Rose Technics IEMs on a wooden desk

Rose Technics Buyers Guide

As ChiFi continues to surge in popularity amidst the audiophile market, more and more names look to establish themselves as key players in the race of delivering high level sound at a low entry level price. Thus emerged Rose Technics – an established audio brand from Chendu, China who has yet to leave their mark on the western market, but seems to have all the tools necessary. So, with all that said, where should you start in Rose Technics’ lineup? 


QuietSea is Rose Technics’ most accessible option at $48.99, and I consider the overall build of the IEMs and included MMCX cable to be quite good value here for the price point. What you get is a rather well constructed shell that displays a minimal aesthetic and a cable that's quite thick and ergonomically comfortable thanks to its cloth wrap. While I did notice some awkward kinks and inconsistencies develop after a few cable wraps, I do think it’s a well constructed cable that should reside nicely with listeners. My biggest complaint mostly dwells with the rather narrow, oval shaped nozzle. While I’ve been able to get a great seal with QuietSea, this will limit some tip choices as not all give the QuietSeas nozzle the proper clearance for sound reproduction. I did find the Eletech Baroque to produce the best seal, comfort, and sound when used with the QuietSea. 

Rose Technics QuietSea IEM and accessories on a leather backdrop

As for sound, QuietSeas sound signature is tuned with a single dynamic driver, and has a clear emphasis in the midrange, more specifically in the upper midrange frequencies. Vocals have nice transparency to them, but a somewhat unnatural clarity that gives off an exaggerated sense of detail. Moving to the low end, Bass is rather light, but does have great impact and texture to it. The mid bass is more prominent here, with the sub bass taking a back seat. So while you do get an impressive kick and slam in the bass, the thump that's missing in QuietSeas low end does leave something to be desired in its sound signature. Treble has real presence here, and while its extension isn’t fantastic, it does have really solid resolution and shine. The sound stage and overall depth of the imaging isn’t to die for, but it does have a decently wide and well separated stage to it that provides both an enjoyable and natural sense of spacing between instruments. QuietSea has a rather energetic and upbeat sound signature that pairs well across multiple genres, including, but not limited to, rock, rap, and pop as all of these elements come together to deliver a presentation that's both spirited and fun, while still providing good technicalities and resolution. QuietSea proves to provide good value across the board in both its build and design, as well as in its sound presentation. 

Rose Technics QuietSea IEM on a leather backdrop

Star City 5 Pro

Star City 5 Pro raises the stakes a smidge by coming in at $72.99. To back the price increase, it has equally impressive build quality to the QuietSea, boasting a thinner, more lightweight MMCX cable, and a 3.5mm to USB-C adapter, allowing for easy connectivity across phones and other sources. The design of the IEMs follow similar fashion to QuietSea with a simple but effective design that keeps the flare factor relatively low. The included black IEM case is a nice touch as well with subtle “Light Year” branding on it. Rose Technics delivers another nice package with an additional accessory that provides good usability and connectivity, which is a no-brainer at this price range as these IEMs will most likely be driven off a phone or laptop.

Rose Technics StarCity 5 Pro IEM and accessories on a metal backdrop

Moving into sound, I found Star City 5 Pro to be mostly focused and thoughtful, with a rather melancholy and more detail oriented sound signature. I found it to pair very well with classical and jazz, with really nice detail retrieval and excellent spacing and imaging. That was until I paired it with Rose Technics DAC dongle, the RZ-300M. This dongle opened up Pandora’s box on what Star City 5 Pro can do, adding excellent low end presence, and much needed sub bass extension. I was very surprised by the synergy here by the two products as I used Star City 5 Pro across a multitude of different sources (dongles, tube amps, and DAPs), and this $27 dongle easily beat them all out. Star City 5 Pro now becomes an incredibly versatile IEM that plays well across every genre I throw at it, creating a sound that’s both incredibly detailed and engaging. Star City 5 Pro quickly went from a well constructed, well tuned, and worthwhile listen, to an incredible value pick with the addition of this dongle. Whether you decide to add it or not, Star City 5 Pro is excellent value at its price point, and would easily be my first recommendation to those interested in what Rose Technics lineup has to offer. 

Rose Technics StarCity 5 Pro IEM on a metal backdrop


QT9 MK3 looks to separate itself from the pact a little bit and step into the upper echelon of what Rose Technics has to offer in terms of accessories, packaging, and build. Included is the same cable as the Star City 5 Pro’s, as well as aforementioned 3.5mm to USB-C adapter, 6.3mm adapter, replacement grill covers, eartips, MMCX remover tool, and the nicest travel case included yet. It's a gray leather case that has ample room for accessories and the IEMs and cable itself. Although what's included in the box isn’t all that much different from the Star City 5 Pro, we do see a little bit more of a nicer aesthetic on the IEM, offering a more traditional shell look than what the Star City 5 Pro and QuietSea had to offer. While Rose Technics has done a good job balancing ergonomics as a whole, QT9 MK3 and QTX sit in my ear slightly more comfortably than the others, and may be the easiest for newcomers to grow accustomed to if they have experience with other IEMs. I find the only miss here to be the non inclusion of the RZ-300M DAC dongle as I think it pairs incredibly well with this IEM, and would serve as a nice discerning factor between the QT series IEMs, But, altogether, QT9 MK3 offers a slightly nicer package and build as it should at its $185.99 price tag. 

Rose Technics QT-9 MK3 IEM and accessories on a brown leather backdrop

For sound, QT9 MK3 enters as Rose Technics most mature sound profile yet. It has one dynamic driver and four balanced armatures in its driver configuration, making for both a tonally and technically balanced sound signature. Its more prominent low end initially led me to believe it was best when paired with rap and hip hop, but upon further listening, QT9 MK3 does carry over similarly good characteristics shown in QuietSea, but more so with StarCity 5 Pro, and is versatile across a number of genres. It has similar spacing and imaging to QuietSea, but I found the vertical imaging to be much more prominent, rather than the total width of the soundstage. What separates QT9 MK3 from QuietSea and StarCity 5 Pro mostly lies with both the bass and treble extension. While StarCity 5 Pro and QuietSea have good resolution in both the treble and bass, QT9 carries over that same resolution and allows both areas of the music to really extend and squeeze out the last bit of detail that QuietSea and StarCity 5 Pro could not. This makes QT9 offer a slightly more refined sound signature that hits a lot of checkboxes when listening. With plenty of rumble in the bass, great clarity in the midrange, and well resolving treble, QT9 presents listeners with a very complete sound signature that leaves little to be desired, and could possibly be the best total value of Rose Technics entire lineup. 

Rose Technics QT-9 MK3 IEM on a brown leather backdrop


QT-X has the high honors of coming in as Rose Technics flagship IEM at $339.99. This package includes the RZ-300M DAC dongle I’ve mentioned earlier, which has easily been the best source I’ve used with Rose Technics products. I cannot overstate how much of a difference this dongle has made in my listening, and I do believe other brands should take note of the possibility of including a DAC dongle with their IEMs. I will further expand on the RZ-300M’s pairing with the QT-X  in the sound section of this, but as for the package, QT-X takes elements of the earlier listed packaging and combines them to make the most complete offering yet. Interestingly, QT-X is also the only 2 Pin IEM here on this list, and features the same cable as the QuietSea. It feels somewhat odd to have the cheapest and most expensive IEMs feature the same cable as well, but I digress. The leather case found in the QT9 finds itself here as well, and although the case is nice, a speciality case (similarly to the one designed for the StarCity 5 Pro) would be a nice touch here, but for the most part, QT-X gets the job done in its packaging. It's also worth noting QT-X offers the most variation and design with the 4 different colorways offered, and while I did get the standard obsidian black faceplate, QT-X most definitely inherited the good looking genes of the family. 

Rose Technics QTX IEM and accessories on a wooden backdrop

In the sound department, QT-X comes in with a single dynamic driver, but goes with 6 balanced armatures to make their highest driver count yet. QT-X further expands on what QT-9 does in sound, but offers a slightly different bass response, one that's a little bit more hard hitting and impactful. It may not beat QT-9 MK3 in total quantity, but does have slightly better quality, with more rumble and better texture. The upper mids are slightly richer in the QT-X, offering better vocal clarity and presence. The treble feels just a touch smoother as well, which should bode well for those more treble sensitive. Interestingly enough, I’ve found QT-X to be the least source-dependant of the bunch, pairing well with a multitude of different sources. The same magic that carried over across the board with the RZ-300M didn’t have that same effect with QT-X, which is quite ironic since this DAC dongle is included with QT-X. However, the two do pair very well, but it was the first time that I found better synergy with another usual source of mine. All in all, QT-X does a lot of things right, and offers the most digestible and listener friendly sound profile that should appease most listeners willing to give QT-X the chance. At $339.99, QT-X doesn’t scream the same value as the previous three IEMs, but does offer another strong IEM option within the sub-$400 price bracket, standing out as a very versatile hybrid IEM. 

Rose Technics QTX IEM on a wooden backdrop


Final Thoughts 

Rose Technics made a quick impact on us here in the office, and I was thrilled to really sit down and evaluate them further for this guide. While the market is scoured with hundreds of IEMs I’ve never heard of, it’s always exciting to narrow down that list and go through the ranks of IEMs that are completely new to me. Rose Technics quickly went from a name that I haven’t heard of in the space, to a brand that I’ll happily endorse for their incredible value focused items, combining both solid build and design, with excellent sound signatures that made a lasting impression on me.