The Ear Gear Expo, Part 3: ZMF | AXPONA 2023

the ear gear expo

Brian already talked a bit about the new ZMF headphones debuting here at AXPONA (and available later this month), the closed-back Atrium. I’ll offer that the detail coming out of these headphones was easily on par with any headphone I’ve ever heard, while also being easy-to-listen-to and easy-to-wear. Consider this one of the biggest surprises (for me) at AXPONA’s The Ear Gear Expo this year.

Words and Photos by Scot Hull

Cursed photos aside, I’ll offer that this booth at the Ear Gear Expo was about as far from the others here at the show as you could get. If you don’t know the ZMF brand, that’s a shame, because not only do these headphones sound great, they look great — better, they look and sound like they’re expensive. Best — no two headphones really look alike. And that is entirely on purpose.


I get the feeling that Zachary Mehrbach is having way too much fun. His table at the Ear Gear Expo is overflowing with unobtanium, one-off, kit-made, or limited run bits and bobs from all manner of sources. There was a Bottlehead Crack with Mickey Mouse ear sized caps tightly strapped to the top — and no, you cannot buy it. You might be able to get the Decware headphone amps, or perhaps this or that other thing, but then again, who cares. None of that was the point.


The point was the headphones. And did you want those with granite ear cups and titanium inlays? I’m kidding about those options — though, now that I’ve said that, I suspect that at some point, the combo will appear on his Rack of Fame, where just about any imaginable combo that Zach and Crew have come up with, are there for your enjoyment. Seriously. Bespoke? Oh my yes. If you’re serious, and curious, I cannot recommend enough just giving Zach a call, or perhaps finding a time to catch him at a show or at the shop. Believe me when I tell you that I’ll be experiencing some of this creativity very soon.

In the meantime, the flagship Caldera and the new closed-back Atrium would be very welcome here at chez moi, anytime.

the ear gear


the ear gear expo

If you would like to hear even more coverage from AXPONA 2023, you can listen our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunesAndroidGoogle, Deezer, SpotifyiHeartRadio and more.

Also don’t forget to check out our collaboration to commemorate the event with our solid bronze record weight available only for a limited run. This 800 grams of solid bronze features the PTA roundel on the top with also acts as a 45 adapter. You can purchase direct from the PTA Approved Store here on the site.

About Scot Hull 1057 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.

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