ROSE North Forest — when sound quality exceeds the price



My experience with ROSE TECHNICS brand has started with Mini series, leaving very positive impression about the sound from such tiny IEMs. There were some comments from other owners about build quality issues but the units that I have for more than half a year now are still in a perfect condition. Therefore, concerning both — impressive sound quality and absence of physical problems I have defined ROSE TECHNICS brand as one of my favorites…


It is a time now for a kind of flashback: want to share my opinion about ROSE North Forest — budget IEMs that were released to this market quite long time ago but are still on sales and still remain popular.

ROSE North Forest technical specifications:

  • Driver: titanium metal rare-earth magnet steel dynamic driver
  • Frequency response: 14 ~ 23000Hz
  • Sensitivity: 104db
  • Impedance: 18Ω
  • Cable: 128 shares, 4N OFC + anti-pull wire
  • Shells: magnesium-aluminum alloy



You can buy ROSE North Forest at PenonAudio Store

Packaging and design:

ROSE North Forest are supplied in small box with outer cardboard layer that contains product picture, brand and product names and short technical description with AFR at the back. Box itself is matt black with shiny silver brand logo and name imprints. Inner box compartment has soft insert that retains IEMs and extra eartips at place.


Box contents:

  • North Forest IEMs with cable
  • 1 pair of 2 flange silicone eartips
  • 3 pairs of regular silicone eartips


Nothing more. Of course, some modern budget products might give you a better value from money if to consider the amount of accessories but I’d prefer to have better sound quality instead of optional items in the box. If the SQ of North Forest is good — no problems with such stock set.


Build quality and finish of North Forest is great. IEMs are totally made of magnesium-alloy, consist of two parts: base painted in glossy blue or red and matt black top cover that forms one piece with the sound output nozzle.


Bases also include white brand logo and one compensational opening at the very bottom. Top covers have another opening close to the output nozzles. Unfortunately, cable is not detachable. Although, it has long rubber protection to avoid bending.


Stock cable is OFC, packed in soft silicone braid, with aluminum Y-splitter and 3.5mm jack housing. Microphone effect is present, to some extent. I would prefer to be able to switch to another cable in nylon or fabric braid.



Thanks to the output bullet-like shape and quite long output nozzles — North Forest sit very tight and reliable inside my ears. No problems either with the regular silicone eartips nor with the 2 flange ones. IEMs are lightweight and comfortable to wear. They don’t come with earguides but it is reasonable concerning good and universal fit.

Sound quality:

Tested with HiBy R6Pro DAP


Lows and midbass:

Very impressive and unexpectedly good deep bass reach with more than average amount of textures and weighted delivery. Bass might even feel a bit more heavy than necessary in some bassy tracks but perfectly exposed and balanced in most of the others. In general — very good reproduction of bass with the additional influence at mids. It is not sounding open, rather a bit dull but it still resolves good amount of details and reveals the nuances of the lower frequesncies.

Midbass sounds pretty natural and powerful. The dynamics is enough, drums are engaging, no problems with unwanted peaks or piercing effect at higher volume. Tight feel of drum hit is present.


Mids and vocals:

Mids get some exra influence coming from lows that results in additional warmth and add the weight and body to vocals. North Forest is one of those budget IEMs that would not produce any piercing effect on female vocals, neither it would emphasize it over male voices. Despite that treble is also quite accented here, its influence is not leading to the excessive crispness with shouting peaks. Yes, the resolution in mids might have been better but if it comes as a consequence of even higher treble presence — thanks, not wanted. North Forest mids, as it is now, are very close in balance to the picture that best expensive IEMs produce. This compensates some lack of details and clarity. Same goes to all instruments in this range as well.



Little bit elevated and brought forward but form a good balance with lows and don’t prevail in the entire picture. Extension is moderate while the clarity and resolution is exceptionally high for the IEMs of this price range. Many tiny details are revealed and stay perfectly separated from the absorbing influx of bass. This range really adds the clarity and airy feel to the sound and at the same time — not negatively influencing mids.



The best soundstage in <$25 so far. Maybe there are other IEMs in this price range that would show the same wide stage with good layers and instrument separation but this is first time for me to be able to define the stage and location of all instruments instead of eating small $25 sandwich with no taste…


Sound in overall:

ROSE North Forest IEMs sound could be desribed as little bassy, tending to warmer tonality, with impresive deep bass reach, good bass texturing, full-bodied and thick mids, clear and extended treble. Resolution is moderate but the soundstage in impressive.

Compared to GeekWold GK3:


GK3 were the only IEMs in the same price range equipped with 3 dynamic drivers. This didn’t help a lot as GK3 sound is too warm and too smeared. It lacks the clarity and resolution of North Forest, as well as the balance between the frequency ranges. This battle is totally dominated by ROSE.

Compared to Magaosi HLSX-808:


HLSX-808 are much closer to ROSE in terms of clarity and show better entire resolution, thanks to its hybrid nature (dynamic + BA drivers). What it lacks is the balance between the ranges, same depp bass reach and thick mids. I would say that HLSX-808 are more resolving but less balanced IEMs, fun to listen when you like more treble and less bass presence.



ROSE North Forest are the best budget IEMs that ever went through my hands. The main sound virtues are the overall balance, great combination of deep bass reach and clarity of treble, full-bodied and natural mids, unexpectedly large stage with good instrument separation. Build quality is nothing more to be desired as well. Pack this into good-looking shells with comfortable shape and good fit, set the lowest price and you’d get almost perfect IEMs for everyday use. Why almost? — it could have been equipped with the detachable cable. But even without this feature North Forest IEMs are highly recomended for purchase due to impressive performance.

You can buy ROSE North Forest at PenonAudio Store

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