EarMen CH-Amp review: these head-fi separates are a mixed bag

EarMen was founded as an arm and sister company of the respected European manufacturer Auris Audio by its founder Milomir “Miki” Trosic with a specific goal: to improve portable listening. Unlike Auris Audio’s catalog, which doesn’t shy away from the super high-end (as the 24-karat gold Hawk tonearm and high-end, hand-crafted array of amplifiers demonstrate), EarMen’s lineup had to be filled with small , affordable batteries. powered and USB DAC/headphone amps designed to give phones, computers and other portable/desktop devices the sonic boost they so desperately need.

But in late 2021, when EarMen had a nice array of such units under its belt, Trosic couldn’t help it; he took the EarMen brand a step further by developing a stack of more serious headphone components for the desktop: the Tradutto DAC, Staccato streamer, and the two-box CH-Amp analog headphone amp we’re taking a closer look at here.


Headphone Amplifier: EarMen CH-Amp

(Image credit: EarMen)

This is a fully balanced headphone amplifier with a built-in preamp that comes with a separate (supplied) linear power supply unit, the PSU-3. The ‘fully balanced’ design means that incoming balanced signals are not only output intact (albeit amplified), but signals coming in via the single-ended RCA inputs are converted to balanced signals, supposedly with the positive and negative signals perfectly matched in phase. The external power supply, meanwhile, has been developed to provide clean power with “minimum noise” to its headphone amp partner, and also to the Tradutto and Staccato models when needed.

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