EarMen Angel Assessment — Headfonics

Deal Score0
Deal Score0

Right this moment, we assessment the EarMen Angel which is a brand new moveable balanced headphone amplifier with an built-in MQA-capable ES9038Q2M DAC. It’s priced at $799.

Disclaimer: It is a pattern despatched to us in change for our trustworthy opinion. Headfonics is an impartial web site with no affiliate hyperlinks or standing. We thank EarMen for his or her help. 

To study extra about EarMen merchandise beforehand featured on Headfonics you may click here.

Observe, this text follows our newest scoring pointers which you’ll be able to learn up on here.

Earmen Angel

The EarMen Angel conceals in its cool kind issue an excitingly clear sound similar to full-size desktop counterparts that evokes listening on the go along with confidence.

Slide right here so as to add your rating on the gear!17 Votes



Dynamic and succesful amplifier

Simple to make use of interface

Trendy I/O


Treble timbre impacts picture accuracy

Heavy and ponderous to hold day-after-day

EarMen lately beefed up their repertoire with the announcement of the Angel, CH-Amp, and Staccato. And we’re starting with their $799 moveable DAC/Amp right this moment to see whether it is as much as par.

Enchantingly named ‘Angel’, it shares the winged naming ingredient with the extra moveable section of EarMen’s lineup. But when we’re to look intently at their different DAC/Amp known as the TR-Amp, the similarity right here in options is extra distinguished.

Wanting across the market, what’s attention-grabbing is the restricted variety of choices competing towards the Angel that’s priced in the identical class. This locations a pretty problem for EarMen to compete towards the likes of CEntrance and Chord Electronics.

EarMen Angel Review

Tech Highlights

The DAC chip EarMen determined to make use of for the Angel is the ES9038Q2M, a balanced succesful converter from ESS designed for moveable gadgets.

It might not be groundbreaking since this chip has been broadly used within the business for fairly a while now however it’s the identical one put in within the Tradutto so it’d show its price.

With the newest XMOS USB receiver inside, the Angel will have the ability to cowl most fashionable media at as much as 32bit/768kHz PCM, native DSD512, and even MQA.

The totally balanced circuitry of the Angel boasts a 120dB dynamic vary with a eager give attention to preserving the sign intact. There may be additionally a linear energy provide hiding inside the Angel getting a very good deal with in preserving noise low.

What’s offering energy to the Angel when on the go are two 3000mAh lithium polymer batteries. With a cost time of three hours and a separate port for charging, there isn’t any excuse for the Angel to be out of power once you want it.

EarMen Angel Review


Seeing the TR-Amp, which is one other moveable DAC/Amp from EarMen, I couldn’t assist however see the similarities between the 2. The best method to describe the Angel to those that have owned or seen the TR-Amp is to elongate its chassis and transfer some bits and items round to make the gadget match right this moment’s requirements.

Putting off the 6.35mm and RCA sockets of the TR-Amp, the Angel is making use of a extra compact set of three.5mm and 4.4mm jacks to spotlight the amplifier’s balanced design.

The Angel additionally moved the preamp change to the entrance and grew in options including a brand new Acquire+ button and the power to interface by a S/PDIF connection.

4 seen screws are holding the three-piece meeting of the Angel collectively. It is among the extra distinguished options utilized by EarMen so as to add a layer of depth to the in any other case easy case of the gadget.

The Angel is a strong gadget to hold round. Not simply with construct and weight, the place the 340g chassis gained’t disappoint in providing a premium impression, however in ergonomics as nicely.

Though the steel end is kind of clean, the Angel gained’t be awkward to carry on to from its softly curved high and sunken sides.

One last factor price noting is the amount wheel since there is perhaps a distinction in what finish customers will get. Their official web site exhibits EarMen is advertising and marketing the Angel with a black analog quantity indicator, however the assessment unit now we have right here has a silver digital controller.

EarMen Angel Review


Wanting very modern, the Angel retains a tidy profile due to its flush-mounted sockets. EarMen fastidiously thought-about a pleasant assortment of succesful ports in each the entrance and rear sections of the unit with out sacrificing usability.

To begin with the quick however candy checklist of inputs, the Angel will settle for information from any digital downstream supply utilizing its USB-C and S/PDIF inputs. And seeing that the S/PDIF {hardware} on the Angel will neither settle for a standard coaxial nor TOSLINK cable, EarMen determined to incorporate adaptors for every.

A separate USB-C is there to the left of the information interface assigned for steady charging. EarMen recommends the usage of a DC 5V quick charging adaptor rated to 2A to realize the 3-hour charging time of the batteries.

With no 6.35mm or full-size XLR in sight, the Angel as an alternative has a pair of three.5mm and 4.4mm jacks on each ends to cater to completely different wants.

Upfront, private listening will probably be granted with as much as 8.5Vrms of output degree and THD+N of 0.002% on Acquire+ mode. The identical 8.5Vrms most is mirrored on the rear ports however flicking the toggle to direct lineout the three.5mm and 4.4mm will probably be regulated right down to 1.5Vrms and 3Vrms.


As simple because the Angel could appear, studying the guide will nonetheless show to be helpful in understanding its controls and unpacking all of its options.

As soon as powered on, the LED indicator will shortly glow white after which change to the designated colour of the enter at present getting used. The indicator can even shift colour to point quantity vary, battery degree, and sampling frequency.

Earlier than I can proceed tinkering with the Angel, it appears the unit wasn’t totally charged from the manufacturing unit for the reason that LED indicator began flashing purple on me. Good factor there’s a separate port for charging for steady playback.

Plugging into the 4.4mm headphone socket triggered a relay to audibly point out it activated that output. However after I tried utilizing the rear lineout it took priority over the entrance outputs and wouldn’t permit headphone listening within the interim.

Including a layer of flexibility to its outputs, the Angel has two last methods up its sleeve which whereas already anticipated at this value level continues to be appreciated. The toggle change to decide on between pre-out and direct, and the Acquire+ button makes pairing the Angel to gears additional simpler.

EarMen Angel Review

Packaging & Equipment

Nothing too fancy, the field the Angel got here in is a pleasant impartial black with the EarMen brand and the render of the unit in white for reference of what’s ready inside. For me, the simplicity of the outer packaging is a nod to creating the product converse for itself.

True sufficient, the unboxing is a fast affair. After taking out the booklet-style person guide match precisely into the opening of the field, solely the gadget is left plus a brief checklist of equipment.

Earmen doesn’t wish to waste time and assets with its presentation. After being shortly impressed by the mien of the Angel with its blue colorway, taking out the USB-C cable and the S/PDIF adaptors hidden beneath is an unsophisticated methodology of pulling up a folded cardboard concealment.

Take word that with just one USB-C cable supplied, to cost the Angel whereas related to information means you’d have to purchase an additional set or use one which’s probably already mendacity round.

Sound Impressions


It could be described on paper as a conveyable DAC/Amp however energy the Angel on and also you’ll get entry to desktop-quality sound. The definition and energy of every word make me generally overlook that I’m listening to a battery-powered supply.

Even towards the higher-end Burson Conductor 3 Reference, the Angel isn’t that far behind. The C3R will nonetheless dissect a scene far more vividly however the Angel has the identical rawness in top-end extension translating a nasty recording with out holding something again.

The midrange to my ears may be very well-behaved with an inclination to go barely upward of neutrality. However whereas it does inch in the direction of a ahead presence it’s nonetheless safely tuned to not trigger fatigue except paired poorly.

Anticipating good linearity with the low finish, the Angel stunned me that it has the propensity for an impactful presence. On this case, I’m utilizing the phrase impactful to spotlight the size and extension of the Angel because it springs to life dynamic beats.

EarMen Angel Review


Impressively clear, the Angel follows intently the sound of the gear plugged in. You’ll see what I imply later within the synergy part on web page 2 of this assessment.

Lean with a robust sense of chew, the definition of a bass guitar string being plucked is loaded with microdetail. Cleaner elements comparable to this gained’t stray removed from being trustworthy sounding to the advantage of accuracy and tightness separating the instrument with readability.

However as soon as a extra energetic thump comes up, the room will probably be stuffed with a vibrant punch adopted by a gentle give attention to sub-bass growing presence. This permits the bass to ask for its well-deserved consideration when pairing the Angel with brighter gear.

Guitars on the Angel are energetic however convincingly metallic. It additionally introduced piano items to life with out sounding hurried or skinny because the dispersed notes landed with a pure high quality.

Singers with a delicate tone of their voice stay tough but shy of sounding grainy. Then again, a soprano will instantly present indicators of elevated vitality and assault because it takes heart stage forming a lush and etched scene.

Barely oriented in the direction of a thinner timbre when recreating a reside recording and electrical guitars, the Angel may use a bit extra heft to make a practical crowd. It doesn’t have an effect on violins as a lot and it even excels in correctly positioning away the instrument in a well-defined space as an alternative of floating round.

Staging & Dynamics

Not a light-weight in inserting far objects with precision, count on to be impressed with how outlined and huge the Angel can open up a scene. With a good distribution of objects, devices are projected naturally eradicating any wall limiting the stage.

The low finish although when a robust and deep thump comes will differ barely for the reason that dimension and area it captures are greater than the remaining. Perceive that this trait isn’t straining the stability of the music as it is just gently solidifying the half the place the beat got here from.

What made me overlook the minor quirk I discussed about recreating a reside viewers is how nicely it dealt with the identical scene by way of layering and placement plus the gradual tinkling of the reverb right into a black background.

Tackling dynamic sounds proved to be a chunk of cake even with a busy electrical rock music or horn ensemble. And with a revealing set of cans, the Angel saved up with what I’m anticipating to listen to with out getting compressed in essential elements of the songs the place cheaper sources generally dissatisfy.

Click on page 2 below for pairings and our select comparisons

Sharing is caring!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general