Brands that specialise in head-fi or personal audio are often creative in coming up with brand names that, let’s put it neutrally, sometimes leave us in wonder. What to think of Mr Speakers (now Dan Clark) as a headphone brand and Hifiman, Etymotic, Campfire or 64 Audio. What also characterises most brands in personal audio is that they are relatively young companies, collaborate with other brands and are looking for what makes their products unique. Let’s meet one such brand, American-European EarMen.
Chicago, IL-based EarMen starts about 10 years ago, specialising in tube amplifiers. After some time, EarMen partnered with Auris Audio, an audio brand from Serbia. Consequently, the websites refer to each other and some products are jointly developed. Proudly, EarMen mentions that the products are made in Europe.
Currently, EarMen offers only personal audio products: headphone amplifiers, DACs, portable and desktop. These include the Sparrow, Angel and Colibri portable DAC/headphone amps. Small boxes that connect to mobile phones via USB. The TR-amp (which we once raffled off during a livestream) is a portable headphone amp without a DAC. The ST-Amp is a desktop DAC, headphone and preamp. Our favourite model is undoubtedly the Donald DAC!
The range tested here consists of the CH-Amp headphone and preamplifier, the Tradutto DAC and the Staccato streamer. All of these can be connected to the PSU-3 power supply. They are sleek 15 x 15 cm cabinets and this also seems to be the design line of EarMen’s latest collection.