Rose Mini 2 Review – Sub $100 Reference Standard

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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 X10 and 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.

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.

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.

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 nupdated 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.

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.

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About Author

Avid writer, passionate photographer and full-time student, Ryan's audio origins and enduring interests lie within all aspects of portable audio. An ongoing desire to bring quality audio to the regular reader underpins his reviewer ethos as he seeks to bring a new perspective on the cutting edge and budget dredge alike.

6 Comments

  1. Kamil Raja on

    Hey Ryan I wanted to ask how do these compare to the westone w20/w2, audio technica im02 or gr07? my westones just died so i was wondering if these are a good replacement. Thank you so much for review, it really came in handy since i’m looking for a new pair of iems

  2. William on

    How do these compare against the GR07? My ones finally broke and I’m looking for alternates or even sonic upgrades. Anything that comes to your mind as a recommendation would be helpful as well!

  3. Daniel Rodrigues on

    Hi!

    Thanks for the review!

    Can you compare them to the RE-400’s?

    Thanks

    • Ryan Soo on

      Pretty similar balance and style of tuning, the RE-400 is a dynamic driver earphone so it has more sub-bass extension and slam though the Mini 2 has slightly more mid-bass punch. Mids are similar, the Rose is smoother and upper mids are a bit more detail. Treble is more linear and extended on the Rose though the RE-400 has a wider soundstage. I would pick the Rose mainly due to the removable cable and build which feels better than the Hifiman despite their diminutive size.

  4. Kevin Scott Caja on

    Hi Ryan, awesome review! I’m tempted to buy this IEM. How would you compare this to Apple’s ADDIEM?

    Thanks!

    • Ryan Soo on

      Sorry Kevin, haven’t had a chance to try Apple’s in-ear, I believe there was a review on Head-fi that provided some comparison.

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