ZMF BOKEH - Closed Back (Semi-Portable)
Nov 10, 2023 at 5:46 PM Post #121 of 1,618
Really excited to have a chance to hear the Bokeh this coming weekend at a local Head-Fi meet.

Planning to put them through their paces with the M9 and DX300 DAPs (as well as desktop sources). I'd love a lighter, easy to drive closed back option for the office and around the house. Do plan to compare them directly to AC as well.
Did you get to listen, thoughts?
 
Nov 11, 2023 at 11:53 AM Post #122 of 1,618
Did you get to listen, thoughts?
I did. But not for as long as I had planned to nor off my DAPs. Also, Atrium Closed (plus more stuff) had other plans 😅.

Bokeh on the right. Laptop -> Modius -> Asgard 2. Some sort of perforated hybrid pads on them.

IMG_4182.jpeg

These were my off the cuff notes:

Comfortable. Definitely lighter than VC and AC. Balanced tonality with a slightly warm tilt across the FR, euphonic. Punchy, quick bass. Nice mid bass kick with drums. Detail retrieval / techs and general sense of space not at the level of AC or VC, but not massively far off either. “Easy listening” and "enjoyable" keeps coming to mind. Timbre sounds natural with acoustic and electric guitars. Cups on this unit (and build in general) seems a little unfinished and rough around the edges. Will likely be very competitive at price point. Seems easy to drive. Tons of headroom left on Asgard 2.

Sorry this isn’t very detailed and likely not overly helpful. I had maybe 15 minutes of total listening time with Bokeh on someone else’s chain and music.

Atrium Closed stole the day for me at this meet of the ZMFs I listened to (AO, AC, VC and Bokeh) so my focus was diverted away from Bokeh a bit.
 
Nov 12, 2023 at 11:05 PM Post #123 of 1,618
Happy to report that the ZMF Bokeh (stock hybrid perforated pads) synergies pretty well to my preferences with my Schiit Yggdrasil+ MIB and ampsandsound Forge combo. It still finds itself very comfortable in the tube land.

Also sounds great with upcoming DNA amp (DNA Supernaut) with tons of refinement, air and wetness :)

If I'm gonna compare the two amps, they're polar opposites and complement each other from Bokeh's standpoint

DNA Supernaut is overall the higher tier especially in how delicate notes are portrayed in such a finesse manner. The notes from Bokeh linger more and actually reaches or even beats Atrium with default pads on a Schiit Mjolnir 3 amp. Ampsandsound Forge makes the Bokeh lean towards the Verite where notes are punchy, crunchy with energetic sensation. The Supernaunt takes a seat back or two and let you enjoy the musical notes longer and thus benefits incredibly well with soft jazz and classical while the Forge will enhance the Bokeh with pop, EDM, Metal and rock tracks. You do miss some microdetails with the Forge but you trade off sheer macrodynamics with the Supernaut when paired with Bokeh
 
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Nov 13, 2023 at 12:57 AM Post #124 of 1,618
Happy to report that the ZMF Bokeh (stock hybrid perforated pads) synergies pretty well to my preferences with my Schiit Yggdrasil+ MIB and ampsandsound Forge combo. It still finds itself very comfortable in the tube land.

Also sounds great with upcoming DNA amp (DNA Supernaut) with tons of refinement, air and wetness :)

If I'm gonna compare the two amps, they're polar opposites and complement each other from Bokeh's standpoint

DNA Supernaut is overall the higher tier especially in how delicate notes are portrayed in such a finesse manner. The notes from Bokeh linger more and actually reaches or even beats Atrium with default pads on a Schiit Mjolnir 3 amp. Ampsandsound Forge makes the Bokeh lean towards the Verite where notes are punchy, crunchy with energetic sensation. The Supernaunt takes a seat back or two and let you enjoy the musical notes longer and thus benefits incredibly well with soft jazz and classical while the Forge will enhance the Bokeh with pop, EDM, Metal and rock tracks. You do miss some microdetails with the Forge but you trade off sheer macrodynamics with the Supernaut when paired with Bokeh
I was able to listen to it on different amps myself. Looking forward to the finished product. Wish I had time to listen to them on the amps below though before we finished the meet.


XY1W3cx.jpg
 
Nov 13, 2023 at 1:37 AM Post #125 of 1,618
I was able to listen to it on different amps myself. Looking forward to the finished product. Wish I had time to listen to them on the amps below though before we finished the meet.


XY1W3cx.jpg
That photo with the EC 445’s and EC custom ultralinear parallel 6l6 circuit:

Bokeh is probably the only headphone out there that negates the sound difference better those two amps

Wish you heard it there. I think it’ll remind you of the synergy with your Auteur Classics with the Black Widow
 
Nov 13, 2023 at 2:27 AM Post #127 of 1,618
Bokeh was excellent with Bakoon HPA-21 in current mode, too! Honestly trading blows with the Atrium closed (in meet conditions, so take it for what it's worth) and a tonality that I found more even and agreeable on most setups (AC is quite V-shaped and can be too much on some setups).

Really looking forward to its release!
 
Nov 13, 2023 at 8:44 AM Post #128 of 1,618
Could you elaborate more on what you mean here, please?

The default pads on AO are too V-shaped for me on some amps while the Bokeh on the combo I mentioned are relatively neutral in the frequency range. The Bokeh on those combo let me hear details a lot easier than the AO with default pads. Now switching the AO pads with the Caldera pads made the AO more neutral with better presence of resolution and is to me better than the Bokeh. Take them with a grain of salt as they’re all from meet conditions
 
Nov 13, 2023 at 12:56 PM Post #132 of 1,618
When I think of bokeh I picture bloom, creamy and lush. Are we seeing those characteristics in the Bokeh?

Yep! They are exactly like that in most amps
 
Nov 13, 2023 at 1:00 PM Post #133 of 1,618
When I think of bokeh I picture bloom, creamy and lush. Are we seeing those characteristics in the Bokeh?
Our inspiration for the name was actually letting your environment, struggles, the world blur as the music becomes your focus! So the association to the photographic principle aligns less with the sound and more with the experience of headphones transporting you from reality.
 
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Nov 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM Post #134 of 1,618
I felt quite a bit better than AC, but not to Focal Stellia level (from memory). Didn’t test for sound leaking out, though.

That's good to hear! I don't expect most closed-backs to rival Focals; their isolation is really unparalleled. But the Atticus has kinda "meh" isolation, so it's good to hear this is better than other closed ZMFs.
 

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