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EarMen, a subsidiary of Auris Audio, has offered a range of portable DACs to work with Apple and Android smartphones or MacOS and Windows laptops. These are three models, two of which (with the “bird” names Eagle and Sparrow) received the same aluminum cases, indistinguishable from ordinary flash drives. All three DACs are also equipped with headphone amplifiers.
The Sparrow is more advanced than the USB-A Eagle. It plays MQA and PCM files up to 32-bit / 384 kHz, as well as DSD128. The Sparrow has a USB-C connector, while the Eagle’s 3.5mm jack is complemented by a balanced 2.5mm jack. The signal can swing up to 4 Vrms.
The EarMen TR-Amp DAC headphone amplifier stands apart – its red aluminum case is made in the format of a familiar pocket portable. Two headphones are simultaneously connected to the TR-Amp, the connectors for them are different: 6.3 mm and 3.5 mm. USB-C is used for data transfer and charging, and the size of the device allowed the addition of a volume control and a DAC / preamp mode switch.
EarMen TR-Amp allows you to connect to high-definition streaming services Qobuz and Tidal. It handles signals up to 32-bit / 384 kHz (PCM), supports DSD256 via DoP, native DSD128 and MQA recognition. The dynamic range declared for the TR-Amp is 128dB. The novelty will work from built-in batteries for about 10 hours.
All EarMen DACs are already available for purchase: in the UK the Eagle will cost £ 110, the Sparrow £ 190 and the EarMen TR-Amp £ 230.