Rose Technics QT-9 MK2S Review
Rose Technics is a brand which flew under the radar of many audiophiles. They are very popular in mainland China but internationally,not so much. They are well known for their earbuds and also several IEMs which can be found in their Taobao’s store. I came across the design and specifications of the QT-9 and it piqued my interest in trying it out as their previous iteration of QT-9 is well received by several reviewers in HeadFi. Without further ado,I approached Rose Technics about my interest to test it out,and here I am today ,ready to pen down my thoughts about QT-9.
Specifications (Information grabbed from Rose Technics AliEx Store)
Impedance - 12Ω
Sensitivity - 108db
Connector - MMCX
Frequency Range - 8-44600hz
Drivers Config - 1DD+4BA
The packaging came in a very minimalist style. It looks simple yet doesn’t lack the premium touch. The QT9's head unit itself is stored in a hard case, while the accessories such as eartips and cable are also stored in another hard case. I have yet to come across such packaging style at this price point, it is unique for sure and I appreciate the hard case given and it has ample space to store your IEM with cable, or you can even store your dongle dac/amp with it.
QT-9’s shell is made out of PMMA(methyl methacrylate) which is a kind of high toughness plexiglass. The faceplate is made out of Aerial Aluminium Alloy,which according to Rose Technics’s marketing material,will not oxidise nor risk the paint being stripped.
As for comfort,they are very lightweight and there aren't any weird protruding edges that cause discomfort. I am able to wear them for as long as I want without feeling any discomfort.
Foobar2k -> TRI TK2 -> Rose Technics QT-9 MK2S (Stock cable and eartip)
Foobar2k -> Questyle M15 -> Rose Technics QT-9 MK2S (Stock cable and eartip)
iPhone 12 Mini Apple Music -> Apple Lightning 3.5 Dongle -> Rose Technics QT-9 MK2S (Stock cable and eartip)
If you are looking at the graph of QT-9 from Rose Technics’s AliEx store,you will see that it has recessed mids. Let me tell you that isn’t the case at all. The mids are in no way recessed,in fact the upper mids do sound a little boosted to my ears,in a good way of course. The tonality of QT-9 MK2S to my ears sounded neutral to slightly bright,it may come off as a little dry sounding to some depending on which source you are pairing it with. Let’s take a look at the break down below:
QT-9 MK2S’s bass won’t hit you really hard, it does its job,it is clean and punches hard enough when it’s called for
Bass is tight and clean,the speed is very good as well
Sub bass is slightly roll off,but you will still feel its rumble when it’s called for,it is not emphasised for sure
Definition is very good and well textured
Mid bass is no slouch as every drum hit got a very good definition to it,not to mention its speedy as well,very good and enjoyable thump
The mids of QT-9 MK2S reminds me of SeeAudio Yume’s mids. It is lush and certainly not dry sounding. The mids of QT-9 MK2s is clean and it sounded full
Vocal positioning is rather in your face,not laid back nor intimate,just nice to my ears
Female vocal sounded just right with the right amount of texture and body,not overly warm nor cold sounding
Male vocal sounded thicker compared to female’s,very enjoyable especially those male artists with a very low deep voice. A track that i enjoyed very much from Zhao Peng, The Moon Represents My Heart
Instruments sounded realistic and yet there’s a slight boost on the upper mids that can be felt,but to me it is enjoyable,your experience might differ as we all have different ear structures,all that does play in a role in terms of how you perceive the upper mids
The treble is very lively and vivid to my ears,yet it is not fatiguing and i enjoyed it alot
Very good detail retrieval capability and i can easily pick up the micro details on QT-9 MK2s
Good amount of air and well textured
The treble to my ears,it is as if a combination of monitor earphones with a hint of musicality on it,so it doesn’t sound dry
The treble is non sibilant,not fatiguing and very enjoyable to listen to,even when you crank up the volume,it remains very enjoyable
Soundstage and Imaging
Soundstage of QT-9 MK2S will largely depending on the eartips that you’ve chosen,for this review,i am using the stock eartips
On stock eartips, the soundstage is average,not to wide nor in your head,average depth and height
I tried Final Type E eartips and it does expand the soundstage making it sound wider and slightly taller
Imaging is quite good,stereo positioning is on point and instruments can be pinpointed easily
HRTF transition from left to right and vice versa is very clear across the transition
Comparison (SeeAudio Yume Midnight)
Yume Midnight is slightly warmer to my ears,it has got thicker weight notes and more slam on the bass
Yume Midnight doesn’t sound as vivid/sparkly as QT-9 MK2S (YMMV)
Fitment of Yume Midnight is a little problematic for me as it is slightly bigger,QT-9 MK2S fits very well in my ears
Mids noticeably better on the QT-9 MK2S,it is similar to the OG Yume,which sounded lush and sweet
Soundstage is wider on Yume Midnight but that’s not really a cons as it’s more of a preference,some prefers intimate soundstage while others wide,again,very easily rectifiable by tip rolling
In terms of technicalities,both Yume Midnight and QT-9 doesn’t stray too far off each other.I do find QT-9
I do find QT-9 MK2s is sensitive to cable change as well,different cable material does affect the tonality of QT-9
I have tried several cables,pure copper,and silver plated copper,and mixed gold,silver,and copper cable,they sound different on QT-9 and it is fun to experiment with and see which signature you actually prefers
I settled with the stock cable in the end as i find it synergize well with my source and the signature is what i preferred
QT-9 MK2S in my opinion is the IEM that flew under the radar,I personally think that it deserves more exposure. Sound wise, for the price that it is asking for,I have tried several hybrids, although at a lower price point,but by paying slightly more for the QT-9,you are actually getting more than what you are paying in terms of the extra amount that you’re spending. Worth every penny in my opinion.
It may sound like I'm trying to shill QT-9,rest assured that I am not,it is just that good and who knows,you may like it after you try it.
If you are interested in getting one,head over to RoseTechnics AliEx store to grab a pair
*Although QT-9 MK2s is sent over to me for free for the purpose of this review,I am in no way influenced nor compensated by RoseTechnics in producing this review. The store link provided above is non-affiliated as well.