The EarMen Sparrow DAC/Amplifier was designed primarily for those looking to improve the sound of mobile devices with in-ear headphones – but it can be used with computers and full-size headphones. This is a compact device created by the founders of Auris Audio and equipped with an ES9281PRO DAC. The DAC is ready to handle PCM signals up to 384 kHz, DSD up to 128, and also supports MQA. The LED on the case shows what type of content the device is working with.
The developers paid considerable attention to the power supply, striving to reduce the noise level as much as possible, which is especially important when using sensitive in-ear headphones. To do this, tantalum capacitors were used in the power circuit, and the four-layer board was covered with gold. The developers are especially proud of the fact that most of their production is in Europe – only a part of the elements is produced in China.
The body of the device is made of aluminum, it turned out to be lightweight and compact. A cable with a USB-C connector is used to connect to the source, and there are two headphone outputs – balanced 2.5 mm and unbalanced 3.5 mm. The balanced output for 32 ohm headphones is 2 V, and the unbalanced output is 1.4 V.
The cost of the device is $200.