EarMen TR-Amp Review

Design & Build Quality




The EarMen TR-Amp is available in two colours, though I always seem to spot the red one and not the grey version. The red one looks more flashy, but the grey one is more stealth and more easily disappears on your desk. The TR-Amp comes from the factory with 4 rubber feet glued to the bottom, so the amp will stay in place on your desk and it won’t damage your furniture.

The TR-Amp is built in Europe and as such the build quality is excellent. The enclosure on the front and back connects seamless to the front and back plate, the screws are tight, the metal soft. All the connectors feel sturdy and the analogue volume pot is smooth with plenty of headroom. On very sensitive gear, there is very light channel imbalance but it immediately disappears when reaching a normal listening volume.

The design is simple but it at the same time is easy to work with. All connectors and switches can easily be reached and controlled. The EarMen logo on the top of the unit is stylish and cool.

Layout, Accessories

All the connectors and in and outputs can be found on the front and the back. On the front you from left to right have the 6.35mm headphone out, the 3.5mm headphone out and the volume control/power button.

On the back of the unit, you find both of the USB-C ports (for data and power), the direct or pre out switch and the RCA outputs. It’s simple but it has everything it needs.

Accessory-wise the TR-Amp comes delivered with a soft pouch to transport your unit and, as well as a nice USB-A to USB-C cable (1 unit). You don’t get any other fancy connector cables for your phone or DAP.

Sound General

Let me start of by saying I really like ESS Sabre DACs. That being said, this for me is the first solid state amplifier by the hand of Auris’ founder Miki Trosic that I listen to. We all know he absolutely nails the tuning when it comes to tubes, but it seems he also knows his way around solid state implementations.

The tuning of the TR-Amp is neutral and transparent, meaning the amplifier will not change the sound signature or boost any frequencies at all. The TR-Amp is linear and balanced. It retrieves all the hidden details in your music and manages to present it to you in a very musical way. The TR-Amp never becomes analytical or boring, it’s the perfect marriage of precision an musicality.

The TR-Amp is precise, fast and clean. The sound stage width is impressive as well as the layering, and the depth. This from top to bottom is absolutely impressive. Next to that the TR-Amp also has excellent separation, spaciousness and air. The timbre is just yummy. The Tr-Amp because of all that sounds natural and effortless. It’s the kind of sound you can listen to for hours.

Sound Classics

The EarMen TR-Amp’s bass is impressive. Bass has a good amount of body, but never forgets its neutrality. It comes in with a good punch and impact and it is fairly fast. The good part is bass can reach down really low and you get excellent detail retrieval and superb layering. The down side it that the bass isn’t always the most tight, but you’re already getting extremely good bass at this price level.

The mids connect perfectly to the mids and they are natural, spacious and musical. The amount of air and the mid width are excellent but it’s again the detail retrieval, depth and layering which are outstanding. Vocals sound natural with a hint of smoothness and they are in perfect harmony with everything else.

Treble is clean and clear and it extends nicely with a good amount of air. While the treble section is dynamic and precise,  I am missing a tiny bit of energy and liveliness. Most people however prefer a softer, musical treble presentation so I am sure the vast majority will appreciate this typical tuning.

All-in-all I am really impressed with the sound of the TR-AMP and apart from the treble energy it for me personally doesn’t have any shortcomings.


I have already stated that the TR-Amp is transparent and that it sounds clean and clear. It will make your headphone sound the way it was built to sound, but it at the same time might have a small positive impact on some headphones because of the high level of clarity. A specific example here is the Meze Empyrean which on some amps can sound dark and very warm. Here that is a little less apparent, though the TR-Amp won’t change the headphones characteristics either.

The TR-Amp puts out 400mW @ 16Ohms, so it isn’t the most powerful amp on the market. If you own one of the most difficult to drive headphones on the planet, don’t expect the TR-Amp to make your headphones shine as they do with a full sized, powerful desktop amp.

With the TR-Amp, the Hifiman HE-1000SE, Sennheiser HD660S and Audeze LCD-1 are three of my favorite headphones. The Hifiman HE-1000SE sounds fast, clean and natural. The sound stage is both wide and deep. Like the TR-Amp is hat just the perfect amount of bass and the overall presentation is detailed yet musical. The sound stage width, depth and layering in this combo are exemplary. Especially the bass/mids depth and layering are impressive, as well as the spaciousness of the mids.

The Audeze LCD-1 was recently put on our recommended buy list and the little gem sounds excellent with the TR-Amp. Full bass, bodied mids and a very musical and energetic presentation. The LCD-1 doesn’t really need an amplifier though it improves with one. The TR-Amp gives it all it needs to shine, resulting in an engaging sound. If you listen to popular music, R&B and dance music, this setup will please you a lot.

EarMen TR-Amp

EarMen TR-Amp

The Sennheiser HD660s is a headphone I should listen more to but the amp synergy isn’t always the easiest. With the TR-Amp the HD660s sounds very dynamic, fast and precise. The sound stage and stereo image is excellent and the treble section lively. Bass is reasonably tight and fast, but its body is lighter. I really like the synergy between this headphone and the TR-Amp, the clarity and timbre is to die for.

The Sendy Audio Aiva is a darker and warmer sounding headphone but the TR-Amp elevates its performance with much better clarity, good energy and a very clean sound. The sound overall and especially the bass is a bit slower, but the musicality and softness is high. It’s very easy to listen to, but for my music I prefer something more clear and fast. These are great for watching movies though.

The TR-Amp and Meze Empyrean combo is one of the favorite setups of the Auris Audio and EarMen owner himself. I have to admit that the synergy between these is very nice and you get a fast and clear sounding Empyrean, with a wide and deep sound stage, good body and a very musicality presentation. I do prefer the HE-1000SE over the Empyrean myself as it is technically stronger and has better layering. The Empyrean on the other hand sounds fuller and will please younger ears more.

With earphones the TR-Amp has no driving issues at all, the only thing to watch out with here is what I said earlier: some sensitive gear might experience a slight channel imbalance at very low volumes.

On the last page of the review you’ll find the comparisons and conclusion. Click HERE.

4.3/5 - (59 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.


  • Reply March 31, 2020

    Kevin Lee

    I got the Earmen TR-amp for a month. Which the most impressive part are the DAC. I feed the ALO CDM as amp and hook the Meze Empyrean. It ‘s incredible.

  • Reply April 1, 2020


    Nice to see they did a good job regarding grounding and isolation of ESS DAC and TI Amp (which actually isn’t hard to do right but mostly it’s not attended properly) but they still didn’t done pricing right as Topping NX4 DSD is much cheaper and better build. In the end if you liked Ei Niš tubes buy some.

  • Reply May 12, 2020


    I have ordered f a tr-amp from their website.

    DHL ask me 43eur of tax to ship it to France !!

    • Reply May 12, 2020


      Why not buy it from one of the resellers?

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