THIS website recently reviewed two products from EarMen, the cheekily named TR-Amp and Donald DAC desktop/personal audio components. Many of you probably hadn’t heard of the company before this, so we reached out to the manufacturer for more information on the brands.
EarMen is a sub-brand of Serbian high-end manufacturer Auris Audio, a company founded in 2013 by one Milomir Trosic, whose adventures in audio began in the 1990s when he was a DJ and had a vision of the “perfect amplifier and speakers he would like to have at home”. He also started his own company as a path towards achieving his vision.
Since it entered the hi-fi game, Auris has turned out several well-received products (a number of them incorporating tubes in the design), including the Fortissimo integrated amp, Forte 150 monoblocks, Euterpe multi-functional headphone amplifier, Headonia 2A3 “luxury” headamp, Nirvana two-chassis desktop headamp, and D2D and D1D DACs.
Then, last year, EarMen was set up to address a growing market for compact, personal audio components. We let the company and Trosic tell their story.
Give us some information about the company which is not available on the website – the background of the founder, what drove the founding of the company, where the manufacturing and designing are done, and your key markets.
Our story begins with one man’s passion for music.
Long time ago, when our founder was a DJ, he was imagining speakers and amplifiers that he would like to have in his home. In 1998, he started a company with a mission and vision to fulfil his dream. In the meantime, he started up a radio station to be as close as possible to his dream.
In 2013, he created the Auris brand and assembled a team of great people and audio engineers with great professional experience. Using best components and materials, without any compromises on quality, Auris Audio has only one thing in mind, the end-user satisfaction.
Our philosophy is that with skilful hands, create super design devices with natural materials which will bring you back to nature with a sound that leads you to the absolute bliss to find your soul.
As mentioned before, music was and remains the biggest love and passion of our creator, so he found a way to include it in its everyday life, leaving a legacy for his children. Creative ideas and extraordinary design, which have been collected for years, were transposed into luxury devices that draw attention with their appearance and sound.
Auris Audio and EarMen have in-house production in Serbia/Europe, and with team of audio engineers with great professional experience in designing audio equipment. In very close cooperation, this team approaches each project with the utmost care and devotion and gives the maximum dose of professionalism in order to offer the top-notch high-end products.
Trosic (photo above), additionally, chips in:
You obviously make mid/high-end products, covering both separates and desktop systems. How did the concept for EarMen, which is priced for the budget/entry market, come about? Why did you decided to go into this area of the audio market, which is very competitive?
The world of audio is changing by the day, with headphone jacks having all but vanished from smartphones, and device manufacturers choosing to prioritise wireless streaming rather than the quality of your listening experience, and for that reason, we came up with the idea to produce portable devices that will give you sound quality as large audio systems.
With decades of experience developing award winning high-end amplification and audio processing equipment for both home and desktop audio, we knew that the market needed something new, innovative and outstanding for those of us who prefer to listen to our music while on the go. With this in mind, last year, EarMen was born – on a quest to deliver the highest quality audio experience while granting you the freedom to enjoy your music without limitations.
EarMen is designed exclusively to enhance portable listening, and as such our products are small in their size – easily fitting within your pocket alongside your smartphone. Although small in size, EarMen products contain powerful audio components designed to give you and your equipment an audio experience without compromise… powerful amplification and world class audio processing, fully compatible with all major smartphones and computers.
What attracts customers to your headfi/desktop audio products?
Auris Audio as a well-positioned high-end brand, it provides its customers with one of the best possible sounds and whose design is acceptable to our wives who often wonder if they will put something in the living room, while customers of EarMen products are a little different and maybe younger, who use new technologies and want to enjoy great sound.
How much has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your business and how have you kept it going the past 3-4 months?
The global Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone in this world as well as us. Specifically, we were late with several projects due to the fact that we were under lockdown and because some components were delayed with delivery to us. Perhaps the most we miss in this crazy situation we are in is that almost all audio shows are cancelled, so we will not be able to adequately present our devices and hang out with friends, as we are used to.
Was there an uptick in online shopping of your products during this time?
Honestly, there was a small increase in sales, but most inquiries and delays were for the time when this situation with the Covid-19 virus will pass. What worries us is whether the market for high-end audio will survive after all, given that we know that a lot of brands are struggling at the moment.
Do you see any long-term implications in the way people listen to music after this?
It can be noticed that people are slowly returning to listening to music more than before, and that they want to hear a better quality sound full of details, resting in their corner rather than just listening to music on the go.
Is there a future for high-end separates? How do you attract younger customers into headfi to explore beyond personal audio equipment?
We at Auris Audio think that the future of high-end is brighter than it used to be, because more and more people are realising what it is like to enjoy listening to music. The younger generations have to go their own way to become audiophiles and fall in love with the high-end. It is a natural process that is inevitable for all of us. As the old saying goes, “everything in its time”.
What has been the response from the Asian market so far?
The Asian market is quite large and demanding. In a word, different from other markets. What we can notice, based on our new brand EarMen, is that it is quite timid towards new brands, and that it takes more time for a brand to position itself in the (Asian) market.
How do you feel the personal audio market will expand in, say, the next 10 years? What innovations do you foresee?
I can almost say with certainty that personal audio will change in 10 years, almost so much that it will be inconceivable to us from this point of view. There will be so many new inventions and technologies that it will be difficult for manufacturers to keep up with every market demand. There will be more and more wireless connections and streaming, so we should not be surprised if in-ear headphones, for example, are made with Wi-Fi, amplifier, streamer, player… and all that in them.
What more products can we expect from Auris/EarMen in the near future?
As for new products, Auris Audio and EarMen are following their planned road maps so that in the near future, Auris will have a new headphone amplifier, HA2-SF, which is the successor of the famous HA2-SE and one amplifier for headphones with 300B tubes.
EarMen will have a range of new devices such as Sparrow, Eagle, ToTh… and many more pleasant surprises. Stay tuned!
Readers can view the Auris Audio factory tour video here: