Gear, Reviews

REVIEW: EarMen Eagle makes audiophile mobile audio more accessible

REVIEW: EarMen Eagle makes audiophile mobile audio more accessible

In the box

The Eagle comes in a similar-sized box to Sparrow, which is to say a very neat black cover with an image of the Eagle on the front, specs and details on the back, and security seals to certify this as a genuine product. Inside you’ll find the tiny Eagle sandwiched between two foam sheets, alongside a single USB-A female to USB-C male cable (more on this later).

On closer inspection the Eagle is made from the same materials as the Sparrow, giving it a shiny, premium feel despite the miniscule size. One side houses a single 3.5mm headphone connector (compared to the Sparrow’s 3.5mm single ended and 2.5mm balanced outputs). Also, unlike the Sparrow, EarMen have for some reason opted to do away with the USB-C connector on the Eagle itself, replacing it with a fixed USB-A male connector. 

This is a strange design choice, considering how the whole world and its dog is moving towards USB-C as the de-facto interface standard, and, given this is primarily a mobile device, would need a fairly bulky adapter cable to connect to mobile devices. Thankfully EarMen include a high-end USB-A to C cable in the box, but as expected it’s far larger than the USB-C to C cable that comes with the Sparrow. Sorry iPhone users, you’ll have to source your own cable or use an Apple OTG adapter. 

The USB-A connector does make the Eagle more convenient for connecting to a PC’s front USB ports, but how many people will actually use the Eagle this way is questionable. 

Connector foibles aside, the Eagle is still small enough to carry anywhere, and it would have been nice for EarMen to include a carry case for this purpose. I made the same point in the Sparrow review – if $20 earphones can ship with a carry case, so can $100+ dongles. But I digress, this is a high-quality dongle that works first time with any device I plug it into, so it really comes down to how it sounds.

Click on for sound impressions…