter measurements - that probably translates to 110 or 120db as a headphone) I still got less than 1% distortion at 4kHz and less than 0.2% distortion throughout (from 500Hz on). That's less distortion than many tweeters, probably from the big driver size. Actually a lot of tweeters have a similar 2nd order distortion spike when you crank them up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  16. AMW1011

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    I'm glad these are getting people exciting. They're legitimately very good. They're not quite on the same level as things like the HE-6, HD800, and Utopia in terms of technicalities and the staging isn't going to impress anyone, but they're very good. In terms of sheer musical enjoyment they do exceptionally well much like the HD600/650.

    They're not for Diffuse Field fans, soundstage whores, or absolute detail addicts. However, they are quite resolving, well extended, well tuned, and they scale quite nicely with better gear.

    They're also functionally closed back. I mean that as an added bonus and not an excuse for the lackluster sound, like with the vast majority of closed back headphones. These aren't just "good for a closed back".
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Price is right. Closed headphones are not supposed to sound this good. Definitely early Golden Schlong candidate.

    Zach should come out with glow-in-the-dark varnish versions in six months.
     
  18. KarlStromberg

    KarlStromberg Rando

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    How do they compare to other closed headphones, e.g. Ether C (Flow), LCD-XC, PM-3 and/or TH900/X00?
     
  19. Daveheart

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    Which cup wood is this one @Marvey ?
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    1. PM-3 is nice, but not competitive. It is good for the price.
    2. LCD-XC is an abomination. Take LCD-X and fuck up the midrange. Midrange city. Please kill me.
    3. Ether C is thin. OK with thicker sounding amps and source, but mostly not competitive except transient response up in the highs is better. Meh.
    4. C Flow is unlistenably thin and bright (at least the non-defective early unit that I heard). Please skewer me, through my testicles.
    5. TH900 is V shaped and has way too much bass below 60Hz, dip at 600Hz, and nasty unlistenable spike at 7kHz. WTF or way fun. Your choice.
    6. X00 is neat and totally worth it at $300-$400.
    Eikon / Atticus resolve better and scale with better gear than any of the above.
     
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