EarMen - Sparrow

Portable Balanced Digital To Analog Converter (DAC)

Sale price₹ 15,999 Regular priceMRP: ₹ 19,999
Discontinued
This product is permanently discontinued by the manufacturer and continues to live on in Headphone Zone's Museum.

Unfortunately, even if we desire to, we won't be able to resurrect this product. The Museum is where we pay our respects to end-of-life, old, archived, but not forgotten products. This page was made with a lot of love and will live on for posterity. What to say, we're sentimental people. 😔

While this product is gone forever, here are others we recommend

Customer Reviews

Based on 40 reviews
65%
(26)
25%
(10)
8%
(3)
0%
(0)
3%
(1)
A
Amit Patil (Mumbai)
Small as a sparrow - sharp as an eagle

This little device really surprised me. I already have Fiio BTR5 and Fiio FH5. I was happy with their quality. When I plugged my FH5 in, the first thing I noticed was the sharpness of the sound. ES9281PRO audio rendering is as close as it could get to the real sound. Some of the tracks I have heard dozens of times and when played on the EarMen, I could hear subtle nuances I never heard before. I played them alternatively between BTR5 and EarMen, but they were there for real. It's like a clear sunny day on EarMen and a cloudy day on BTR5.

EarMen also has a wider soundstage. Each instrument, vocals are clearly separated. The bass is just enough, not too high, not too low. It's not to please the bassheads for sure. The clean sound also has its disadvantage. Feed it with badly encoded or low-quality audio, and it will reveal it in its full glory.

Build quality of EarMen is good including the supplied cables. However few things I didn't like are:

There is no Type-C to Type-C cable. Meaning you won't be able to connect to Android phones out of the box. IMO the company should have provided C to C instead of Type-A to Type-C because nowadays every gadget comes with a Type-C port.

There are no physical controls on the device. Though it's not a wireless device, a volume and play-pause control could have been a nice addition at this price point.

Last but not least, there is no sleeve, case or cover

Overall it's a good device albeit at a higher price point than it actually deserves.

N
Narayan (Mumbai)
Its a masterpiece

One of the best DAC/AMPs I have used.
Its sound can be described as fast, dynamic and extended. Vocals are right amount of lush and intimate. Bass is proper, not overdone, fast, textured and deep.
Top end is well resolved and natural, this is one of its strengths, how clean and natural the upper registers are.

For the size and price it can make a phone a very capable audiophile device.
Caveat - some Android phones have clicks and pops that disappears after first couple minutes of playback.

N
Navin Adharsh (Chennai)
MQA support with a stellar balanced output

Sounds great with my hiby seeds (using the 2.5mm balanced output) listening to tidal mqa through audirvana on my MacBook Pro. A carry pouch would have been nice. And thank you headphone zone for the fast delivery even during these tough times.

S
Shuvankar bhowmik (Bengaluru)
Good DAC with good sound quality

A nice small DAC with modular design. Being AK fan i was skeptical about this DAC. For me the selling point is small modular design, 2.5 mm balance output along with 3.5 mm unbalanced output. I was about to by AK USB DAC but that is having 3.5 mm output along with usb C connection. but this one attached to lightning to USB C or USB C to USB 2.0. Also if anybody is having USB C to C then that also go fine with this DAC. only gripping point - sometime hiss or pop up sound coming when keep it near to mobile phone. It supports both MQA and FLAC. It is good for me as i am having TIDAL and Qobuz connection. Now waiting for Apple lossless. After that try it with my iPhone. Till then enjoying it with my laptop. Soundwise it is good. I am a die hard rock music listener.
Bass-The Sparrow is not neutral, it certainly has a bitty bump in the low regions
Mids-This DAC is very mid-centered and enjoyable. The midrange is bloomed, certainly offering a mid-centric bump and boost in those frequencies, no doubt. So, naturally forward and vocal-centric headphones sounding amazing with this Sparrow. You can really dig out that smoothness factor and draw borders around the vocalist and instrument, it is incredibly detailed in that sense.
Treble- Although it is ESS Sabre DAC, but it is tuned very nicely. The top side of this DAC is butter, pure buttery smooth. this is an exceptionally smooth sounding product overall. So, it might not be the right product for those who have treble happy headphones and want that impressive density factor and sparkle.
I would love if Earmen Sparrow come with small pouch to save the DAC from any scratches.

Hey Shuvankar, thanks for sharing this amazing and honest feedback!

V
Venkitachalam iyer (Mumbai)
Pocket sized dynamo for quality sound

In the segment of portable amp/dac the earmen sparrow is a powerful contender.

Pros
1. Clean, uncolored sound
2. The output from the 2.5 balanced hits every single competitor out of the park by a huge margin, yes thst includes the audiowuest dragonfly cobalt.
3. Nuetral and clinical sound, not the smoothest though.

Cons
1. Significant cellular signal noise spoil sport when connected to mobile phones. This could be a deal breaker.
2. Power hungry and can drain your phone bstteries very fast especially when using the 2.5 balanced out.

Overall decent value for money not the best.

So glad to know that you love them. We really appreciate your review, we hope it will help other potential customers to make an informed decision.


Designed & Made
in Serbia

2 Years of
Warranty

Best Suited for Portable Use

2.5mm Balanced
Output

ESS Sabre ES9281PRO
DAC Chip

Pair with Laptop via USB

A majority of people use a laptop as the primary source device to listen to music or watch movies. Since the laptop is an essential part of the audio chain there are headphones and devices designed to work a laptop or computer system flawlessly. With the availability of USB connectivity, it becomes easier to pair various devices like an Amp, DAC or even headphones without worrying about drivers or any additional piece of software.


Connect With
USB-C

Upto 2.0Vrms @ 32Ω
Power Output

Super Lightweight
Design

For me, there isn't a better-sounding portable dongle DAC than the Earmen Sparrow. The 2.5mm balanced output, sounds so good. Sound opens up, and the separation and details make a big difference to the music listening. It's easy to use with iOS or Android, and pairs perfectly with almost all IEMs and portable headphones.
RAGHAV SOMANI

About RAGHAV SOMANI

Raghav Somani is the Founder & CEO of Headphone Zone. An avid audiophile and musician since 2008, his choice of headphones include STAX Electrostats, Audeze LCD 3, and for music on the go, the JH Audio Roxanne + Astell&Kern SP1000 is never too far away. On his playlist, you'll find A.R. Rahman, Michael Jackson, and the Eagles.

THE ULTIMATE HIGH-PERFORMANCE PORTABLE DAC & AMP

The feature-rich Sparrow is the result of a collaboration between EarMen and Auris Audio. This DAC & Amp is meticulously engineered to process high-resolution audio and deliver detailed and clear audio making your music sound close to the original studio recording. The EarMen Sparrow has been put together almost entirely locally. While the chassis is designed close to the EarMen facility, the PCBs are made in the HCP.

Headphone-Zone-EarMen-Sparrow

FOR BEST-IN-CLASS AUDIO PERFORMANCE

The EarMen Sparrow features the flagship ESS Sabre ES9281PRO DAC Chip that delivers best-in-class audio output at 124 dB DNR and -112 Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise (THD+N). It comes with Super Low ESR tantalum capacitors and 4-layered gold-plated PCB technology that reduces the noise to nothing while preserving the sound quality. This will help you experience even the minutest detail of your music particularly with hi-res audio files.

Headphone-Zone-EarMen-Sparrow
Headphone-Zone-EarMen-Sparrow

SUPPORTS TIDAL MASTERS (MQA) & QOBUZ HIGH-RES PLAYBACK

The Sparrow is embedded with an MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) renderer, allowing optimum MQA playback. It also supports encoding, which folds additional data into the signal which can be recovered later. You can access Tidal Masters (MQA) through a smartphone. It even supports Qobuz’s high-res playback on smartphones, Windows, and Mac OS. Qobuz allows users to stream and download songs in one of the most popular formats for mastering and archiving — FLAC.
TR-Amp

Headphone-Zone-EarMen-Sparrow
Headphone-Zone-EarMen-Sparrow

TURN YOUR SMARTPHONE INTO A PRO AUDIO DEVICE

If you use your smartphone as the source device for music, the EarMen Sparrow is ideal for you. It sports a lightweight design with a durable CNC milling aluminium enclosure, preventing interferences into the audio signal. The curved smooth edges make it seem as though they are a part of the cable without getting entangled. You don't have to install the driver manually because it comes with an in-built adaptive driver. The connection can be utilized directly and it conveniently transforms smartphones into professional audio equipment.

Headphone-Zone-EarMen-Sparrow
Headphone-Zone-EarMen-Sparrow
2 Year Warranty

Don't sweat it, this EarMen - Sparrow comes with a 2 Year warranty from EarMen that covers manufacturing defects. All products featured on Headphone Zone are backed by an original manufacturer's warranty.

Read more about EarMen's warranty in India.

IGN Awards

BEST DAC/Amp Portable

Headfonia
Dec, 2020

Headfonics

"The Sparrow is an affordable and tiny device which you can carry around with you at all times. Just hook it up to your phone or laptop and be amazed how good it sounds."

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Major HiFi

"This is a most impressive portable hi-fi product – and those looking for a competent USB dongle DAC/ headphone amp should pay it serious attention."

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