ZMF Atrium Closed Review

This is our review of the ZMF Atrium Closed headphone. It is selling for $2,499 USD


Disclaimer: The ZMF Atrium Closed was sent to me on loan by ZMF Headphones directly in exchange for our honest opinion.


I’m happy that we’re back reviewing ZMF, and we’ll be covering a couple more of their headphones over the next couple of months. The previously reviewed ZMF headphone was the award winning open-back Caldera. You can check out that review here:

ZMF Headphones stands for Zach Mehrbach Films and they are a brand that’s no stranger to the world of high-end audio, at least within the realm of the headphone audiophile. The company is helmed by the dynamic husband-and-wife duo, Zach and Bevin Mehrbach. Together, they are purveyors of a host of fantastic-sounding and awesome-looking products. Simply drop by their website, and take a gander at their growing stable of headphones, and you won’t, or can’t, tear your eyes away from them.

When working on our designs we take our slogan very seriously; “Traditional Craft, Modern Acoustics.” We strive to make every headphone show inspiration from timeless artistry, film, culture and history. When melding this with current headphone technology and Zach Mehrbach’s proprietary damping systems, each headphone is made to become an instant classic.

That is, unless of course, you’re not particularly a fan of wood. If so, you might want to move along, as ZMF are wood masters. If you’re an audiophile, your weapons-of-choice are distinctly headphones, and you’re a connoisseur of wood (is there such a thing?), then, yes, by all means, continue reading, for I will be reviewing their popular and award winning Caldera open-back headphone.

If you want to learn more about ZMF, you can do so on their website here. I’ve met Zach and his wife on multiple occasions at different shows, and they’re always very kind and a pleasure to talk to. If you ever go to one of the sows where ZMF is present, make sure to check out their room or stand and say hello.

This article as said is all about the Atrium Closed but as many parts have already been covered in the Caldera review, you might find some corresponding sections. Let’s start!

ZMF Atrium Closed

The Atrium Closed is a closed-back full-sized headphone with a dynamic Bio-cellulose driver, and not a planar magnetic one. That also means the Atrium Closed has a high 300Ohm impedance, and as such it will run perfectly with OTL tube amps, but more on that later in this article.

[ ey-tree-uhm ] // latin: Roman architectural term referring to a central or hearth room, typically with domed or otherwise pitched ceiling, centrally open to the sky allowing for the control of air. Atrium Closed is our answer to finding that special personal listening room that is damped to perfection.

If you want to find out everything about the Atrium Closed, you can also watch this first release video:

There actually are a series of videos on the Atrium Closed, and you can find all of those here. If you prefer reading then you can stay here or head over to ZMF’s dedicated Atrium Closed web page.

When you check out the Atrium Closed shop page, you will see that there are a multitude of options. We find choices for: chassis material, headband, strap & earpad material, finish option, cable termination, case option and a cable upgrade. Note that the current stock wood for the Atrium Closed is cherry.  The Cherry is finished in either a natural with black rods or aged finish with coffee gold rods (for an added cost).

With Atrium Closed, we explored the versatility of an enclosed atrium through segmented airflow. By diffusing the airflow on each side of the driver, and by creating separate cavities around a diffuser within the cup, Atrium Closed imparts a natural, vast, yet isolating sound. With Atrium Closed featuring ADS Patent Pending tech – we’ve found that ultimate nirvana of closed back headphone sound, that is deep, wide, and punchy with euphonic control.  Once inside, you’ll never want to leave.

The version we received for review came with the gold rods, leather headband and thin perforated Caldera lambskin pads. The wood on our Atrium Closed is the limited edition Italian Olive and I absolutely love it. The yokes and headband are black and the Olive wood cups have a gorgeous finish, it’s such a beautiful headphone. The cable supplied was the 6.35mm single-ended one and the box was the waterproof hard case, which I absolutely love. Additionally ZMF added another set of pads to compare, and these are the suede Caldera ones.

ZMF Atrium Closed

The Atrium Closed isn’t a new headphone, we’re just quite late with reviewing it and wanted to get it out before we publish the Bokeh review. Anyway, if you’re already familiar with the Atrium Closed and its acoustical design, damping, etc. then you can move on to the part on sound.  If you’re not yet than you can keep reading here or check out all the details on ZMF’s website here. As you might see in the pictures, a lot is going on in the earcup and the damping to give the Atrium Closed its unique tuning.

The Atrium Closed has a fresh take on ADS damping and introduces the concept of gradual diffusion through multi-weighted materials and zoned sonic diffusion. ADS for closed headphones was developed in concert with the Atrium Open to address the joy of owning a closed headphone that isolates completely, provides satisfying sub-bass rumble, and has the musical linearity for any content in your collection. An acoustic damper is implemented utilizing a variable radius (flat or arched) and specific distance from the driver. The space created here allows for greater perceived depth through both diffusion and driver placement. The Atrium Closed damping system is equivalent to an artists favored brush or a writers proclivity for an analog typewriter. Zach Mehrbach utilizes ADS as a malleable tool to achieve the absolute pinnacle of sound from our proprietary drivers and headphone enclosures. The clarity, resolution, space and impact are byproducts of exhaustive measurements and listening tests to achieve an amazing headphone experience.

As you might have read in ZMF’s FAQ, they love playing with ear pads, and as such we will have a look at their effect on the Closed Atrium’s sound signature later in this article.

ZMF Atrium Closed

The Box, Accessories & Price

The ZMF Atrium Closed price starts at $2,499.99 USD and will then go up depending on the options chosen. What I appreciate from ZMF is that they don’t use the same pricing when selling in a different currency. They actually charge the amount based on the conversion rate, making the Atrium Closed available for me for €2.337,95 Euro.

The Atrium Closed lead time is about 5 to 10 weeks and when it arrives, you in the box you will find:

  • 1 Atrium Closed headphone
  • 1 ZMF Stock Cable
  • 2 sets of pads (Caldera thin lamb and Caldera suede)
  • ZMF Owner’s Card (Lifetime Driver Warranty)
  • 1 Cleaning cloth
  • 1 soft pouch

ZMF Atrium Closed

I have had the pleasure to review a lot of headphones and I have unboxed hundreds of headphones over the years but I have to say that the whole ZMF Caldera unboxing experience was a pure pleasure. I have never seen a company putting so much effort in the unboxing experience and it for me easily is the best one ever. You don’t just get the box with the gear inside, but you get well-designed, informational cards with characteristics of and instructions for your headphone. You as well get a a sort of manual for the 1st time use and maintenance. It’s super impressive

The stock cable sells for only $60 USD and it has low microphonics and it with its insulated copper wire sounds perfect. This cables has a Y-split approximately 15 inches from the headphone connection to the cups. It is a bit shorter in length but I do like its performance. Do not that it’s not the most flexible cable to use.

The review continues on the second page, click here or use the jumps below to go there.