Earmen - Portable Gear

So it seems the folks over at Auris have been developing a portable line of products under the Earmen brand!

I’m certianly a fan of the Auris line up so it’s awesome to see them reaching out into another market. Big thanks to them for sending a TR-Amp my way for Review!

Overall the unit offers a;

  • Energetic Presentation
  • Lean Tonality
  • Clean Powerful Low End

My only real gripe in terms of it’s sound is a touch of brightness or harshness in the top end and upper mids. Darker full headphones like Audeze LCD 2C and DCA Aeon Flow RT are lovely! But my HD 600 was not enjoyable with TR-Amp. My little E-MU Purpleheart with CAL Pads how ever was a nice match.

I find it’s Staging width, depth, and overall detail, to be average for portable products at this price point. What I feel differentiates it is the Dual USB C Input and RCA Outs, as some one who started with portable products Ialways enjoy seeing full sized RCA on a portable. As I feel these allow owners to integrate their TR-Amp into a more robust desktop system when theyr’e ready. TR-Amps weight and heft are also compliments to this idea of future robust amp pairings and I think it performed simmilary to my Auris Euterpe’s own DAC Section.

All in all I do feel if your looking for a brighter energetic portable to pair with rich darker headphones, Earmens TR-Amp is an excellent choice!


Is it just me, or is this simply a characteristic of ESS Sabre DACs? Seems to happen consistently with portable DAC/Amps which use ESS Sabre DACs in my experience. Shame really, it’s for this reason why I’m not so eager to use my BTR5 all that much anymore. The Qudelix 5K also seems to suffer from this.

Excellent review though, thanks for sharing!

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Nah, I’ve still got a working Geek Out v2+ with digital filters that doesn’t suffer from any of the typical Sabre “glare”

I don’t always like to but I’ll link my full review here in case your curious, about my thoughts of TR vs both xDSD and Geek Out v2+

I’ll also add I like iFi iNano DSD too at around $200, my gripe is it’s a little under powered at times and doesn’t handle my big planars like this does. Tho I heard iDSD Nano years ago sooo ymmv

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Yeah I kinda figured it would depend on the implementation more than the IC itself. I’ll check out the full review as well!

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Well the IC itself is known for and likely prone to that Glare, and very rarely do you see some one actually tackle it and tame it! Now when some one does pull the glare out of an eSabre IC the results are pretty spectacular!

My own HM901 has a filter in it that really elevates it’s eSabre implementation as well, and apparently the new Matrix M TOTL also does eSabre right

Still I think it’s smart of Earmen to use a notoriously bright IC with the sudden rise in people buying the thicker HD 6XX, LCD 2C and what not. Again day to day use with my Ether CX is really nice, yes It’s 100% streaming so the quality isn’t be all end all but I don’t mind that hint of added energy

I will say this tho, I didn’t spend much time listening to Tidal with it… some of the Tidal Masters are already SO BRIGHT in their own right <.<

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Yeah that does make a lot of sense. That glare wouldn’t be all that objectionable on darker cans indeed.

Although owning both a FiiO BTR5 and FH7, you’d kinda expect there to be good synergy. But the glare on the BTR5 is exactly what the FH7 doesn’t need. Trying to EQ it down results in loss of detail, so my M11 Pro has just about fully replaced the BTR5 by now for me.

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I published my full review of the TR-Amp here, I also created the dedicated thread for the model itself -