Rose's budget offering. It has a warm sound signature and single dynamic driver.

Rose Aurora

Rating:
4.16667/5,
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  • Rose's budget offering. It has a warm sound signature and single dynamic driver.

Recent Reviews

  1. B9Scrambler
    Rose Aurora: Cannon, Bass, Delicious
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Dec 12, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Lush, textured bass - Nice accessories - Smooth sound
    Cons - Generic design and housing - Ergonomics (for me that is)
    Greetings!

    Today we're checking out the Aurora from Rose, an earphone which I have been using regularly since it was sent over sometime during the summer months.

    The Aurora, unlike many of Rose's other products, is a humble single dynamic-driver based in-ear. The 9.8mm found inside this unassuming earphone is coated in titanium and falls into what I would consider basshead territory with an abundant low end. This sound signature and the fairly generic shell remind me strongly of an earphone I experienced last year that I thought was good, but overpriced for what it did. Where the Aurora's sonic performance is a modest step up, it's the rest of the experience that makes the 69.00 USD asking price stomachable. Let's take a closer look shall we.

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    Disclaimer:

    The Aurora was sent to me free of charge for the purposes of review on behalf of Rose and Penon Audio. The thoughts within are my own and do not represent anyone but myself. There was no financial incentive provided to write this review, nor was there any expectation set for positive coverage.

    Personal Preferences:

    I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures in my headphones I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even and natural mid-range response, with reduced mid-bass. The HiFiMan RE800, Brainwavz B400, and thinksound On2 offer unique examples of signatures I enjoy.

    Source:

    For at home use the Aurora was powered by a TEAC HA-501 desktop amp or straight out of my Asus FX53V laptop. For portable use it was paired with an LG G5, Walnut V2s, or Shanling M1. The Walnut F1 also made it's way into the rotation at times, even though the Aurora in no way needs to be amped.

    Specifications:
    • Impedance:18Ω
    • Headphone sensitivity: 112db/mW
    • Frequency range: 10-24000Hz
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    Packaging and Accessories:

    The Aurora's packaging is simple and unassuming, with some classy touches here and there. The main section of the case is composed of stiff cardboard with a black wrapping that contains the Rose branding. The exterior sheath which only wraps around a small portion of the box has Aurora printed in cursive, and notification that it was design by Rose Technology. The rear of the sheath in massive writing says 'Made in China'. Most companies hide that in the bottom corner somewhere as if they are ashamed. Not Rose, and they shouldn't. The Aurora is a nice product.

    Sliding off the sheath and lifting the lid of the box reveals a clean presentation with the Aurora ear pieces set within some foam cutouts, and a plethora of accessories. In all you get;

    • Aurora earphones
    • 5N high purity oxygen-free copper cable (MMCX termination)
    • Pelican style hard case (just like the one you get with the Masya and Mojito)
    • soft carrying bag
    • four pairs of single flange tips (2 x large, 2 x small)
    • one pair of medium bi-flange tips
    • one pair of foam tips
    • shirt clip
    The presentation is overall quite nice with the accessories all clearly laid out and visible. The only aspect that really detracts from the experience is the foam which in some places looks like it was cut with a pair of scissors while blindfolded. Excusable given it's not really all that important and Rose to my knowledge, is a very small company.

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    Build, Comfort, and Isolation:

    The Aurora might look familiar and for good reason. This housing is about as generic as it comes. Offhand I can name a handful of earphones that use the same one; Rhapsodio Clipper, QKZ W6 Pro, and the Kinera BD005. I know there are many more out there too. That said, the use of this housing isn't a bad thing. The plastics, while not overly premium looking or feeling, are thick and dense with good resistance to scratching and damage, though I know the Rose logo will wear off in time. The nozzle lacks a lip which I always find irritating but at least the fine metal grills protecting the drivers are neatly in place. Just behind the tip at the base of the nozzle is a ventilation hole which ensures there is no driver flex, a huge issue on the Clipper and W6 Pro, neither of which were ventilated.

    The cable is quite nice with a durable sheath that is reinforced with threading. Microphonics are minimal and so is memory. Tangle resistance is also a strong point, though the built in ear guides nullify that benefit somewhat. The ear guides are pre-formed as opposed to the more common memory wire which I consider a plus, especially as the shape Rose chose keep the cable tight to your ear and out of the way. The shape Brainwavz uses on the B100 and B150 still feels better, but Rose did a good job here. Also well done is the metal straight jack which is well relieved and slender enough to be compatible with most cellphone and player cases. The y-split is less impressive,if only because there is no strain relief. Still, it looks nice and feels good in hand with it's finely cut knurling. The plugs for the MMCX connectors are a simple, soft plastic affair but they're easy enough to grip and plug in with a solid click. They let the ear pieces spin in place, but are not so loose that it's either annoying or worrisome for short term durability.

    Comfort I found quite fine given the housings are extremely light and the profile quite minimal. Ergonomics were more of an issue for me making the Aurora very tip dependent. Without the right tips I spent way too much time fiddling around trying to get a good seal. Based on impressions from others using earphones with the same housings, I seem to be in the minority. I suspect most will enjoy the fit of the Aurora.

    Lastly, these were advertised as having up to 26dB of isolation. I don't know where they came up with that measurement, but no way in heck was I getting anywhere near 26dB of sound suppression, even with foams installed. That's active ANC levels of isolation. I'd put the Aurora below average for a vented dynamic, mostly down to the shallow fit. I had no issues holding conversations with others with them inserted and music off. Even with my music playing people could be hear chatting around me, cars, myself typing, etc. I personally would not recommend these if isolation is a key factor in your purchase.

    Overall the Rose Aurora's build is what I would consider acceptable. The housings are generic and lack a premium air to them, though they seem to be quite durable. The cable is quite good with many positive properties. Comfort is fine once you can get a good fit, something I find challenging with this housing. Lastly, isolation is pretty mediocre and the Aurora let's in lost of noise.

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    Sound:

    Tips: Due to the issues I have with fit with this design, tip selection was limited. Wide bore options like those included with the Clipper paired really well and gave the Aurora some extra love in the upper regions. Small bore tips like Sony Hybrids increased mid-bass more than I like. The stock tips were also nice, but fell second to the Clipper's tips.

    The Aurora's tune is quite safe and should appease a wide variety of listeners. They're quite warm and smooth with an elevated low end, slightly recessed mid-range, and lightly rolled off treble. This tune makes them excellent for modern recordings, EDM, and classic rock. They also truly excell over long term listening sessions. I had no problem lying back and running through the entirely of 'Tweekend', 'Dark Side of the Moon', 'Crime of the Century', and '21st Century Schizoid Man' back-to-back over the course of my workday.

    While the treble rolls off at the top, extension up to that point is decent letting the Aurora show some sparkle when called for in a track. It avoids any sharpness or aggression like a lot of budget hybrids in this price bracket, and to my ears ends up being quite organic and easy going. It's also very well controlled avoiding any splash or sibilance which when backed by good clarity and separation gives the Aurora an airy feel to it. It's a n odd combination of qualities for a warmer sounding earphone, but it works in it's favour.

    The Aurora's mid-range is quite coloured with a warmth to it that I found beneficial with female vocals and softer male vocals. Guitars lack some bite and grit, but the rest of the signature doesn't really play to that sound anyway. This mid-range has a pleasant weight and thickness to it too, even if it's recessed ever so slightly. Overall clarity is good, though some of the finer details are smoothed over.

    The Aurora's low end is a real treat with what feels like endless extension and a hefty mid-bass punch to back it up. I do wish there was a little more emphasis placed on that textured and visceral sub-bass, but as-is it's still pretty damn addictive. I found myself hunting down drum and bass tracks with long, grungy basslines just to feel and hear this earphone rumble my ear drums.

    Like other earphones that use this housing, I found the Aurora to have an fairly even and above average soundstage giving strong impressions or width and depth. This is always welcome with bassy tunes as lingering basslines tend to trail off into the distance and background vocalists feel like they're singing on a different plane. Imaging is strong too, with clear transitions between channels and no particularly vague areas. I wouldn't use these for gaming or anything, but for music it's plenty adequate.

    Overall the Aurora's tune is quite pleasing. It's smooth presentation and deep bass that doesn't bleed into and overwhelm the mid-range, combined with a spacious sound stage and mellow treble, brings a smile to my face.

    Select Comparisons:

    (Volumes matched as best I could using Dayton Audio’s iMM-6 calibrated mic and Audio Tool for Android.)

    Rhapsodio Clipper (55.00 USD): The Clipper was one of my favorite earphones of 2016 but ended up being a hard recommendation for a few reasons. The QKZ W1 Pro matched it feature for feature and had a similar accessory kit, in addition to sounding almost as good. What's so bad about that? The W1 Pro could be found for well under 10 USD. While I loved the Clipper and still think it's bass is some of the best in the business at the price, it felt lacking in value at 55.00 USD, especially when it came with nothing but three sets of tips and a generic case you can often find on AliExpress for under a dollar.

    That's where the Aurora comes in. It is pretty much everything I wanted the Clipper to be. It has a complete and well-rounded accessory kit. The housings are ventilated negating all driver flex, one of my primary complaints about the Clipper. It's also tuned almost exactly the same but greatly improves on the Clipper's treble quality. The Aurora trades a smidge of sub-bass for mid-bass, but the steps forward in tuning elsewhere easily makes up for this. My suggestion? If you want the Clipper, spend an extra 15 bucks and get the Aurora. It's a more refined and complete product.

    Meze 12 Classics (79.00 USD): Meze needs no introduction, storming onto the scene with the 99 Classics full-sized headphones and following them up with the 11 Neo and 12 Classics in-ears. At 10 USD more than the Aurora, what makes the Classics so special?

    To start, with their Walnut and gunmetal aluminum housings the 12 Classics are simply more premium and not by a small margin. In hand there is no comparison with the 12 Classics feeling much more expensive than a measly 10 USD. While I have some issues with Meze's cable (horrendous microphonics), it's thicker and more durable and with better strain relief to boot. The only downside is that it is fixed, unlike that on the Aurora which you can replace whenever you want. In the Aurora's favor, Rose equipped it with a more extensive and complete accessory kit.

    While they have different signatures, the 12 Classics and Aurora are comparable on a technical level offering similar levels of detail. In the Meze's favour you have a more neutral signature with a clearer and more forward mid-range. It's sound stage is smaller but with more accurate imaging. On the Aurora's side you have that expansive sound stage and bass that digs deeper and is more visceral. Since they're about on par in terms of sound quality and only separated in pricing by 10 USD, build, design, value, and signature preference are the deciding factors. For me, the 12 Classics' build quality and design/comfort push me in it's direction.

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    Final Thoughts:

    Even though it is no longer a new product, Rose's Aurora is a solid offering. With a warm and bassy signature that retains good detail and clarity, it should satisfy the needs of most modern listeners looking for an easy going, non-fatiguing earphone. Add to that some really nice accessories and a replaceable cable with a common MMCX connector and you've got yourself a decent value.

    If Rose replaces or updates the Aurora, I hope they refine the packaging and presentation, and move to either a unique housing or at the very least one with better ergonomics. Improving isolation would also be a plus.

    Thanks for reading!

    - B9Scramber

    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

    Some Test Tunes:

    Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Album)

    Hail Mary Mallon – Are You Going to Eat That? (Album)

    King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic (Album)

    King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black (Track)

    Supertramp – Crime of the Century (Album)

    Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)

    Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (Album)

    Massive Attack – Mezzanine (Album)

    Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (Album)

    Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels (Album)

    The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy (Album)

    Tobacco – F****d Up Friends (Album)

    Felt – Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bonet) (Album)

    Michael Jackson – Thriller (Album)

    The Crystal Method – Grace (feat. LeAnn Rimes) (Track)

    Jidenna – Long Live the Chief (Track)

    Skrillex – Ragga Bomb (Track)

    Big Grams – Run for Your Life (Track)

    Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (Track)

    Aesop Rock – Fishtales (Track)
  2. vapman
    Rose drives the last nail in the coffin of my Aurisonics nostalgia: A 9mm IEM with a place in any basshead's collection.
    Written by vapman
    Published Mar 1, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Affordable, directly competitive with the $250 ASG Kicker on sound signature, and the Sony XB90EX on bass impact.
    Cons - Not for those who favor exceptional treble extension or non bass-heavy sound signatures.
    free.jpg
    It's not free to you, but it was to me. I was not even interested in this IEM until it was offered to me for free by Rose on the condition I reviewed it. I'm happy to say this is an honest 5 star review, which I know will be doubted by many because of the lack of price I paid for it. All I can say to those who doubt my 5 star ranking's integrity... read on. =)
     
    My first and only Rose product before this was the Mojito, one of the first new flagship earbuds from the Chinese earbud revival of 2015. I was only intending to buy the Rose Cappuccino MK2 when Rose offered to let me try the Aurora for free if I'd review it along with the Cappuccino MK2. I didn't expect anything good of it, if it was a pack in offer to review. Before I had even received the Cappuccino MK2, I had messaged a few fellow bassheads on Head-Fi to offer to let them try my Cappuccino.  As I was packing the Cappuccino to go to the first person I would lend it to, I looked at the Aurora box and wondered if I should send it to. I had not even removed the plastic wrap from the box. I decided it probably wasn't anything special, didn't want to risk sending a non-basshead IEM out, and didn't have much desire to try it right then. So I tossed it to the side and decided to evaluate it later. But I had only been about a day without the Cappuccino when I was missing it a ton and wanted to use it. I decided I might as well try out the Aurora to see if it would hold me over until the Cappuccino got back, and I ended up being very surprised.
     
    To be honest, since it was offered to me for free along with the Cappuccino, I partly expected it to be not so great. However I was left shocked at I was listening to an IEM at the price it cost. I know that sounds ridiculous when said by someone who didn't pay to get this IEM, but I spend thousands per year on audio gear, and have a sense of value for the things I buy. Many, many times I have paid up to ten times that amount on IEMs to not be as happy with them as I am with these. It reminded me of the Aurisonics Kickers - some IEMs I remembered fondly, and had at the same time as my ASG 2.0 and ASG 2.5 - the sound signature was completely in line with the Cappuccino. The Kicker and Aurora are both single 9mm dynamic drivers in an IEM housing and MMCX detachable cable connectors, just as the Cappuccino MK2 and ASG 2.0/2.5 are DD/BA hybrids. It's been a little while since I've had the Kicker, but I remember its sound very clearly, as I really loved it but was always wishing it had just a little more bass extension and impact. In this field, Aurora completely delivers. It is truly and honestly what I wanted from the Kicker, and fixed what made me give the Kicker up. The Aurora is to the Kicker just as the Cappuccino is to the ASG 2 line in my opinion. I was not expecting this one bit when I put them in, and I was so thrilled when I heard it. ASG Kicker fans: get these!
     
    Unboxing was a pleasant experience and everything people have come to expect from Rose. You get the nice looking black box complete with separate travel pouches and cases, a half dozen different kind of tips (4 sets silicone tips, 1 set large bi flanges, 1 set foams). Of all the accessories included, the only I didn't like was the foams - I found this very impressive. The case was to be found inside the travel case. The cables as well as the backs of the IEMs are marked with large letters so it is always to tell which side is which. I forgot to take a picture of the box before unboxing it, sadly, but the box presentation is identical to all other Rose offerings I've seen to date, this being my third (counting the Cappuccino MK2 as the second).
     
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     ​
    The first immediately obvious thing was the bass presence. To my surprise, I had been using my Bluetooth speaker which is too quiet with my bass EQ on, so I had my EQ shut off and wasn't aware at first because of the bass quantity. Its non-EQ'd bass quantity and quality was on par with what some lesser IEMs were able to push with my EQ maxed out. And, even better, it responded to bass boosting gloriously. Naturally, I had to take out the Sony XB90EX, time tested 16mm bass heavyweight champion for some A/B testing. For those familiar with the Sony XB90EX, I am talking equivalent levels of bass impact on the same amps, same sources, same settings as the XB90EX. This is not an easy feat for any IEM, and especially so for a 9mm driver to compete with the XB90EX's 16mm driver. The bass hits hard, clearly and very deep. Rose has gained a reputation for IEMs with very strong bass, and I was thrilled to hear this was taking that bass exactly in the direction I hoped they would. Unamped, you may think you have bass boost on if there's no EQ. With EQ and no amp, the give the unamped XB90EX a run for their money in the bass department - the 9mm driver needs less power to start producing good impact, and it has surprisingly deep extension as well as impact - but when you amp the Aurora is when the bass truly comes alive and is capable of hitting on the same level as the XB90EX. However, unlike the XB90EX, I was capable of getting great amounts of bass impact off my smart phone with a bass boost EQ activated. It didn't quite match up to what it could offer with an amp in the mix, but it got to both very pleasing levels of impact and depth without any amp. Since the cable is a detachable MMCX, anyone who wants a basshead set for a phone could get a cable with a mic (as Rose does not sell it with a mic cable).
     
    The cable is pretty nice - soft, non microphonic, and ear hooks. Unlike the horrific ugly mess that is the Cappuccino's cable, the cable is comfortable, visually subdued and stays out of the way, as it should. The only thing that bugged me about it was the plastic tag with the Rose logo near the 3.5mm plug, which made it feel very cheap. After cutting that off, it both looked better and more professional. Still, I ended up ordering a red braided cable which I will prefer visually. But, it seems to be a very well built cable and offered superior dynamics and bass reach to a cheap MMCX cable with an Android mic and remote I had laying around, so I won't expect to hear any improvement on a cable swap compared to the Aurora's stock cable.
     
    The Aurora has a beautifully clear sound. Despite being a single dynamic driver, I found it to be exceptional at details and clarity, even during very fast paced and complex music, which was impressive as it is not a particularly fast sounding IEM. While it couldn't (and shouldn't!) beat the $350 Cappuccino MK2, a DD/BA hybrid design, at detailing, it is very impressive at the price point, and demolishes any other sub $100 IEM I have heard, including many of popular low budget greats. Synergy with any source I tried it with was very nice, but it definitely likes sources with more output power, as it provides better headroom. Still, either the LG V10 or V20 with its ESS DAC seemed to provide one of the best sounds for this IEM, beating out my X-Fi Titanium HD into the bMac 3CH Mk2 surprisingly. Thus, this IEM might be well suited to those who use a smart phone as a DAP as well, and it definitely benefits from a better DAC. Still, fans of a brighter and less bass-heavy sound could certainly find it to be too warm for their tastes, as evidenced in Cinder's review. However, for my tastes, I found treble to be absolutely perfect, and the mids were wonderful and present as well. Still, I always bring out the mids extra in my own EQ, since I'm a fan of exceptionally forward mid-range.
     
    For all the comparison this early on to the XB90EX, I'd like to clarify that they don't share a similar sound signature at all, even though they deliver on very similar levels on the sub bass quality and quantity. Nothing else is really directly comparable to the XB90EX - the sound signature takes a completely different approach on either IEM, the fit/form factor of the two couldn't be more different aside from the sideways facing dynamic driver, and the Aurora has detachable cables where the XB90EX doesn't. The XB90EX never lets you forget you're listening to an IEM - the sound feels somewhat distant, and while it is very accurate and revealing, it seems very distant compared to the sound of the Aurora.
     
    If the XB90EX sounds like an IEM, the Aurora sounds like a car stereo. XB90EX bass impact is very precise and technical whereas the Aurora sounds more like a stereo really would. You get a truly out of head feeling seldom found in IEMs with the Aurora. IF you are listening to things like bass test tones, the XB90EX is the clear winner here. You get the exact frequency with maximum sound pressure - this is where the XB90EX shows it is the obvious choice with the full power of its 16mm driver. While the Aurora isn't as impressive on test tones below 30Hz, everywhere from about 30Hz on it is fully competitive with the XB90EX.
     
    In terms of sound signature, I love the XB90EX's sound but it is not without flaws. First, as I already mentioned, it sounds like you are listening to an IEM. You will not forget you have headphones on ever with the XB90EX. The treble can also be sibilant and the overall sound is a little distant. The Aurora had me forgetting I not only had IEMs in, but that I wasn't listening to speakers several times. The sub bass impact & presence is absolutely and entirely spot on if you are to compare it to a full size stereo with bass boost activated. The sound is beautifully natural with no sense of roughness or sibilance in the treble, which allows for many hours of non-tiring listening, even though the overall presentation is very energetic and dynamic, not unlike the ASG 2.0 which has been out of production for so long. In fact, this IEM is one of the few you can keep turning up and it will make you give up before it does. I have given this Turbo mode levels of power, and haven't played music so dangerously loud for the sound pressure level since the Sony MDR-7550/EX800ST. These IEMs love power and EQ and will accept it beautifully.
     
    In terms of the sound signature aside from the bass, I would prefer if the mids were a little more forward than they are, but they don't sound recessed either. Treble has great extension without being shrill or sibilant at any times, which is great. The treble is definitely relaxed without being warmed over, so you never are left wishing there was more treble extension or clarity (at least in my case, treble-heads and BA fans will probably think the treble is not extended enough). Vocals are extremely realistic and natural sounding which is wonderful. The overall sound is very cohesive and well defined.
     
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     ​
    I find the fit to be one of the best of any IEMs I have owned and tried. The thin profile body easily fits into your ear and is fully friendly for people like me who have trouble with wider IEM nozzles - one of the reasons the ASG 2.0/2.5 never worked for me for over an hour at a time, along with the extra fatigue brought on by the evil incarnate that is balanced armatures. As a treble sensitive listener, balanced armatures are some of my greatest enemies. Unless they are truly marvelously implemented, I always find they cause me to become tired faster and be rougher on my ears than dynamic drivers. I'm not a treble-head and have to roll off the high trebles on my EQ to keep from ear pain even with dynamics. The Aurora is comfortable to listen to all day long. 
     
    While some who owned this IEM before I did consider it to be not an all-rounder IEM, I have certainly used it as such. This is possibly because I am a fan of its overall sound signature, or don't have a library with too much music that does not bode well with it. I have a fairly diverse library of music which certainly features a minority of rock music, a substantial amount of electronic, and very small amount of classical & jazz. I would not pick this IEM for classical listening (for that I would prefer earbuds with greater spatial positioning and soundstage) but that is not a problem for me since that occupies so little of my listening time, I rarely find it worth switching to different headphones for. I find the Aurora to excel at everything the JVC SZ series does. When I think about how the Aurora only brings a full size stereo sound to mind, I realized while writing the review that it falls exactly under the design the JVC SZ team went for. As both my music tastes and amping/aggressive EQ tactics suit the SZ series well, I was exceptionally pleased to find I could leave my most aggressive SZ settings intact and switch back and forth between the two. It is not often you find an IEM that can actually take both that amount of power (up to 4 watts with no distortion, muddiness or looseness to the sound) and EQ tweakability.
     
    The sound of the Aurora is very direct and enveloping, much in the way a well tuned car audio system would be. The bass, even when boosted to extremes, maintains great impact. Accuracy on exact sub bass frequencies boosted to high SPL will sound boomier than on the XB90EX, this is simply a limitation of the 9mm driver. The boominess is not enough to drive clarity freaks away. It it only when boosted to very extreme levels that it takes on a slightly boomy character, and even then it delivers with very comparable sound pressure levels to other time-tested and proved basshead IEMS such as Sony's XB90EX. As I mentioned earlier, the XB90EX has a more distant sound but will give you a more precise sound. The Aurora when boosted to equivalent levels sounds more like a bass-heavy stereo setup without a sub. You can still get the deep reach and very heavy physical impact but the exceptional control is not there. But, we are talking about an IEM with a list price of $69.00 - which is $20 under the XB90EX's usual going price. It would be more of something to be picky about if it was a more expensive IEM going under a basshead's most thorough tests, but for maintaining great clarity in the non-sub bass frequencies, without any mid-bass focus, and providing truly slamming impact, as well as offer other luxuries such as a detachable MMCX cable and comfortable slim profile body, is truly impressive.
     
    In a way very similar to when I had the Sony EX800ST, I kept turning this louder and louder because it sounded so good regardless of the volume. I eventually realized it would make me quit before it did on both volume and EQ boosting, so I settled on my most aggressive EQ and a volume that wouldn't make me lose my hearing, knowing it would take more of both than I could.
     
    I used it with JVC Spiral Dots for a while, but then switched to the stock tips. I found the stock tips to have greater bass impact at the expense of a little clarity compared to the Spiral Dots (I only used the smallest ones, as even those barely fit me). I eventually settled on the stock tips as I preferred the greater impact to clarity on the sub bass.
     
    Since I have my Cappuccinos out on tour right now, I can't directly compare to them right now, but I hadn't even been a whole day since listening to my Cappuccino MK2 last. The overall sound signature is the same. Even for someone who wants to get a feel for the Cappuccino it is not a hefty investment (I can't speak for Rose's other IEM offerings, as I haven't heard them). In a world of budget IEMs and earbuds boasting excellent sound quality at extremely low pricing, even a $70 IEM has to stay very competitive.
     
    Luckily, this goes head to head with the best sub $200 dynamic driver offerings I've heard. As a fan of dynamic drivers, and preferring dynamic driver to DD+BA hybrids generally speaking, this is a truly excellent one. It is well worth the extra money over other 9mm DD offerings at lower prices, especially the KZ's, as this demolishes even the mighty Shozy Zero in every way I can think of. One of the biggest being, there is no claustrophobic in-head feeling with this. It has a truly out of head sound which I find to be extremely rare in IEMs, only really present in few models. I could possibly end up liking this more than I like the Cappuccino MK2, but I'll need to get that back first, and it'll have more hours on it when I do. But regardless, this model both earns my full respect and will keep its place in my collection, which I have to give extra credit to it for since I am fully spoiled by earbuds which can deliver far superior soundstage and open sound to IEMs, and have not been impressed enough by any other IEM to keep it around since my XB90EX. 
     
    The Cappuccino and its little brother Aurora are keepers, and I'm glad to have both even if they share a similar (but not identical) sound signature. Despite their similarities, they complement each other beautifully, as do the Aurora and XB90EX. Even in the cut-throat and rapidly moving world of IEMs and low-price audio, the Aurora is competitive at its price point as well as above it. The quality is beyond what I expected of a $70 IEM, even taking my lack of having paid for it into consideration. If I heard this at a store or meet-up, I would have thought it was fully worth the asking price and probably paid it on the spot too. Non-bassheads should be interested to give it a shot as well - the Aurora is Basshead Certified, and not just a basshead IEM.
     
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    3/9/2017 Update
     
    I've purchased a $12 silver plated copper cable from Aliexpress. It looks badass and sounds great. I daresay it takes a step in the direction of the SZ2000's sound with the silver plated copper cable. Everything is tightened up, treble is opened up & far sweeter but still non fatiguing, and bass impact is not suffering more than maybe 5% subjectively at most. Since the extra 5% or so on the stock cable has considerably less definition than the silver plated wire, I will continue to use the silver plated copper. NOT pure silver, that will kill your bass impact, unless that's what you're after . The SZ2000 uses silver plated copper as well. I would not complain if the silver plated copper became standard... and stop putting those little white tags by the 3.5mm Rose! [​IMG]
     
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    Tips used on my Aurora are Sony hybrid tips. Once I discovered Sony tips fit on perfectly I have used nothing else (they provide the impact of the stock tips with the clarity of the spiraldots.)
      Saoshyant, Lohb, chillaxing and 5 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. vapman
      mane.......
      y'all will have to pry my unicomp from my cold dead hands....
      i'd give that board a 5 star if i could :thumbsup::thumbsup:
      vapman, Mar 3, 2017
    3. Saoshyant
      That keyboard reminds me of my C64
      Saoshyant, Mar 3, 2017
    4. Tr1ppy
      Great review, they sound like a decent pair of basshead iems!
      Whats the isolation and sound leakage like on them?
      Thanks
      Tr1ppy, Apr 24, 2017
  3. Cinder
    Excellent Ergonomics
    Written by Cinder
    Published Feb 1, 2017
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Slim driver housing, durable plastic construction, comfortable design, good insertion depth, straight MMCX connection, good cable
    Cons - Warm sound signature thickens some songs too much
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    Rose Aurora Review: Excellent Ergonomics

    I’ve been on a Rose IEM review spree recently, and I gotta say I really don’t mind it. Each Rose IEM brings something to the table, so it’s hard to get bored. For those of you who don’t know who or what Rose Audio is, they are a small Chinese IEM company that was formed from Chinese university students who have a passion for HiFi audio. They were among the first to employ 3D-printing in the construction of their IEM’s shells. The Aurora is a relatively new budget-grade IEM in the context of Rose’s other offerings. Is it worth your attention?
    You can find the Aurora for sale here, on Penon Audio, for $70.
    Disclaimer: This unit was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Penon Audio or Rose. These words reflect my true, unaltered, opinion about the product.
    Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.
    My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.
    Source: The Aurora was powered like so:
    Nexus 6P -> earphones
    or
    Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones
    or
    HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones
    or
    PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones
    All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.
    The Aurora played nice with all my sources but performed best on colder ones.

    Sound Signature

    Initial Impressions:
    The Aurora is a bass-emphasized warm IEM that matches sub-bass and mid-bass quite well. While the upper-mids are recessed and the treble is a bit hushed, the Aurora does have its moments, especially with rhythmic music.
    Treble: Songs used: In One EarMidnight CityOutlands
    Treble is certainly audible, but it is not the main focus of the Aurora. That does not prevent it from being quite expressive and precise in certain scenarios though, such as in Cage The Elephant’s In One Ear. The cymbals and high-hats are clear and precise in the background.
    The electric synths in the intro of Midnight City were toned well and had a nice smoothness to them. However, this smoothness did cause them to get lost a bit in the bridge to the chorus. Thankfully, this did not impact listenability that much.
    The violins of Outlands were well toned as well and had a nice hardness to them. I could hear each layer in full glory, though they were not as highly emphasized as on other, more neutral IEMs. There was a slight lack of precision during the chorus, though that may have just been me not hearing them due to their receded emphasis.
    Mids: Songs used: Flagpole SittaJacked UpI Am The HighwayDreams
    The mids are a bit strange. Most of the time they are quite clear, with a slight tinge of warmth in upper mids and a more pronounced warmth in the lower mids. Harvey Danger’s Flagpole Sitta performed quite well under these circumstances. The guitars were electric, though a bit laid back, and the bass guitar was clear and dynamic within the mix. It was quite fun listening to the song, as I don’t often get to hear such a satisfyingly smooth rendition of it.
    Jacked Up was more affected by the extra warmth in the lower-mids, lending it a slightly unnaturally thick feeling to it. After about a minute of listening my ears adapted though, which is good. Precision and instrumental separation are average in the mids, which isn’t surprising given the laid-back tuning Rose decided to go with in the Aurora.
    The vocals are also slightly heavier on the Aurora, though this doesn’t show itself too often. Female vocalists sound a bit better, though certain male voices can sound a tad off-kilter.
    Bass: Songs used: MothGold DustIn For The Kill (Skream Remix)Leave Me
    The bass-guitar of Moth plays a big role setting the depth of the song, and thusly I find it pretty important to be able to hear it in a clear and defined way. It seems that Rose has really nailed bass tuning in this respect, as mid and sub-bass work quite well together to emphasize and enhance the way bass guitars sound through the Aurora.
    Bass speed is average. I find that the bass’s impact and rumble tends to make up for this however. The bass-laden choruses of Gold Dust revel in the emphasized lower end of the Aurora. Bass-heads will certainly appreciate Rose’s offering in this respect.
    Bass extension is quite good. This allows the Aurora to play back songs like In For The Kill well, without making them sound shallow or cloudy. In fact, I found the Aurora to do a convincing job in making think I was listening to the song through a bona-fide subwoofer.

    Packaging / Unboxing

    The Aurora comes in the standard Rose packaging. The IEMs are tucked inside little foam cutouts. The eartips are lined up in a neatly alongside the IEMs, and the cable is stored inside the hard carrying case.
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    Build

    Construction Quality
    I have always had good things to say about Rose’s construction quality, and that trend continues today. The Aurora is built from what appears to be color-injected plastic. The driver housing is made from two separate plastic faces sealed together. The nozzle is decently long, and appears to have a good thickness to it.
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    The housing is a smokey transparent color which gives us a really good insight as to what exactly Rose is doing here. The MMCX jack is soldered to some copper wire which is soldered directly to the single dynamic driver located inside the housing. It’s a really simple setup, with little room for things to go wrong.
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    The cable is detachable, and uses the MMCX standard. The Aurora is designed to accept straight-ended MMCX cables, though I suspect you might be able to get away with a 45–degree bend if you were really determined. The stock cable sits nice and flush against the driver housing, and is secure. Not quite as secure as the 3D-7’s cable, but secure nonetheless. Unfortunately, the cable does rotate a bit. This doesn’t affect usability.
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    The cable itself is a bit thicker in diameter than average, and is coated in a durable plastic coat. Inside the cable you can see a black plastic covering a 2-core twisted wire. The cable terminates in a 3.5mm jack which is housed in a hefty aluminum casing, the same one present on the cable that is included with the much more expensive Rose Cappuccino Mk. II. There is ample stress relief on the jack. The Y-splitter is also housed in metal, and is quite shiny. The MMCX side of the cable has a memory-wire curve to it. I do not think it is mouldable like Mk. II’s cable. There are no excessive microphonics.
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    Comfort
    The housings of the Aurora are quite light and are pretty sleek. This lets them fit effortlessly, and makes it extremely ergonomic. I find this to be the best part of the IEM, making it ideal for a listener with an active lifestyle.

    Accessories

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    Inside the box you will find:
    1. 1x soft carrying pouch
    2. 1x hard carrying case
    3. 4x pairs silicone eartips
    4. 1x pair double flange eartips
    5. 1x pair of memory foam eartips
    Rose packaged the Mk. II with a good amount of accessories. At this price point I find it to be quite impressive. You will rarely find an IEM under $100 that has both a soft carrying pouch and a hard carrying case.

    Summary

    The Aurora provides listeners with a very comfortable and ergonomic experience. Those who are looking for an IEM with emphasized bass and extra warmth should be very satisfied with the Aurora’s sound signature. Considering this IEM’s impressive accessory package, I find the Aurora to be a compelling package for listeners who love warmth and appreciate an ergonomic IEM.

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