Design, Build Quality
The EarMen Staccato is designed and made in Europe. The build quality, like all EarMen’s units, is top-notch. It’s impossible to find a construction flaw and all the buttons and connectors are of high quality.
EarMen has built a worldwide reputation for creating innovative digital audio components of the highest quality. Elegantly crafted, with meticulous attention to detail, EarMen Staccato combine classic design with state-of-the-art digital technologies to create new pathways into the future of high-performance sound.
Staccato is built with a solid aluminum chassis in an ultra-low jitter design. Staccato combines sublime musical performance with the exceptional durability. Every component has undergone thousands of hours of testing and tweaking.
The Staccato of course shares the same form factor with the other units of the stack. It measures (L x W x H) 150 x 150 x 30mm / 5.9” x 5.9” x 1.18” and weighs 1,18kg or 2.6 lbs. The Staccato is small and looks sharp but it’s fairly heavy compared to some other mini streamers in my collection. It perfectly integrates with the other units when used in a stack. You can choose where you want to put the Staccato in the stack, but I position it above the PSU-3 and below the Tradutto. I like it to be more at the bottom, so that the Antenna doesn’t stick out on top.
The EarMen Staccato’s lay-out is simple, and it makes the unit stylish and slick looking.
On the front of the Staccato you only find the power button (push for 2 seconds) on the left and the LED in the middle. The top of the unit has the Staccato name CNC’d out of the case. It looks great but it will only be visible when the Staccato is used as a stand-alone unit, or when you place on top of the EarMen stack.
The bottom of the unit has 4 robust and sticky rubber feet, which make sure the unit doesn’t move all over the place. The weight of the unit helps here. The back of the unit is where all the connectors are located, and we from left to right have:
- The USB (input) connector
- The Coaxial output
- The Toslink output
- The LAN connector
- The power connector
- The BT antenna
There’s just room enough to hook up all the cables without then touching each other. It’s easy and straightforward. Network connection over Wi-Fi, like with the iFi Audio ZEN Stream would have been a plus.
After connecting all the needed cables, all you need to do is download the EarMen app from the Play – or Apple store. No driver downloads are needed here, just make sure the streamer and your phone are connected to the same network or use BT. The app is simple yet very elaborate. Perhaps a more detailed manual would have been handy, for streamer & network newbies.
EarMen’s Staccato integrated hardware and management software provide the effort to play music in high resolution. Whether it’s streaming from Internet services or local music collections, EarMen components allow you to discover, share and connect like never before, expanding the horizons of your audio system to new levels of functionality and performance.
Personally, I didn’t have any issues with using the app or with connecting any of my streaming services. I have used Tidal, Spotify and Qobuz without any issues. The EarMen app isn’t the most colorful, but it does work fine. You can also connect to a web app from your pc, but I do find the app to be easier to use.
Another way to use the Staccato is to connect to it directly from the Tidal or Spotify app from your phone. This is very easy to do but for Qobuz this on my phone for some reason doesn’t work. From my laptop, I only managed to connect to the Staccato from Spotify. Neither Tidal or Qobuz could find the Staccato, but this could be related to my firewall and network settings (IT doesn’t work on other streamers either). Your phone with the EarMen app really is the way to go here.
It’s very easy to use the app to connect to your NAS where you store all your music. The UPnP function here works great and fast. This makes the EarMen a Staccato a versatile unit, but with some restrictions if you want to bypass the EarMen app by using your streaming app directly.
It’s also no issue for the Staccato to switch between apps. The Staccato (unlike the ZEN Stream) never hung up on me and the app never crashed. The Staccato is very responsive and processes the digital data fast, with almost no latency as a result. I especially like the Internet Radio feature when you can even select HD channels, so do check that out.
Note that the Staccato is not a ROON ready device. Don’t expect streaming from ROON to the Staccato directly. It also doesn’t do Airplay. These are features I absolutely adore when using the iFi Audio ZEN Stream, so I do hope this gets added soon with a firmware update. As you can see in the pictures the Staccato has no screen, so if you’re looking for the kind of user experience where you see the file name, album art and bitrate, you need to look at a higher end streamer.
In this section we’re giving you a view of the app and the connections. the article continues on the 3rd page. You can find that link under the images below or right here.
The article continues on the third page. Click here or use the jumps below.
Page 3: Sound, Conclusion, Summary