Rose Technology Mini2

Rating:
4.2/5,
  1. ryanjsoo
    Rose Mini 2 Review – Reference Standard
    Written by ryanjsoo
    Published Sep 12, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Perfect comfort, Fantastic removable cable, Exceptionally balanced sound, Detailed treble, Great price/performance
    Cons - Flexible nozzle, Cable is slightly tacky, Mediocre sub-bass extension, Many will still prefer more vibrant earphones
    Introduction –

    If you haven’t read my BR5 MKII review or snooped around the earbud and Chi-fi threads on Head-fi, you may not be familiar with Rose. They are a smaller manufacturer but one that has proven themselves to be quite knowledgeable in audio, producing some genuinely compelling products that easily rival models from more established Western brands. And while the majority of their products pursue a more premium price point, a few such as the Mini 2 I have here today are not only quite affordable but carry much of the same charm as their higher end offerings. With a clean $100 asking price, the Mini 2 occupies a highly competitive price point, but I’m sure their unique design and highly balanced sound will find many fans. Let’s see how the Mini 2 performs.



    Disclaimer –

    I would like to thank Chi Kong Hui from Penonaudio very much for his quick communication and for providing me with the Mini 2 for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.



    Accessories –

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    The Mini 2 does not have the same lavish packaging as the BR5 MKII or Masya but Rose do include a nice set of accessories nonetheless. The Mini 2 comes within a small box containing a soft pouch and the same Westone vault style case as other Rose earphones.

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    And as before, I found the case to be really exceptional, sturdy and well sized for portability, it is one of my favourites. The case contains the earphones themselves along with a bag of ear tips. The Mini 2 comes with medium Klipsch style tips pre-installed. They are a really fantastic ear tip for small nozzled earphones and Rose’s implementation works just as well as the OEM Klipsch tips, providing a super solid seal and great comfort.

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    Since the tips are oval in shape, I do recommend rotating them to find the most comfortable orientation. I found that they were most comfortable rotated to around ~45 degrees though some have had more luck with the tips rotated to horizontal. Rose also include some standard foam and silicone tips of various sizes should you want a more conventional fit.



    Design –

    Mini is definitely apt when describing Rose’s affordable in-ear; despite housing two drivers within each earpiece they easily one of the smallest earphone I’ve tested, smaller than even the Klipch X10and Etymotic ER4. Yet despite their size, the Mini 2’s acrylic build feels very solid and resistant to stress, they also look pretty stunning with none of the clouding that affected the BR5 MKII, the housings are crystal clear revealing the internal components and wiring. Red and blue Rose text also help differentiate between sides and the housings are slightly angled for ergonomics.

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    The nozzles are slim and on the longer side, enabling a deeper fit. Of note, the sound tubes are slightly flexible rather than rigid, some have expressed concerns that this could become a potential point of failure but it could be intentional to aid seal in a similar sense to Spinfits or perhaps the acrylic used in the main housing is too brittle to be extruded that thin. I didn’t find them to present any weakness during my testing, I even forcefully flexed the nozzles with no repercussions.

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    Comfort is unsurprisingly fantastic, the Mini 2 literally disappears in the ear and produces no hotspots even after hours of listening. They do take a bit of acclimatization due to their more unconventional shape and size though after a few minutes I was able to consistently achieve a strong seal. They are also pretty stable in the ear despite being so small, their over-ear fit and strong seal allowing them to stay put during a quick run. Isolation is as strong as any other sealed earphone apart from more ear-filling monitors such as the Campfire Audio earphones and even Rose’s own BR5 MKII. Noise attenuation is still more than sufficient for public transport and air travel when paired with a set of foam ear tips. Furthermore, wind noise is minimal since they barely protrude from the ear though due to the nature of their design, they still aren’t perfectly suited towards use while sleeping.

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    While previous revisions of the Mini 2 had a fixed cable, the new units come with a removable MMCX unit. New units also ship with Rose’s updated silver plated cable, the same included with the wood Masya and BR5 MKII. It is an ergonomically excellent cable that is radically improved over previous designs. The cable looks stunning with a loose braid and transparent sheathing that reveals the lustrous silver conductors beneath. The cable is slightly rubbery but is very supple, easily coiling and untangling after storage.

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    Furthermore, the cable isn’t overly microphonic and has zero memory. I’m a huge fan of Rose’s choice of pre-moulded ear guides over memory wire, they are perfectly shaped and really hug the ear, improving fit stability and general comfort. I also appreciate small touches like the continuous y-split and well relieved straight plug that should aid longevity. The plug is also case friendly for use with smartphones though Rose do not offer a configuration with a mic/remote.



    Sound –

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    When it comes to dual armature earphones around this price, many would be quick to point out numerous models featuring the Knowles TWFK setup. And while some implementations sound really fantastic and offer very pleasing value, most of them can come off as quite lean. Rose have instead chosen to go with a custom setup comprising of a Sonion bass driver and a Knowles tweeter. As a result, and despite their small size, the Mini 2 is exceptionally balanced and can sound surprisingly rich with certain material. They are easily one of the most balanced earphones I’ve heard at any price, offering similar levels of evenness to much more expensive earphones from Campfireand Westone. Moreover, they have none of the forwardness that can affect more neutral armature based earphones, making them easier to acclimatize to. That said, balance is not always ideal and more V-shaped competitors from Kinera and TFZ can make the Mini 2 sound quite mellow by comparison. Of course, this all comes down to personal preference, see my more detailed breakdown and comparisons below to see whether the Mini 2 will fit your needs. As always, I did put the Mini 2 through 150hrs of burn-in and experimented with several tips and cables. Rose’s stock cable is very good, better than the budget cables I had on hand and the stock Klipsch style tips provided the most agreeable seal and sound to me. I didn’t note any huge changes with burn-in though the earphones sounded fine to me out of the box.


    Tonality –

    The Mini 2 is a very balanced, almost neutral earphone to my ears, far more so than the Kinera’s and TFZ’s of the world. They remind a lot of the Hifiman RE-400 with a slight bump in low-end warmth, both bass and lower mids, combined with a very coherent midrange and treble response. They are a very well integrated earphone with no notable peaks or troughs and their high-end is notably more linear than the more polite RE-400. I should note that I do prefer a u-shaped sound so the Mini 2 may sound slightly more u-shaped than described and those coming from more sculpted earphones may find the Mini 2 to be mid-forward. It does depend on your reference and preferences though I still persist that it is an incredibly balanced earphone based upon comparison with other earphones I have on hand.



    Soundstage, Imaging and Separation –

    Their small size does come with some downsides and soundstage reproduction is one of them. While they aren’t an explicitly intimate earphone like the ER4 and Klipsch X10, the Mini 2 doesn’t glimpse the scale that larger, vented competitors achieve. Listening to “Who Are You” by The Who and the Mini 2 provided nice width and modest depth but space didn’t radiate beyond the head. However, while space isn’t their forte, it certainly doesn’t hold the rest of the Mini 2’s sound back, there is enough space to enjoy every genre of music and separation is very good on account of their clear, balanced sound. In addition, imaging is sharp and accurate, not quite to the extent of the BR5 MKII, but the Mini 2 is immediately more balanced than earphones like the TFZ King so instrument placement tends to more accurate and consistent among tracks of various mastering quality.



    Drivability –

    With a higher 45ohm impedance and an average sensitivity of 108dB, the Mini 2 is more difficult to drive than most competing models. They required considerably more power than the TFZ, Simgot and Magaosi earphones, even more than the Kineras to reach the same volume. That being said, beyond volume, they aren’t overly source sensitive, certainly far less so than the BR5 MKII and Pinnacle P1. They sounded nice from my HTC 10 with no notable roll-off or outstanding tonal oddities but they did scale nicely when plugged into my Fiio X7 II, gaining some bass depth and texture in addition to a noticeably clearer and more open midrange. I would still consider the Mini 2 to be a relatively easy to drive and they do sound perfectly fine from portable sources but a dedicated source will provide a more balanced, nuanced listen. So while they do require a bit more voltage to achieve higher listening volumes, they are quite hiss and output impedance resistant in return.



    Bass –

    The Mini 2 values punch over slam and balance over engagement though they are an earphone that is very easy to enjoy without an immediate sense of mid-forwardness that can often affect earphones pursuing a more neutral tone. Sub-bass extension is above average for an armature earphone but far from that achieved by the dynamic driver Kinera H3 and TFZ King. They do have a little fullness to these lower notes but rumble is minimal and bass focus ultimately lies around the mid-bass frequencies. They are modestly even throughout their low end with that slight bump in the mid-bass frequencies granting them with some additional snap and punch to drums and bass. In addition, due to their more balanced midrange, the Mini 2 also doesn’t suffer from that sense of over leanness affecting the BR5 MKII and bass sounds very well integrated into the sound as a result.

    Bass has a slightly fuller tone and is appreciably faster than dynamic rivals though they aren’t as speedy as BR5 MKII nor is the resolution and definition quite there. Nonetheless, I would still consider the Mini 2 to possess a well resolving bass response that is perceptibly more balanced and defined than competing models, Kinera H3 included. Listening to DNCE’s “Kissing Strangers” and the Mini 2 provided a surprisingly rich bass response though the low-end never stole attention away from higher elements, they sat is almost perfect balance. In addition, bass is super tight and clean though they do lack some slam when listening to electronic. My ultimate comment on bass is that it comes down to preference and the inherent qualities of differing driver technologies. The Mini 2 is very well done for an armature earphone, they never sound anaemic but extension is still limited and they are considerably more conservative than competing models. But what they lose in extension and slam, they make up for with superior tactility, texture and definition and the Mini 2’s style of bass tuning perfectly compliments the rest of their sound.



    Mids –

    Anything midrange related is Rose’s speciality, every Rose product I’ve heard has instantly sounded “correct” to my ear, something I can’t say for a lot of budget earphones which require some adjustment when coming from more premium earphones. And the Mini 2 is no exception, again, they aren’t quite as exquisite as the BR5 MKII, but the midrange produced by these earphones is easily the best I’ve heard around this price. That includes the Magaosi earphones, the TFZ earphones and the Kinera, I even prefer their midrange tuning to considerably more expensive earphones like the Pinnacle P1 and 1More Quad Driver. The Mini 2 is very refined throughout its midrange, they have a consistent sense of natural clarity and tone that produces a really enjoyable listen no matter the genre. They do have a slightly brighter tonal tilt or rather, lower mids sit very slightly behind in the mix, but they never sound forward like the BR5 MKII nor do mids sound scooped. In addition, their midrange is refined and smooth with a slight bump in body imbuing them with some musicality over more explicitly neutral/analytical earphones. Listening to Vance Joy’s “Lay It On Me” and the Mini 2 provided

    Listening to Vance Joy’s “Lay It On Me” and the Mini 2 provided great extension to vocals, well-delineated layering and a natural level of crispness to the acoustic guitars. They were neither as aggressive as the Kinera H3 nor were they are laid back as the Simgot EN700 Bass, the Mini 2 struck a brilliant medium with excellent technicality to top it all off. And speaking of quality, the Mini 2 continues to impress with pleasing resolution and definition to midrange elements. They don’t have the most cavernous soundstage and they do still lack the level of layering and resolving power of the BR5 MKII, Pinnacle P1 and Oriveti New Primacy, but the Mini 2 remains one of the most impressive earphones around this price. Detailing is also nice, they are far less aggressive than the spiked H3 and K3 HD but they also sound considerably more refined and actual detail retrieval is almost as good. If I had to comment on a weakness of the Mini 2’s midrange, it would probably be their lack of immediate resolution and space though, in that regard, they are no worse than any other $100 earphone I’ve heard whilst maintaining a tonality advantage.



    Treble –

    While my brighter tastes and uncanny resistance to enhanced treble allow me to enjoy a wide range of Chi-fi iems, a lot of users online have reported numerous issues with overbearing treble. And I can definitely see where they are coming from, the vast majority of Chi-fi earphones around this price have some form of treble spike that makes them quite aggressive, accentuating detail but also tiring after longer listening, especially at higher volumes. Notable perps include the Kinera H3, Magaosi K3 Pro and the TFZ King, it is one of the overarching reasons why I am so fond of the Simgot En700 Bassdespite its shortcomings in other areas, since it is one of the few natural earphones around this price. Luckily, I can now add the Mini 2 to that list, upper-midrange to lower treble integration is excellent and treble is pretty darn linear. As such, while the Mini 2 may not be as immediately sparkly and detailed as competing models, every note has more texture and treble is perfectly listenable for longer sessions. The Mini 2 is not a dark, rolled off or smoothed off earphone, treble is perfectly present and well extended, they just aren’t as emphasized as certain competitors.

    I definitely prefer this response and it does come with several advantages. Like the K3 HD which really smoothed out the peakiness of Magaosi’s prior models, the Mini 2 sounds very naturally detailed and is generally more resolving of background and micro details. Furthermore, the Mini 2 has very good extension with nice resolution of higher details that more lower treble dominated earphones tend to overshadow. When listening to 2NE1’s “Goodbye”, the Mini 2 provided a very crisp response with a realistic and refined presentation of guitar strums that was more mature than more sculpted earphones like the H3 that tended to get a bit crunchy for lack of better terminology. In addition, high-hats have some real texture and cymbals and strings sound well-bodied and extended. On the flipside, the Mini 2 doesn’t excel with air and more expensive models will quite easily best them on extension and general resolution. With that said, I am very content with both the Mini 2’s tuning and quality, they may lack some bite and energy for those looking for bundles of crispness and shimmer but the Mini 2 is still a very resolving earphone and one that won’t grate on the ear after more extended listening.



    Comparisons –

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    Shure SE215: The SE215 is an important benchmark around this price if due to popularity rather than outright sonic performance. The Shure’s are easily one of the best fitting, most isolating earphones around this price point and above it, the Kinera and TFZ earphones though fine earphones in their own rights, fail to challenge Shure’s on stability or noise attenuation. That being said, the Shure’s are a little long and a little tubby so they aren’t perfectly comfortable like the Mini 2, they trade perfect long term comfort for some additional isolation and stability. Both feature a removable MMCX cable though the cable included with the SE215’s a bit cumbersome due to its length and weight. Sonically, the Shures offer a pleasantly warm, laid-back listen though they lack some technicality and balance when compared to more modern earphones offered at the same price. The Mini 2’s have a much tighter and more balanced bass response while the Shure’s offer considerably more bass fullness at the cost of moderate bloat and a considerable loss of both texture and bass definition. Mids are pretty smooth on the Shure’s and more natural than the King’s and H3’s though upper mids are a pretty distant and have some veil. Similarly, lower mids are quite thick and lacking a little clarity, they are clearly don’t possess the transparency, balance and layering that the Mini 2 is able to produce. Highs tell a similar story, the SE215 has a little extra lower treble which grants guitars and strings with some added clarity and crispness but they do have a notable roll off after that which saps them of the air and detailing of the Mini 2. Otherwise, treble notes are nicely bodied and decently textured, lower treble detailing is commendable and quite natural though they fall off quite notably after that. The Mini 2 is simply cleaner and crisper with much better detail retrieval. The SE215 isn’t a terrible earphone, but there are many alternatives like the Klipsch X10/11/12 that can often be found at the same price, offer a more comfortable fit and pursue the same kind of sound but pull it off a lot better.

    Kinera H3 ($99): The H3 is a comfortable and stable earphone with good but not great isolation due to their vented nature. That being said, they can’t best the Mini 2 on fit simply due to their size. Both have excellent removable cables utilizing the MMCX interface. The H3 has a V-shaped sound with somewhat scooped lower mids and quite a moderate amount of treble aggression enhancing their higher level of retrieval. The Mini 2 is considerably leaner within the low-frequency department but also faster and a lot tighter. The H3 has a notable sub and mid-bass emphasis that grants it with a lot of fullness without sacrificing too much bass detail. The H3 has a more natural midrange than the King though the Mini 2 is more realistic yet and quite a bit smoother. Both have similar clarity though the Mini 2 is noticeably more linear throughout their midrange with more consistent vocal tone and placement. The H3 has a treble spike that bothers some but not myself while the Mini 2 pursues a more neutral response.

    TFZ King ($99): The King is a nicely constructed earphone whose semi metal build does feel more solid than the acrylic Mini 2. Both were also comfortable to my ear, but the larger King never disappears like the Mini 2. The Mini 2 achieves a deeper fit but isolates similarly due to its smaller housings, the King protrudes a lot from the ear and has some stability issues due to its weight and size. In addition, the King has a very stiff cable that is a far cry from the supple SPC Rose unit. When it comes to sound, the King is another earphone that many complimented on its balance however, the Mini 2 takes this to another level. The King has a noticeably deeper, fuller bass response though the Mini 2 is a bit faster and has an advantage on texturing. The Mini 2 is immediately more natural within their midrange though the King has considerably more space and clearer layering. The King also boasts more clarity with increased resolution at the cost of sounding a bit artificial and over-forward. The King has a very clear treble response with a middle treble boost where the Mini 2 is more neutral and linear. While the King is more aggressive, the Mini 2 retrieves more detail and presents it in a more natural manner. I still stand by my recommendation of the King for clarity lovers but the Mini 2 very much replaces it for balance and neutrality.

    Pinnacle P1 ($200): Both earphones are very comfortable, but the P1 lends itself both to over ear and cable down wear. The Pinnacles isolates slightly more on account of their larger, metal housings, they also feel far more solid in the hand. Both have removable MMCX cables and both are excellent. The Pinnacle P1 is more v-shaped with extra midbass fullness and a notably more aggressive treble response. The P1 has more bass texture but lacks the definition and linearity of the Mini 2, both lack some sub-bass extension, the P1 to a lesser extent. Mids are more recessed on the P1, especially lower mids, but clarity and layering are great and resolution is improved over the Mini 2. Treble on the P1 is a bit spiked but still more even than the $100 Chifi iems. As such, they are very detail forward but also retrieve a lot of the smaller nuances that earphones like the King skip over. The Mini 2 is more natural than the P1 and more even in the highs though the P1 still manages to be more detailed and airy. Most notably, the P1 has a very large soundstage that the Mini 2 can’t match which really aids with layering, separation and general immersion though the Mini 2 doesn’t really struggle in those regards. Despite costing half as much, the Mini 2 does actually hold numerous advantages over the P1 simply due to its excellent balance and neutrality. The Mini 2 actually has more deep bass definition, more consistent midrange presence and a more natural treble response though the Pinnacle P1 is a very well-considered v-shaped earphone that is still relatively balanced and has plenty of technicality on top.

    New Primacy ($300): The New Primacy is one of my favourite earphones due to its brilliant balance between sonic finesse and ergonomic excellence. While I can’t say they’re more comfortable than the Mini 2, both disappear and can be worn all day without discomfort. Both also provide excellent noise isolation though the New Primacy actually has a lower profile fit that makes it easier to sleep on. And as much as I love the look of the Mini 2, the matte black, all aluminium New Primacy is just as striking to look at and ever more solid. Both have a removable cable and both are a bit rubbery, I personally prefer the Rose cable though the Oriveti unit is transparent enough and has a more pocket-friendly right angle plug. The New Primacy actually sounds quite comparable to the Mini 2, both are very balanced earphones though the New Primacy has a few deviations that imbue it with some extra engagement and they are just as coherent sounding despite their driver setup. Starting from bottom to top, the NP has a more robust bass response though one that is also very well balanced with mids and highs. Sub-bass extension isn’t fabulous, but they are very tight with nice rumble and slam when called for, the New Primacy also has really great bass definition that bests the armature based Mini 2. Mids are also quite similar, both are slightly brighter with a fuller tone to vocals and both are very natural though the New Primacy has slightly more clarity and better resolution/layering. The New Primacy’s upper midrange smoothly feeds into treble like the Mini 2 though the New Primacy has a little bump in the lower treble that makes them more detail forward, balancing out the smoothness where the Mini 2 can sound slightly too laid-back at times. Extension and air are similar on both, neither are particularly outstanding in this regard, but the NP does have noticeably more detail and a more spacious soundstage. The Mini 2 sounds almost like a scaled down New Primacy making the Oriveti a logical upgrade in addition to Rose’s own BR5 MKII that goes for the same price.

    BR5 MkII ($300): The BR5 MKII is much larger earphone though one that actually achieves a deeper, more isolating fit. I actually prefer the build on the Mini 2, the BR5 MKII has an area of hollowness behind the drivers in addition to some haze of the transparent elements. Comfort easily goes to the Mini 2 simply on account of their smaller size and more orthodox fit depth. Sonically, both clearly carry the same Rose house sound, both are very balanced, almost neutral with more reserved bass and a focus on midrange elements, specifically upper mids. However, there are some notable differences akin to the difference between the RE-400 and RE-600, the BR5 MKII is slightly more mid-forward and notably brighter. It is also a considerably more aggressive earphone with much more high-frequency energy. The BR5 MKII has a faster bass response with a lot more definition though the Mini 2 has a little extra fullness. Mids are gorgeous on both though the BR5 MKII once again takes the cake with added resolution and considerably more detail. That being said, I actually preferred the more balanced tone of the Mini 2 as opposed to the more forward BR5 MKII. Treble is similar, the BR5 MKII is both more detailed and more detail forward, it also has better extension and air. Soundstage also goes to the BR5 MKII which possesses appreciably more width and outstanding depth. Unsurprisingly, the BR5 MKII is a relatively natural progression of the Mini II with increased technicality throughout though their tuning is subjectively less accessible than the more neutral Mini 2 unlike the New Primacy.



    Verdict –

    The Mini 2 is quite an oddity, they are so supremely balanced in a market that really values more sculpted earphones. As a result, the benchmarks and references around this price become these more popular, more sculpted models which probably explains why the hifiman RE-400 received such varied reviews. To my ear, the Mini 2 is more pleasing than Hifiman’s offering and build quality is miles ahead. They may sound a little bland and mid-forward when coming from more V-shaped competitors, but give them a few days and the Mini 2 will enlighten you with balance and nuance that these models glance over by virtue of flawed design.

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    Again, it all comes down to individual preference and reference, for example, some call the SE215 balanced but to me they’re very much on the thicker more laid-back side. I suppose I’ll chuck in individual ear anatomy into the subjectivity of this hobby as well because I could sit here and gush all day about the Mini 2 but ultimately, that is just my take according to my personal preferences. So many question and inquire about the absolute best earphone under $100 when in reality, no clear winner exists. At the very least, Rose has given us another excellent offering around this price range; if you are looking for absolute comfort and acoustic balance with hints of musicality sprinkled in, I can’t think of a better choice than the Mini 2. For those looking for a bit more vibrancy and engagement to their sound, you can see my other reviews, I have covered dozens of in-ears of different forms and flavours.

    Verdict – 9.5/10, The Mini 2 may not be the most vibrant, shimmery or thumping earphone out there but there are plenty of models that already satisfy those criteria. Rather, the Mini 2 occupies a vacancy around this price, offering some real neutrality with a taste of additional musicality. Top that off with perfect comfort and an excellent removable cable and the Mini 2 becomes an easy recommendation for lovers of natural clarity and balance and perhaps those that struggle to find a solid fit on conventional IEMs.

    Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed my review, please see my website for more just like it:

    https://everydaylisteningblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/rose-mini-2-review-reference-standard/
      B9Scrambler and knopi like this.
  2. audio123
    Rose Mini 2 The Rescue
    Written by audio123
    Published May 31, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Mids & Staging
    Cons - Long cable
    Introduction
    Rose is a Chinese company specialised in making iems. I am interested in their offerings and decided to buy the Rose Mini 2 (Detachable Cable Version) over at Penon Audio for 109 USD. On the other hand, the Rose Mini 2 with fixed cable retails at 99 USD. Paying an extra 10 USD gives you the option to switch to aftermarket cables.

    Below is the purchase link:
    http://penonaudio.com/Rose-Technology-all-models/Rose-Mini2-2BA-IEMs

    Specifications
    • Drivers: Sonion 2600 BA + Knowles 30095 BA
    • Impedance : 45ohm
    • Sensitivity :108db
    • Cable:Silver-plated OFC

    Accessories
    The Rose Mini 2 comes in a black package and contains a hard case. In addition, there is a plastic case that contain tips. The accessories are pretty decent in my opinion. You cannot expect Dunu’s standard though. All in all, the accessories are sufficient. Open the case and you will find the Rose Mini 2 inside.

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    Build
    The material of the Rose Mini 2 is acrylic basically. I must say the Rose Mini 2 is very small akin to Final Audio Design’s F3100, F4100, F7200 or the Etymotic ER4S, ER4PT, ER4XR, ER4SR. On the shell, there is the Rose logo of different colours for the users to differentiate left and right. As mine is the detachable version, you can remove the cable from the iem. It is the standard mmcx connector.
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    Sound Analysis
    I used 3 sources to test the Rose Mini 2- Questyle QP1R, Ibasso DX200 and Cayin N6. All 3 sources can drive the Rose Mini 2 to listening volume. Pretty easy to drive actually. It is recommended to use DAPs.
    I would say the Rose Mini 2 is a balanced sounding iem overall. The presentation is quite linear. It has a very mature sound and there is clarity to it most importantly.
    Lows
    The bass is quite punchy and tight. I really like how the bass extends deeply to provide the punch for EDM. I wouldnt say that it is as good as my Ibasso IT03, a triple hybrid driver iem but it is effortless considering its price point. Comparing to the likes of Fischer Audio DBA-02, the bass of the Rose Mini 2 is more engaging as it is impactful. I really like the bass of Rose Mini 2 as it is quite neutral.
    Mids
    The Mini 2 has sweet mids. Let start off with the lower midrange it is recessed to a small extent. As you move on, you can tell the Rose Mini 2 is made for the upper midrange as it is forward. It is just nice and not as aggressive as DBA-02. Vocal lovers will like the Rose Mini 2.
    Highs
    Other reviews mentioned that the Rose Mini 2 has piercing treble but I disagree. With my sources, the Rose Mini 2 treble is quite smooth but bright. The extension is quite good at this price point. However, there is slight treble roll-off.

    Comparisons

    Fischer Audio DBA-02
    The DBA-02 has a more aggressive treble than the Rose Mini 2. However, the Rose Mini 2 wins in its bass reproduction. It is very tight and punchy. As a result, the Rose Mini 2 is more engaging than the DBA-02.
    Moving on to clarity, I would say both are on par. The aggressive treble of DBA-02 gives one the notion that it has more clarity but after critical listening, this is not the case. The DBA-02 is slightly quicker than the Rose Mini 2. For soundstage, the Rose Mini 2 is better as it gives more width and depth.
    Brainwavz B200
    The B200 has a more forward treble than the Rose Mini 2. The Rose Mini 2 wins in terms of neutrality. The bass of B200 is similar to the Rose Mini 2.
    Moving on to clarity, the Rose Mini 2 wins as it is more detailed despite the B200 having more treble. It gives a cleaner presentation. In addition, the soundstage of Rose Mini 2 is better than B200 in terms of width and depth.

    Conclusion
    The Rose Mini 2 is a tiny iem that is capable of big sound. It is definitely a keeper based on the price. The performance of it is really good. I think Rose did an excellent job on this one.
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      B9Scrambler and ryanjsoo like this.
  3. Cinder
    So Small You Might Lose It!
    Written by Cinder
    Published Apr 17, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Great cable, excellent isolation, attractive shell color, good extension, bass shaping, lots of eartips, lots of detail
    Cons - Can sound thin, nozzle is not made from a hard material
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    Rose Mini2 Review: So Small You Might Loose It

    Rose is one of my favorite IEM makers. This small Chinese company has continually released IEMs that I found comfortable, stylish, and fun to listen to. This is their first attempt at a truly tiny IEM. However, is the Mini2 worth your time and consideration?
    You can find the Rose Mini2 for sale here, on Penon Audio, for $99 (fixed cable version) or $110 (MMCX version).
    Disclaimer: This unit was purchased by me with my hard-earned cash. I am not affiliated with Rose or Penon Audio beyond this review. 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 Rose Mini2 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. Penon Audio and Rose both recommend that you use the Mini2 with a Hi-Fi DAP, and for a good reason. There is a noticeable difference between the Mini2’s performance on my Nexus 6P and on my SuperMini.

    Sound Signature

    Initial Impressions:
    The Mini2 makes use of two BAs, so I assumed it was going to have almost nonexistent bass (sort of like the 4Ai S). However, I was wrong. The Mini2 has a V-shaped sound signature with reserved, but still noticeable, bass response.
    Treble: Songs used: In One EarMidnight CityOutlandsSatisfy
    The Mini2 has great extension. This is especially noticeable on tracks with high-hats and cymbals. The upper treble is granular (not smooth) but has a lot of detail and is well-toned.
    Electronic synths sound very good on the Mini2 and are quite cohesive. The treble and upper-treble are slightly boosted, meaning they can make their way to the front of the sound stage with very little effort, never getting lost in the crowd.
    The Mini2, to my delight, is never sibilant. Even my worst behaved tracks fared well. White Flag by Delta Heavy and Satisfy by Nero posed no problems.
    Mids: Songs used: Flagpole SittaJacked UpI Am The HighwayDreams
    The upper-mids are well-fleshed-out and have a great sense of air and detail about them, but the lower-mids sound a tab bit hollow and scooped. Strangely, this doesn’t remove any detail from that range. In fact, quite the opposite; though the mids need weight, they certainly sound very detailed.
    Electric guitars sound good, but in certain instances, can feel thin. Acoustic guitars sound very good as well, but rarely ever suffer the way electric ones do. Timbre is excellent, though I’d like more emphasis on the mids as a whole.
    Vocals sound sweet and articulate. In fact, I’m quite impressed with the way that both male and female vocalists resolve on the Mini2. Even though they aren’t too far in front, they never get lost in the mix. It’s good to find a V-shaped IEM that doesn’t have to boost the 2Khz range just to make the vocals intelligible.
    Bass: Songs used: MothGold DustIn For The Kill (Skream Remix)Leave Me
    Bass guitars resolve well and are weighted nicely. They aren’t too emphasized, but they are shaped well. This lends songs a cohesive and full feeling. Acoustic bass lines aren’t too heavy, nor are they too gentle.
    Bass wetness is pretty good, though I’d like a slightly more wet sub-bass. However, in spite of my nit-picking I find the Mini2 to be reasonably capable of playing-back the more agressive and bass-heavy kinds of electronic music. DJ Fresh’s Gold Dust sounded great, as did Leave Me by Taska Black.

    Packaging / Unboxing

    All the contents of the Mini2 are sealed inside the carrying case, and the carrying case is enclosed in a simply cardboard box. No frills, just the necessities.
    IMG_2285.jpg IMG_2287.jpg

    Build

    Construction Quality
    1lOzqRSAd5EJRqKxxNStONw.jpg

    The Mini2 is a little odd. It’s housing is made from Rose’s standard hard plastic, though the nozzles are made from a softer, bendier, material that is quite thin. While it doesn’t exactly inspire a ton of confidence in me, I don’t think that the nozzle is especially prone to damage. However, if I could choose I would definitely have liked to see the nozzle be made from a harder material.
    1AByuzN51zctujNpHi8E6gA.jpg
    The Mini2 comes in both a fixed-cable version and a detachable MMCX cable version. I have the detachable cable version. The cable that the Mini2 comes with is quite nice, and is made from silver. It is braided and has a great texture to it that feels premium. The cable has 45-degree MMCX connectors and terminates as a 3.5mm jack.
    Comfort
    The Mini2 is very comfortable. It is meant to be worn over-ear, though it is so light you won’t ever even notice it. The diameter of the core of the eartips included is so small that, once you get a good fit, the Mini2 almost “disappears”.

    Accessories

     
    1NOBAto9LHYCAcplvK0ykIg.jpg
    The Mini2, despite it’s humble packaging, comes with a good number of accessories. Inside the box you will find:
    1. 5x pairs of silicone eartips
    2. 1x pair of memory foam eartips
    3. 1x carrying case
    The eartips are diverse and are all high quality. I really like the selection here, and they fit quite well onto the Mini2. My only concern is the memory foam. They slide around a little bit on the nozzle, but have yet to actually come off the nozzle, so it’s not actively been an issue.

    Summary

    The Mini2, though not without its flaws, is a pretty solid IEM. It’s insanely small, yet features two balanced armature drivers in each housing. On top of that, Rose managed to fit a good implementation of MMCX into it making these some fairly unique earphones. While the sound signature isn’t for everyone, I think that there’s a place for the Mini2 in a lot of people’s collections. It's a great value for someone looking for something small. However, if you aren’t a tiny-IEM enthusiast, try to look around at some other options in this price range such as the Rose 3D-7 or Simgot EN700 Bass.
      Hawaiibadboy and puppyfi like this.
    1. Saoshyant
      I really would like to try this one, but I worry it'll be too bass light for my tastes for a lot of my music.  Then again, at $110 it's not a huge investment and can always be sold to someone better suited.
      Saoshyant, Apr 18, 2017
    2. BB187
      I have been sold!
      looking for small armature iems
      BB187, Apr 25, 2017
  4. FUYU
    Small and very capable - The Rose Mini2
    Written by FUYU
    Published Mar 31, 2017
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Clarity, Resolution; Balanced sound
    Cons - Needs a good source to shine; treble linearity
    IMG_20170319_155331.jpg


    "You know, big things come in small packages."

    I bought the Mini2 over at PenonAudio for 115$: http://penonaudio.com/Rose-Mini2-2BA-IEMs





    Specifications
    :


    • Price: $99.90 (fixed cable; $115 for the detachable cable version)
    • Drivers: Balanced Armature, 2 drivers per ear, 2-way configuration
    • Drivers: Sonion 2600 & Knowles 30095
    • Impedance: 45 Ohms
    • Sensitivity: 108 dB


    Build and Accessories


    Coming in a very clean and understated black box, the Rose Mini2 features a pseudo Otterbox-like carrying case that is bolstered on the inside and includes the in-ears themselves and some of the tips. There is another, albeit very senseless, plastic case with some more tips. Speaking of which, there are only 4 pairs of tips, from which I only found the L-sized white tips usable. The package is great looking, however stuffed with a whole lot of air. The carrying case is great, though somewhat cheap around the hinges.

    Inside the case are the actual IEMs itself. And boy, does the cable look nice...

    The Mini2 is primarily made out of acrylic, with the nozzle being silicone. (Shout-out to HifiChris for noting that out). Myself thought of the nozzle being acrylic as well, but the nozzle is flexible and quite delicate in nature. The transition is very seamless.

    The in-ears are tiny in size, very tiny. There is a coloured Rose logo on each of the shells, and the colour corresponds with red standing for right and blue for left, respectively.

    I opted for the detachable MMCX version. Like mentioned, the cable is quite nice. Although it does look a tad silly with the strain-relieves being bigger than the actual IEMs themselves.

    Isolation is ok for me, nothing extraordinary. They are no Etymotic in terms of blocking out noise. For those with bigger, wider earcanals, please get yourself some CP800 Spinfits or Shure Olives. The included tips are very underwhelming. (There is not much variety anyway...)


    IMG_20170319_155152.jpg
    IMG_20170319_155212.jpg


    Sound-Analysis


    I did most of my listening with my HifiMe 9018 DAC/AMP, various phones and my Xduoo X3. I recommend using warmer sounding sources, with good amping capabilities. Balanced Armatures are not the best when it comes down to having a linear impedance response. EQ might be needed.


    • Great clarity
    • Balanced signature
    • Good soundstage and imaging
    • Bass is very fast in decay
    • Insertion depth can alter the sound
    • Treble linearity
    • Sounds terrible with a lot of sources


    Overall the Mini2 is a very balanced, mature sounding In-Ear, with great clarity and imaging. However with the wrong source, the Mini2 can be overly bright, and shouty around the 6kHz and 8kHz area.

    Bass presentation is focused around mid-bass around the 200hz area, making for a nice and punchy experience. Extension is commendable, although falls definitely short compared to higher priced models like my beloved FLC8s. The Bass is just a touch above "neutral", still it can give your ears quite an impact, when the source demands it.

    Lower midrange is slightly recessed, which is a common way of tuning nowadays. The Mini2 has quite the spacious presentation, thanks to that. Yet, it doesn't sound diffused, but rather very focused with good spacial imaging for the price. Male singers sound slightly distant compared to their female counterparts, however. Moving beyond 2kHz, the upper midrange does press the stage more towards the listener, with female vocals sounding sweeter and more direct.

    The treble has its up and downs. I have tried the Mini2 with various phones, and in 9/10 cases, my ears were blown off by the piercing treble. However attached to my friends tube-amp wielded much better results. They are on the brighter side, either way. Extension is solid, reaching toward 12kHz before rolling off. The treble does have some off-putting spikes here and there.

    Separation is good and the in-ear also manages to showcase blackness and distance of instruments fairly well. Even with fast, complex and dense recordings, the soundstage doesn’t cave in but remains pleasantly controlled and intact. While width is more pronounced, the soundstage doesn't feel flat or unbalanced.

    Comparisons


    FLC8s (Clear-Gray-Gray) (~329$):

    The Mini2 was very similar sounding at first, however compared to the FLC8s it does fall short in soundstage size and imaging. It's not a huge difference, though. The Mini2 does hold very well in clarity, which I think both are on equal footing. Bass decay is slower and more "natural" on the FLC8s thanks to the dynamic driver displacing more air. The FLC8s doesn't stray into brightness as much as the Mini2. The FLC8s sounds great out of almost anything. But for 1/3 the Mini2 does possess the better value preposition of the two.

    LZ A4 (Black-Blue) (199$):

    The A4 is much more bassy, compared to the Mini2. Furthermore the bass has a very slow decay and speed in comparison. Bass extension is quite similar. Clarity is slightly better on the Mini2. The A4s treble is much more ressessed around the 5-6kHz area, making for a more mellow listen. I prefer the Mini2 in signature, though the A4 trumps it with better soundstage. The A4 is for the guy looking for some fun in their music. The A4 is much easier to drive. Both are pretty equal in terms of value.

    Conclusion


    The Mini2 is great, but only with the right gear. Drive it well and it wields the power to enlighten you with great clarity and balanced sound.
      ryanjsoo likes this.
    1. Hi-Fi'er
      Thank you for the review.
      Hi-Fi'er, Mar 31, 2017
    2. vapman
      Been waiting for this! Thanks bro!
      vapman, Mar 31, 2017
  5. HiFiChris
    Rose Technology Mini2: A wonderful little Flower
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Mar 12, 2017
    4.5/5,
    Pros - detailed, coherent, tonally well-balanced, precise, inexpensive for what it is and delivers
    Cons - nozzles are basically flexible silicone tubes
     ​
    DSC02361_2.jpg
     
     

     
     
    Introduction:

    “Rose Technology” is a company name you are probably not familiar with – no, they are not a company that supplies flowers or gardening tools, but instead they are a still young and small Chinese manufacture that makes in-ears and earbuds.
    Aside from hybrid in-ears, one dynamic in-ear and dynamic earbuds, they also have two multi-Balanced Armature in-ears in their portfolio, namely the quintuple-driver BR5 as well as the Mini2 that is the subject of this review.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    Priced just around $100, these in-ears rival other inexpensive dual-BA in-ears such as the Apple In-Ears, the t.bone EP-7Pai Audio MR2 or Zero Audio Carbo Doppio.
     
     
    How does the Mini2 sound? Is it worth the price? How does it compare to other in-ears? This and more is to be found in the course of this review.
     
     
    Disclaimer & Acknowledgement: Before I go on, I would like to thank Penon Audio who helped me to organise the shipment of a free sample of the Rose Technology Mini2 to me for the purpose of an honest, unbiased and unpaid review.


    Technical Specifications:

    http://penonaudio.com/Rose-Mini2-2BA-IEMs
    Price: $99.90 (fixed cable; $115 for the detachable cable version)
    Drivers: Balanced Armature, 2 drivers per ear, 2-way configuration
    Drivers: Sonion 2600 & Knowles 30095
    Impedance: 45 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 108 dB


    Delivery Content:

    Quite often, very small manufacturers from Asia don’t supply anything more than a basic packaging for their in-ears. Therefore it might probably surprise you a bit, in a positive way, that the Mini2 arrives in a small black Rose-branded cardboard box that houses a small, sturdy Otterbox-like carrying case that is bolstered on the inside and includes the in-ears as well as all of the accessories that come with them.
    So inside the nice little carrying case, one can find the following: the in-ear bodies, a cable (if the version with removable cables was ordered), one pair of memory foam ear tips, one pair of double-flange silicone tips, one pair of medium/small black silicone tips, three pairs of white silicone tips in different sizes with normal stem length, and one pair of white silicone tips with short stem length.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
     
    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:
     
    The in-ears are tiny in size – seriously tiny!
     
    The body of each side is made of acrylic, while the nozzles are flexible silicone tubes with an acoustic damper inside.
    There is a coloured Rose logo on each of the shells, and the colour simultaneously acts as a side indicator with red standing for right and blue for left, which by the way is also the standard for most higher-end and stage in-ears.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    The in-ears are well made and there is no sign of inclusions or bubbles inside the transparent acrylic bodies that let you see the drivers, internal wiring and parts of the crossover components, however I am a little worried about the flexible silicone tube nozzle. For people who constantly change ear tips, it might definitely be a weak spot compared to more commonly found acrylic, plastic or steel nozzles.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    If ordered with removable cables, the cable you get has got coaxial MMCX connectors and is a really nice one – it is silver, nicely long, and made of four separate strands that are twisted, just like the majority of cables for high-end and professional in-ears.
    Hence it is very flexible but also sturdy at the same time.
    The cable also features a y-split that sits pleasantly low, with a chin-slider that is easy to move but doesn’t accidentally change its position.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
     
    Comfort, Isolation:
     
    People with very small and narrow ear canals that usually struggle with getting a proper fit and seal with most in-ears will likely love the Mini2 when it comes to ergonomics, and in my large ears, the in-ears are almost invisible (and sit as well as fit very well, too).
    Due to their shape, the user can also try different insertion depths to get the comfort and sound he wants (I usually prefer a deep insertion with most small in-ears).
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    The in-ears can be worn both with the cable down as well as – more professionally – over the ears, with the latter adding more security and pretty much completely eliminating cable noise.
    Since the MMCX connectors are angled and not straight, inserting and placing the in-ears might feel a bit unfamiliar at first, but after no more than two or three insertions, when the correct direction of the connectors has been found out and gotten used to, inserting the Mini2 is just as easy as with about any other in-ear.
     
    Due to the closed shells, isolation is really good – just as expected.


    Sound:

    My main sources for listening were the iBasso DX200 and the HiFime9018d.
     
    I used the largest included single-flange tips with regular stem length and deep insertion. Individual sound impressions might probably vary depending on the used tips and insertion depth.

    Tonality:

    What the Mini 2 presents to my ears is a very balanced, mature sound that heads into the flatter, more neutral direction. It is definitely not the typical consumer-oriented, bass-heavy or v-shaped sound that is often found in this price range. It is also not a rather mid-centric sound that some single-BA in-ears in the lower price range have.
     
    What I generally hear when listening to music is a well-balanced sound with a bass that is just a few dB north of a truly flat sounding in-ear (such as the Etymotic ER-4S or ER-4SR), with a focus on midbass as well as upper bass and a sub-bass that can still be heard but is a bit less present in comparison. The bass doesn’t spill into the midrange and doesn’t thicken it/warm it up.
    The midrange sounds tonally accurate and realistic to me, with just a very subtle lift favouring female/higher vocals compared to deeper/male vocals. This helps higher vocals to subtly stand out, but male/deep voices are ever so slightly on the slimmer side when it comes to body.
    The treble that follows right after is surprisingly even and pretty neutral, with probably just a small dip in the middle highs, and represents an accurate timbre that I honestly did not expect to find – regardless of what I play, the treble just doesn’t sound artificial or off in terms of timbre and realism when it comes to reproducing instruments, which is pretty rare in this price range (the treble is often either on the smoother side, or it is brighter and/or has got some small peaks and dips that make it sound more artificial – not so with the Mini2). Extension above 10 kHz seems to be really good as well.
    “Accuracy” and “realism” are the first words that come to my mind when thinking of the Mini2’s sound signature. It just doesn’t do anything wrong and neither subdues nor highlights anything on a recording. What really puts a smile on my face is that the highs are neither emphasised nor any recessed sounding and appear very realistic, without any sharpness, edginess, and are generally fairly even.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    - - - - - - - - -
     
    Listening to sine sweeps, I hear the bass to start climbing at 600 Hz and reaching the climax around 180 Hz. This level is kept upright down to 80 Hz and then loses quantity towards 20 Hz. The sub-bass is still audible (both with sine sweeps and music) but logically with less quantity and impact.
    Quantity-wise, the strongest elevation in the lows is around 5 dB compared to a diffuse-field flat low frequency range as it can for example be found in the Etymotic ER-4S and ER-4SR (therefore the Mini2 has got about the same bass quantity as the InEar StageDiver SD-2Pai Audio MR3 and Etymotic ER-4XR, but with a less present sub-bass in comparison).
    Moving on to the midrange and lower treble, I can hear an ever so slight lift between 2 and 3 kHz, followed by a dip around 4 kHz.
    Above 5 kHz, level is neutral and even to my ears, with just a slight lift at 9 kHz and great extension past 16 kHz.

    Resolution:

    Many dual-BA in-ears in the lower price range offer an overall good resolution but either struggle when it comes to partial resolution (of either the bass, midrange or treble) or coherency – for example, the Apple in-ears (that are quite underrated as good dual-BA in-ears in the sub $100 price range in my opinion) offer a good sound for their respective price but don’t sound as coherent as comparatively priced single-BA in-ears and seem to be less controlled and resolving in the lower ranges than in the upper. A part of this is also true for the Pai Audio MR2, that, while it sounds coherent, has got a great soundstage and sounds overall detailed for the money, sounds a bit less detailed in the bass and lower midrange than in the highs.
     
    None of this is true for the Mini2 – my assumption (before I got the in-ear) that it might be more or less in the same technical ballpark as the Apple in-ears was quite wrong. In reality, the Mini2 sounds highly coherent and there is no area that I could say is less detailed and resolving than the other (if anything, then the midrange is ever so slightly, minimally less detailed than the lows and highs even though speech intelligibility is, not really that surprisingly, high).
    The treble is well-separated, sounds realistic and has got just the right decay without fading away too quickly or staying for too long. Single notes and bow strokes are well distinguishable from each other and busy drumming and cymbal crashes don’t end up in a bright, sizzling mess but with good separation and rendering.
    The bass is tight and controlled, just as it could be expected from most in-ears with a Balanced Armature woofer. In its price range and up to $200, the Mini2 has got a bass that is among the fastest as well as tightest in its class and shows great control – it is only slightly soft in attack compared to some of the tighter higher-end and mid-priced in-ears, but there are enough models in the higher and medium price range that differ more or less greatly from each other when it comes to bass character and either have a tighter (e.g. UERMW4RATH-IM03, FA-3E) or softer (e.g. StageDiver SD-2, FA-4E XB, MR2, most hybrid IEMs) bass response than the Mini2.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    So when it comes to detail retrieval, the Mini2 is a great in-ear that offers a coherent, precise and detailed sound without costing much.

    Soundstage:

    The Mini2 offers a quite spacious soundstage that has got a good amount of width and corresponding spatial depth to create a rather open sphere.
    Width is good and exceeds the base of my head. Spatial depth is also present but less compared to the width, so the soundstage is clearly more oval than round to my ears.
    Separation is good and the in-ear also manages to display empty space fairly well. Even with fast, complex and dense recordings, the soundstage doesn’t cave in but remains pleasantly controlled and intact.

    ---------
     
    In Comparison with other In-Ears:

    Let’s find out how the Mini2 sounds compared to two other dual-BA in-ears in about the same price range as well as one single-BA in-ear.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    Apple In-Ears:

    The Apple in-ears, if a good seal is achieved, have got somewhat more bass quantity and the more pronounced sub-bass compared to the Mini2. With rather deep insertion, the Apple in-ears also have the slightly darker treble in comparison.
    The Mini2 sounds more realistic and even in the treble than the Apple in-ears.
     
    When it comes to resolution, the Rose is ahead – not only does it offer the more coherent sound, but also the more detailed presentation in the lows along with more tightness, bite, control and impact, but also the more detailed, better separated treble. The only area where both are about on-par is the central mids at 1 kHz.
     
    Moving over to the soundstage, the Rose has got the wider and also somewhat deeper stage with the sharper, more precise instrument separation and placement as well as the better reproduction of spatial emptiness. Playing complex and dense recordings, the Rose’s soundstage also remains audibly better controlled.

    Pai Audio MR2:

    The MR2 has got the more pronounced, thicker bass in comparison, that has got about 4 dB more in quantity. The MR2 can be considered as being v-shaped due to its countervailing upper treble peak.
    The MR2 has got the more forward midrange in comparison.
     
    When it comes to resolution, I hear both as being very comparable in the upper range, with probably a slight advantage for the Rose. In the central and upper midrange, it is a draw with probably an ever so slight advantage for the Pai. In the bass and lower midrange however, I hear the Mini2 as being somewhat ahead and more detailed sounding.
    The MR2 has got the somewhat softer and slightly less controlled bass than the Mini2 that sounds more resolving, quicker and tighter.
     
    In terms of soundstage, the MR2 that is quite excellent in this regard, offers the larger spatial room with more width, depth and the even better separation and portrayal of emptiness.

    Brainwavz B100:

    The Brainwavz’s bass and lower midrange is a little fuller and more pronounced in comparison. Both bottom end elevations have got about the same shape (some roll-off towards the sub-bass).
    The B100 has got the more pronounced 10 kHz range wherefore the Mini2 sounds a bit more realistic and even up top in comparison and also has got the better extension past 10 kHz. Nonetheless the B100 is a great in-ear for its price.
     
    Directly comparing the two in-ears, he B100 still sounds a little more coherent and uniform in comparison. The Rose in-ear has got the slightly more detailed midrange out of the two.
    In the treble, the difference isn’t as big anymore but I’d also say that the Mini2 is putting out the somewhat better separation here.
    Moving to the bass and lower midrange, the Rose is more resolving, audibly less grainy and sounds tighter. Decay is comparably good with both in-ears.
     
    The Mini2 has got more spatial width, whereas the B100 carries somewhat more spatial depth. When it comes to instrument separation, placement and portrayal of emptiness, the Rose in-ear is a bit ahead.

    - - - - - - - - -
     
    And last but not least, as a bonus, here is a comparative frequency response measurement chart of all of the in-ears that were just compared:
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Please note that this is what I recorded with my pseudo-diffuse-field-compensated-calibrated Vibro Veritas coupler (you can read more about the graphs and process of how they are taken and the inaccuracy in my measurements following this external link: frequency-response.blogspot.com/p/about-measurement-graphs.html).
    It is not ideal yet but should give a rather good idea of what the in-ears sound like when mentally adding some level around 3 kHz as well as 6 kHz where my calibration is rather off.
     
    - - - - - - - - -


    Conclusion:

    The Rose Technology Mini2 is definitely a keeper and a gem – it offers a balanced sound that heads into the neutral direction, has got a good coherency and detail retrieval across the whole frequency
     ​
    range, recreates a quite spacious as well as detailed soundstage and is really inexpensive for what it is and especially what it delivers.
    Getting more sound quality from other dual-BA in-ears at this price point than from the Mini2 surely is not an easy task to cope with at all.
     
    [​IMG]
     
     
    The only thing I am somewhat concerned about is the long-term reliability of the nozzles that are just flexible silicone tubes. Other than that, the Mini2 offers great value and sound quality for the money and is an easy recommendation for everyone who is looking for a well-balanced, rather neutral sound.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. BloodyPenguin
      Great review as always.  Really interesting IEM. 
      BloodyPenguin, Mar 14, 2017
    3. dw1narso
      excellent review... concise but very informative... interesting IEM to try...
      dw1narso, Mar 14, 2017
    4. HiFiChris
      Thanks, guys.
       
      @Venture Guy I guess you intended to say Apple In-Ears, since the EarPods, as you can also see in the photo where all four IEMs are pictured. The EarPods don't sound similar (kicking upper bass, elevation around 2 kHz).

      @castleofargh Imagine if they made a single-BA IEM instead of a dual driver. :D
      It's of course a little difficult to say, but I would say that the filters are not glued in.
      HiFiChris, Mar 15, 2017