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.