Rose Mini 2 Review – Sub $100 Reference Standard

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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.

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.

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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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