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ROSE Mini2 MKII 2.0

Rating:
5/5,
  1. IryxBRO
    ROSE Mini2 (MKII 2.0) — remarkable BA sound
    Written by IryxBRO
    Published Feb 11, 2019 at 4:56 AM
    5.0/5,
    Pros - clear mids, good gentle treble, dynamic midbass, great instrument separation, very good fit, decent bass texturing
    Cons - bass is not that deep (which is totally fine for BA IEMs)
    Heard a lot of good stuff about ROSE Technics and their IEMs. Current lineup is quite big — 17 different models in $24 — $530 price range. Never had a chance to try either one until now — got ROSE Mini2 (MKII 2.0) version which is pure BA model with classical bullet-like shape and very small dimensions. I don’t have that much of experience with this type of IEMs and the only model that would be directly comparable is Earnine EN1J which didn’t become a huge revelation and based on single BA unit. Previous experience led to prejudice about single BA models in general and finally forced to believe that there would not be much too interesting about ROSE Mini2 MKII … And you know what? — all previous beliefs were wiped away with the potential enclosed in ROSE Mini2 MKii IEMs…

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    ROSE Mini2 technical specifications:
    • BA driver: 2 Rose custom drivers
    • Frequency response: 20Hz — 30kHz
    • Impedance: 45Ω
    • Sensitivity: 108dB
    • Cable: 1.2m, silver-plated OFC, 3.5mm audio jack
    • IEM conectors: MMCX
    Also found this note in the desciption of Mini2 IEMs: ROSE Mini2 sound quality will not be fully reproduced by using with a mobile phone. Strongly suggest using HiFi player or better device :) Very funny and truthfull statement. I would say that every respected brand should write the same on their product boxes with large bold letters. There are people who would argue that some of the smartphones as LG would incorporate good DAC chips and so on.., guys: good DAP is not only anout DAC chip. Shielding, all supplementary HW element base, proprietary OS or tweaks to general OS, right ways of power supply — all matters and all influences the sound. Smartphones are not that good (yet) to catch up with good quality DAPs.

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    Packaging, design and build:

    Didn’t expect to see so large package for so tiny IEMs wich is partially conditioned by the presence of quite big and durable storage case. Box is white, free of any prints except the brand name at front.

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    Box contents:
    • ROSE Mini2 IEMs
    • audio cable with 3.5mm jack and MMCX connectors
    • 7 pairs of bi-flange eartips
    • 2 pairs of foam eartips
    • 3.5mm -> 6.6mm adapter
    • storage case
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    Connecting gigantic 6.6mm adapter is funny — it is much bigger than IEMs. I hope that one day all brands would start to equip their bundles with the additional 2.5mm/4.4mm balanced jacks cables by default. This would also coincide with ROSE statement about using their IEMs with good DAP sources and getting the most of the potential reached.

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    Mini2 IEMs are very tiny. So tiny that I had to change the lens on my camera to take micro shots.

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    Shells are made of transparent plastic with rough surface. No gap between left and right parts is visible. Brand logo is printed on the outer sides.

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    Despite the size, shells and all design elements look very accurate. Even such elements as L/R channel indicators are present.

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    MMCX connectors are perpendicular to body and look pretty durable. No free play, very tight connector fit.

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    Output nozzles are molded as a part of the shell and have the additional aluminum tubes over plastic base.

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    Stock cable is 1.2m long, OFC, silver plated. Features aluminum housing of 3.5mm audio jack and MMCX connectors (right channel MMCX connector is identified by red plastic ring). Also has Y-splitter and limiter made of transparent plastic.

    Fit:

    At first there were some doubts about Mini2 fit due to peculiar MMCX connectors placement, absence of earguides and bullet-like shape. No problems in real life, though. IEMs are very lightweight and very comfortable to wear. Almost forgot that IEMs are still there after 2-5 minutes with music set on pause. Absence of earguides is not causing any troubles either — cable is soft and there is a possibility to hook it over the ear. Everything is perfect here…

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    Sound quality:

    Tested with Hidizs AP80 DAP

    Lows and midbass:

    Yep, this section is the strangest part to describe for a person like me who would always tend towards hybrid or dynamic models with developed, deep and very extensive bass. Deep bass reach was always a bottleneck for balanced armature models in comparison to other types of IEMs. ROSE Mini2 MKII is not an exception but shows very good capabilities in a different manner. In contrary to dynamic drivers, where you would perceive the upper lows partially by hearing and deepest bass mostly by feeling, Mini2 plays through most of the sounds with decent texturing and dynamics and clearly defines bass instruments in overall. Extension would not recreate the portion that goes beyond the hearing abilities which is perfectly compensated by the amount of details that would draw off the attention towards the bass reach. The only shortcoming of that is that the bass is not that volumetric to widen the scene… In either case, lower end is evident, clear and textured, just a bit recessed and playing secondary role in the entire picture. One more word: understood how dramatic the influence on the lower end with the change to foam eartips could be. Of course, the extension would not improve but the lower end would be eleveated and get much better presence. Therefore, Mini2 MKII would benefit much from this combination and show even better results.

    Midbass is quite impressive considering the size of the shells and type of IEMs. Dynamics and articulation is more than enough, thanks to the fast armature. Drums are recreated pretty natural with the adequate (and not severe) touch of brightness infuenced by so mighty treble. At first, drums might sound a bit thin and lacking lowest registers but again — foam eartips do a good job on that.

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    Mids and vocals:

    Mids are perceived as being located on the central layer of the stage — closer than lows and a bit behind the treble. Mids are exhibiting excellent resolution on instruments and voices. Moreover, very appealing part is that the sound is not that bright and crisp as you would expect from pure armature but much closer to Knowles drivers with kind of mellow nature. This would make IEMs more universal for large audience including people that are sensitive to lower treble. Vocals, no matter male or female, have natural and exposed presentation, good body and don’t tend to shout or hide behind the instruments. Harsh peaks on female voices are not evident, lisping is mostly polished by mellow feel. The most impressing here is the instrument separation leading to perfectly defined boudaries and letting you hear every single sound playing at its precise location. This also helps the scene to expand in depth.

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    Treble:

    As expected from good BA IEMs — treble is decent and adequately accented. It is crisp and clear but at the same time not too biting and vivid to make your ears bleed. Extension is quite good but the most of the resolving power is concentrated on delivering accurate lower treble to aid the sound with enough transparency and feel of air. Sharpness is not excessive, all sounds are quite thick what also reminds of Knowles drivers. So, five starts go to ROSE for the development of their own BA drivers that would not fall short of expectations when it comes to a person mostly admiring the units from famous vendor. Love how Mini2 MKII treble performs: not severely bright and biting but perfectly exposing its armature nature.

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    Soundstage:

    Soundstage is a bit controversial: width is not that great due to lack of deep bass extension but at the same time depth and vertical domain are quite good. Both are defined by decent layering of frequency ranges and great instrument separation together with clear and elevetaed treble.

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    Sound in overall:

    ROSE Mini2 MKII sound could be described as moderately bright, accurate and very detailed. Presence of treble is adequate, not piercing or distrubing. Mids exhibit pleasing mellow effect. Lower end is recessed, perfectly textured although playing the socondary role and mostly located on the backstage. Lows are influenced much by the choice of eartips.

    Compared to Earnine EN1J:

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    Earnine EN1J IEMs are based on single balanced armature driver and have similar perfect fit. Soundwise, not that impressive as ROSE Mini2 MKII due to less treble extension, mostly mids-oriented tuning and more shallow reach on the lower end. Resolution is quite equal between the two and the strongest part of Earnine in this comparison is the ability to reproduce midbass with more thickness to its body. But I would say that ROSE IEMs are more universal for any type of music genre.

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    Conclusion:

    Really impressed with the performance of ROSE Mini2 MKII IEMs. Didn’t expect that detailed and weighted mids, accurate and thick treble, rich bass texturing, dynamic midbass reproduction and decent instrument separation. There were multiple attempts to look at its price while writing this review — constantly thought of a higher tag in conjunction to this level of sound quality. Surprisingly, price is more than adequate making Mini2 IEMs a great choice to deal with from the very beginning in order to understand ROSE BA nature which is capable of revealing most of the inherent potential.

    You can purchase ROSE Mini2 MKII at PenonAudio store