Today we are checking out something that I find pretty cool, that being a dual-dynamic ear bud from Rose Technology called Masya.
I’m still fairly new to the ear bud world, having spent the majority of my time listening to impressive budget friendly gear like the VE Monk, FiiO EM3, and only more recently some slightly more costly buds like the Penon BS1 and OURART Ti7. On first listen of the Masya it showed itself to be on another level, immediately posturing with an impressive sound, cool design, and somewhat unique dual-driver design. At it’s price, it’s one of my favorite audio products regardless of whether we’re looking at iems, headphones, or ear buds. They’re that good.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
The Masya was purchased from Penon Audio at a discounted rate for the purposes of review. There is no financial incentive for writing this review, and all thoughts and opinions within are my own. They do not represent Rose, Penon Audio, or any other entity.
At the time of this review the Masya retailed through Penon Audio for 109.00 USD; https://penonaudio.com/Rose-Masya?search=masya
My Gear and I:
I’m a 30 year old professional working for what is currently the largest luxury hotel chain on the planet. I have a background in Psychology which probably explains my somewhat dry writing style. My entry into the world of portable audio was due primarily to a lack of space for a full-sized stereo system during my university years, and truly began with the venerable JVC HA-FXT90. After reading pretty much the entirety of IjokerI’s multi-earphone review thread, reviews from other established writers, and thus being greatly inspired, I took a chance and started writing my own.
Fast forward a couple years and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to write about products for wonderful companies like HiFiMan, RHA, Accutone, ADVANCED, NarMoo, Mixcder, Brainwavz, Meze and many more. I don’t do it for money or free stuff, but because this is my hobby and I enjoy it. If my reviews can help guide someone to a product that makes them happy, I’ll consider that a job well done and payment enough.
Gear used for testing was a Shanling M1, HiFi E.T. MA8, and my aging Asus G73 gaming laptop. A TEAC HA-501 headphone amp was recently added to the collection. I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even mid-range response, and reduced mid-bass. Lately I’ve been enjoying more mellow and relaxed products with a bass tilt. Two of my favorite in-ears, the Echobox Finder X1[i] with grey filters installed and the Fischer Audio Dubliz Enhanced are good examples of my preferred signatures.
Packaging and Accessories:
The Masya comes in some pretty decent packaging. It’s not made from super premium materials or anything, but it’s well designed and fairly attractive, though my particular example has one notable issue.
First, the matte black cardboard box has a cool checkered finish that looks great in person. Contrast that with Rose Technology printed in Gold lettering. This color choice could have easily ended up looking gaudy, but it’s tastefully applied here. Rose finished the exterior of the package off with an aluminum plate displaying the slogan “Create Difference”, which is the notable issue; the plate was installed upside down. Attention to detail…
Flip open the magnetically sealed flap and things start looking up again. The Masya’s detachable earpieces, a 1/4 inch adapter, and a small case holding some extra foams are safely nestled within some porous foam, with two smaller cardboard boxes Tetrised below. The small of the two boxes contains a soft case and the cable, while the larger box contains an awesome hard case and even more foams. All in all I got;
– Masya earpieces
– 0.75mm 2-pin cable
– 4 pairs of black foams
– 1 pair of black donut foams
– 1 pair of blue foams
– 1 pair of red foams
– 2 pairs of silicone ear hooks in s/l
– soft carrying case
– hard carrying case (foam lined interior with a rubber seal to keep out moisture)
On Penon’s site they note only the Masya, 3 foams, and a compressive earphone case are included so either they tossed in some extras or that info needs to be updated.
Overall I was pretty pleased with the unboxing experience. The presentation is nice, the foams are of good quality, and the mini Pelican-style hard carrying case is a pretty sweet inclusion that will be very useful.
Build, Design, and Comfort:
**An updated version of the Masya will be released shortly. It will no longer be 3D printed resulting in a cleaner, though nearly identical design, and improved ergonomics. Once I have been sent images of the new version I will be sure to add them in here. Sound remains unchanged.**
When I first saw pictures of the Masya, I thought they looked massive and ungainly. When they arrived and I pulled them out of their case, the massive part rung true but any concerns I had about them being uncomfortable were put to rest once I slide them in my ears.
Since this particular Masya is 3D printed, there is an almost hand-built aspect to them. This is notable in the imperfections in the shape and construction. They don’t feel cheap or delicate though, and personally I think this gives them some character that mass produced products simply lack. Considering they are 3D printed, fit and finish isn’t all that bad and the cable plugs in securely and sits fairly flush with the ear piece.
The design itself is quite unique looking with the drivers split into their own somewhat segregated sections in the housing. The black/gold color scheme continues on the public facing portion of the earpiece, with “Rose Masya” proudly displayed. Left and right are clearly marked with is always appreciated. Overall I think it’s a handsome design, if not somewhat unconventional.
The cable is one of my favorite aspects as it uses a thick, durable rubber sheath that has outstanding qualities. It doesn’t retain memory, cable noise is minimal at worst, and the straight jack is well-relieved. Strain relief at the y-split and leading into the earpieces could be better though.
Even though the new version will be improving comfort, I really can’t imaging improvements doing much, The Masya is already one of the most comfortable and unobtrusive sound producing products I’ve used. It weighs next to nothing and the ear piece is extremely slim so it nestles easily into my outer ear.
Overall the Masya’s design is interesting, it’s decently well-built, and I find it to be one of the most comfortable music producing devices ever to find sound down my ear canals.
- Driver:16mm dynamic driver & 10mm dynamic driver
- Earphone sensitivity: 98db/mW
- Frequency range: 8-22000Hz
- Earphone Interface Type: 2-pin 0.75mm Interface
- Plug: 3.5mm
- Cable Length:1.2m±5cm
- Weight: 18g
Foams: I found the Masya best with the fairly dense included black foams installed. Not only did this give them some extra thickness which really rounded out their sound, but I found it really helped with a secure fit too. The included donut foams also sound great, adding a little extra treble energy.
I really didn’t know what to expect going into the Masya as at the time it was both the most expensive and only dual-driver ear bud I had used. While price doesn’t necessarily equate to sound quality, the Masya was definitely a step above any other ear bud I had used.
While I find them slightly warm, leaning more towards an analytic presentation with a treble/mid-range bias, especially when paired with a brighter player like the Walnut V2s, the first thing that struck me was how large the Masya sounds. Way beyond any ear bud or iem I’ve heard, and not far off my HiFiMan HE350. That headphone doesn’t have a particularly large sound stage for an open back, but that the Masya even came close blew my mind. Imaging and layering has shown itself to be pretty impressive too. The Daylight EP by Aesop Rock has a number of songs with multi-layered vocals and effects, giving you get a really good impression of depth.
Treble is well-extended, surprisingly detailed, and non-sibilant. There is definitely a small peak tuned in there somewhere so at times they can comes across a tough strident, but that wasn’t a common experience during my weeks and tens of hours of listening. The majority of the time the treble was lively but easy to live with.
The Masya’s mid-range is typical ear bud; awesome; forward, extremely detailed, very clear, and unhindered by the low end. I absolutely love how realistic and textured vocals are making listening to commentary a more engaging experience than it usually is. If you’re a fan of InnerFidelity’s videos and own the Masya, give one of Tyll’s videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMFvR0nwk6A) a go and you’ll see what I mean.
The Masya’s bass presentation brought on a ‘wow’ moment for me, one that’s repeated nearly every time I give them a listen. The extension it outputs is so unlike anything I’ve heard from a bud (excluding their higher end model Mojito), which when combined with some pretty impressive texturing gives a very visceral experience. And if you wedge them in your ears just right, they thicken up even further and the bass becomes more prominent given them some serious boom. That said, I like them best just lightly resting in my outer ear which balances them out wonderfully.
Overall I found the Masya crisp, detailed, with a light and airy but well-extended low end presentation, all while remaining non-fatiguing. This is a great sounding audio product, and one I highly recommend trying out if given the opportunity. You might be surprised at how well-rounded their signature is.
Penon BS1 (39.00 USD): The BS1 is a pretty awesome little budget ear bud, but stepping up to the Masya you notice some significant differences. The BS1 has a decent sound stage though pretty average for an ear bud. This is made especially evident swapping between it and the Masya. The Masya sounds much larger and more open with improved imaging and layering.
The BS1 is slightly thinner and less textured resulting in a smoother more easy going sound that I can see many liking quite a bit. It’s signature is pretty well extended at either end, but the Masya’s dual-driver set up gives it a big advantage, especially at the furthest extremities. The BS1 comes across quite tame in comparison, lacking the dynamics of the Masya.
In terms of build the BS1 has no real flaws. It’s aluminum and plastic ear pieces are wonderfully built with great fit and finish and attached to one of my favorite cables of all time. The Masya comes across almost DIY in comparison. The Masya is the most comfortable of the two though, primarily due to the extremely slender portion that slots into your outer ear.
Rose Mojito (259.00 USD): Take everything I’ve said about the Masya’s sound, add more texture, improved control, even more impressive extension, smooth out the treble peak, make them even more balanced, and you’ve got the Mojito. While the Masya is a stellar all-rounder, the Mojito’s improvements make it even more versatile, especially in the bass which sounds even more full and robust.
Build quality of the housings is quite similar. The Mojito is still crafted using a 3D printer, but the back plate looks to be molded plastic and as a result more consistent in quality and feel. The general shape is the same with the Mojito being even so slightly smaller and more weighty (though still far from heavy). Comfort I found nearly identical, with the Masya having a slight advantage due to the lighter weight.
The Mojito’s current cable (thick cloth below the y-split, similar in look to what Double Tap Audio does, with a thin, stiff plastic sheath above) is also pretty awesome, though there have been enough complaints about it being ugly for Rose to have a replacement in the works for release soon. Still, as much as I like the Masya’s cable the Mojito’s cable gives me greater confidence in terms of longevity and durability.
Overall, as awesome as the Masya is the Mojito is a clear upgrade. It sounds similar but with a number of sonic improvements that more than justify the price increase and flagship status the Mojito holds.
The Masya is a near-perfect bridge between iems and headphones, offering the convenience of an iem with sound qualities of a full-sized headphone (that soundstage!). The sound quality they output is very engaging and in my opinion easily justifies them sitting at a price in which there is lots of competition from neighboring earphones and headphones. They don’t feel like a compromise, unless isolation is important, but to that I ask why you’re even remotely considering an ear bud. Ear buds have been around forever, and I can’t think of a single one which has offered anything beyond mediocre isolation.
While they do lack polish in their build thanks to the use of 3D printing for the housings, this should in theory be rectified in the coming weeks when the updated Masya goes on sale. Since I don’t know if the enhanced housing will be coming with updated packaging, I’ll say that the current package lack some attention to detail, namely down to that massive aluminum plate being installed upside down. You have to admit that error is somewhat amusing, but for a product selling at just over 100 USD you’d expect a prominent feature of the package to be installed correctly.
Overall the Masya is a great audio product, and I’m glad it’s build quality will be getting some extra TLC. As is, it’s plenty comfortable and it’s very competent sound signature is engaging, well-rounded, and easily warrants ear time over similarly priced earphones like the Audbos K3, TFZ Exclusive 5, Exclusive King, and others.
Great job Rose, and thanks to you for reading!
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Aesop Rock – Crows 1
Aesop Rock – Maintenance
BT – The Antikythera Mechanism
The Crystal Method – Grace (feat. LeAnn Rimes)
Daft Punk – Touch
Gramatik – Bluestep (Album Version)
Godsmack – Hollow
Godsmack – One Rainy Day
Incubus – 2nd/3rd/4th Movements of the Odyssey
Infected Mushroom – Deeply Disturbed
Infected Mushroom – The Legend of the Black Shawarma
Jessie J – Bang Bang
Kiesza – Hideaway
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black
Pink Floyd – Money
Skindred – Death to all Spies
Supertramp – Rudy
The Prodigy – Get Your Fight On
Witcher 2 Official Soundtrack