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Periodic Audio Beryllium (Be)

Rating:
4.53571/5,
  1. meringo
    A Single Dynamic to Rule Them All!
    Written by meringo
    Published Mar 7, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Brilliant Sound Signature, Lightweight, Pocketable, 5-Year Warranty
    Cons - Needs proper L and R markings
    My first introduction to Periodic was at CanJam NYC in 2017. This was my first big audio event and frankly quite overwhelming. Many of the companies had knowledgeable staff present to discuss their products, while others had generic sales reps that couldn't talk about even the most basic attributes of the product. A few companies went above and beyond though - one being Periodic Audio. I discussed the not-quite-released IEMs with Dan Wiggins and Zeke Burgess (who were sporting white lab coats) and listened to the whole lineup, on a whim, right before I was about to head out for the day. The Mg seemed to be an excellent entry-level option, with a brighter treble sound, and the Ti was V-shaped and not precisely what I was after… and then I tried the Be. Just right. I knew that I had to have it in my life and placed an order mid-April.

    **Note, this review is just of the Be, using a mix of 16 bit and 24 bit music played via the sources I've owned in the past year (JDS OL Stack, Schiit stack, AK70 MkII)**


    Packaging and Accessories:
    Packaging_02.jpg packaging.jpg
    Periodic is all about value and simplicity - which I've come to appreciate. The IEMs (at the time) shipped in an inch-deep, no-frills, white clamshell box without much labeling or imagery. They have since revamped the box, but more on that later. Also included was a golden tin-case, ¼ adapter, set of foam tips, and standard silicon tips. The IEMs nozzles are wide, so keep that in mind if you prefer 3rd party tip options.

    Shell Design:
    IMG_20180305_175707.jpg
    After opening the box and evaluating the IEMs, it was clear that this was a gen-1 product. It looked as If the left and right sides were marked only with a black and red sharpie on the nozzle grill, and glue was present along the seams of the shell and endcaps. With that said, Periodic quickly exchanged them for a set without any glue issues.

    The shells are a durable polycarbonate which I like a lot. Some people might scoff at this since it seems most brands are turning to metals and fancy external design, but polycarbonate is super lightweight, durable (especially at this size/diameter) and non-resonating. The nozzles come out straight from the shell, with metal grills that looked kind of "meh" with, as mentioned previously, what seemed to be red and black sharpie to help indicate left from right. The three models in Periodic's lineup have colored endcaps to help differentiate them, the Be featuring a dark hue of gold.

    Cable:

    The cable is non-detachable, but I don't see this as being too big of an issue since they are efficient IEMs and have a worn-down style, which creates less strain on the cable itself. Periodic also offers a generous 5-year warranty - so it's a moot point. My biggest complaint was the weight and tackiness the cable has, which detracted from the overall experience. As a subway commuter, I'm often in close-quarters and have to compete with jackets and bags. The cable stuck to everything and just created too much pull resulting in loss of seal, or even being ripped out of my ears altogether a few times. Another aspect I don't love is that the metal Y-splitter catches on my collared shirts and/or jacket, which would also result in loss of seal. Not cool.


    Sound:

    Sound-wise, I couldn't be more impressed. The Be uses a 98.5% pure beryllium foil with the balance trace elements being oxygen, Iron, chromium, and silicon. I've heard grumblings saying that this material is a gimmick, but I don't find that to be the case at all after testing the other IEMs in this lineup, and they sound fantastic regardless of what's written on the box. The Be also features an N48H grade magnet, which contributes a lot to the punchy sound characteristics that many IEMs at this price lack.

    Bass:

    I LOVE the Be's bass, which extends deep down to 12 Hz and stays controlled and never flabby. There is quite a bit of sub-bass rumble, but never uncomfortable. Mid-bass is punchy but not at all fatiguing. I wouldn't say that the Be's have a bass-head signature, but it's certainly more present than your average flagship. Some might argue that bass bleeds into the mids a little, but more on that below.

    Mids:

    Due to the increased lower mids, guitars have extra weight to them which works quite well for the rock n roll I listen to most. I don't feel the bleed from the bass negatively impacts the signature, especially since vocals still appear slightly forward, warm, but maintain a healthy amount of resolution. A lot of other IEMs I've been trying at this price point sound too thin within this region and I'm glad Periodic opted to avoid that scenario.

    Treble:

    Treble extends up to 45 KHz (but my latest hearing test shows that I can only hear up to 18) There is more weight towards the top (U shape) which I like a lot. The Be has no signs of sibilance or peaks, but treble can seem slightly cold at times in an otherwise warm overall sound signature. The extension is undoubtedly excellent, and resolution is high, even in more complex situations. Although it's been a while since hearing the other two models in the lineup, I remember those options sounding brighter to me. The Be is more on the natural side of the spectrum.


    **Subtle Revisions of the Design for 2018**
    Periodic worked with me to get the newer variant to compare to the original. They seemed to have made a lot of subtle improvements and now have a much more polished product.

    1. New Cable and Y Splitter:
    Periodic seems to have gone back to the drawing board here, as there are substantial changes. They now have a thinner cable that is far less weighty and has far more spring to it. It's unlikely these will ever get tangled like the original that I had.

    The cable also seems to have lost that tackiness quality that I despised. I'm not sure if the cable is coated with something, or flat out new material, but it's smooth and doesn't catch on clothing like it used to. A+

    The metal Y-Splitter is gone, and now what seems to be the same material as the cable, without the sharp edges from before. This dramatically reduces the potential for snags and also removes the possibility of the metal scratching my phone or DAP when in my pocket. Again, a solid decision.

    Microphonics have been reduced with this new design, as I didn't notice anything walking around NYC the other day -- I picked up on this quickly with the older variant.

    2. L and R Markings:
    Periodic lost their sharpies and replaced the cheap nozzle grilles with something special -- chemically etched, .25mm thick, 316-grade stainless steel. Dan explained to me that they are then colored with an electrophoretic deposition - the same process that Apple used on its Airport Expresses and the black metal logos on the Mac Pro units. I used to work for a particular fruit stand :wink: and immediately had a smile on my face. Apple was proud of this minor detail, and it's cool that Periodic is using the same process.

    The grilles are of much better quality and more accessible with the bright red on the right side (even in low light.) With that said, I still run into issues using 3rd party tips like my favorite SpinFit Twin Blades due to the narrow exit diameter - but the new finish/brighter color is a better solution than what Periodic offered before.

    3. New Packaging:
    The packaging is still compact but features a lot of eye-catching imagery reminiscent of the hand drawn schematic design of 1more's triple and quad drivers box. Still simple, but definitely better for store shelves. Since Periodic has an emphasis of selling these to enthusiasts from independent audio stores, this is a big improvement.

    New Rating:
    Now I have to award them a new star rating of 4.5 out of 5. If they add the L and R indicators to the strain relief, I will assign them a 5/5. I don't know of a better portable IEM for my music tastes anywhere near $300 at this time in 2018 - and I'm buying and selling gear all the time at various price points.


    A Brand Full of Personality:
    Periodic is very responsive via email, and always knowledgeable. Never a "well, let me talk to someone else and get back to you." The team also seems to incorporate humor into their conversations/social media, which is awesome in the audio industry – a rather dry, overly serious space. Their approachable nature and excellent products have made an impression on me, and I look forward to whatever else they have in the pipeline.
      mgunin, hqssui, Niyologist and 2 others like this.
    1. Jacobal
      You really deducted a whole star over something so trivial? Lol
      Jacobal, Mar 8, 2018
    2. meringo
      Half a star (I guess headfi doesn't show that?)
      meringo, Mar 8, 2018
  2. PinkyPowers
    The Substance of the Gods
    Written by PinkyPowers
    Published May 13, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Small. Ergonomic. Superb sound.
    Cons - Cable does not detach. Vocals are a little rough.
    Be & Opus1S 01.jpg

    ~::I originally published this on THL. Now I wish to share it with my Head-Fi fellows::~

    :: Disclaimer ::

    Periodic provided the Be free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.

    The Beryllium sells for $299 USD MSRP
    www.PeriodicAudio.com
    Periodic on Amazon

    I like to start my reviews with a little story. Since I’m first and foremost a creative writer, finding the story helps me get started.

    Well, there’s no story here. I found Periodic Audio by looking through the forums for my next article. I contacted them, and they sent out their top model, the Be (Beryllium).

    Unboxing 01.jpg
    Unboxing 02.jpg
    Why Be? It looks like Periodic Audio uses the Periodic Table as a naming scheme. Be is the official designation for the element known as Beryllium, which makes up the diaphragm of the dynamic driver. They manufacture all this in-house, and sweet god are the results impressive.

    Taken from their website:

    Frequency Response
    12 Hz to 45 kHz
    Impedance
    32 Ohms nominal
    Sensitivity
    100 dB SPL at 1mW in ear
    Power Handling
    200 mW continuous
    Peak SPL
    123 dB
    THD
    Less that 1% THD at 1mW

    The shell is a light and sturdy polycarbonate. The cable is thin and flexible, with very little memory. Cable-down is a bit awkward, but if I wear it looped over the ear, I’ve had good experience. Just add a few twists, and it serves as a chin cinch to keep the wire from flopping over your ear. In this fashion, the Be wears fairly transparent and transmits practically no microphonics.

    Periodic is a weird company. They don’t care whether you reverse the Left and Right signals. You know this to be true, as there is no L and R markings anywhere. Not on the IEM, nor the cable. However, the nozzle seems to be at a subtle angle. Very subtle. I think. It’s terribly hard to tell. And you can try… try… and figure out which goes in which ear based on that. But of course, this goes out the window if you wear the IEM upside-down, which is how I do it for the over-the-ear style.

    -~::Update::~-
    Turns out I was wrong. The filter at the end of the nozzle is a different color on each side. Red, of course, belongs to the Right Side.

    Other than that, and my eternal wish for replaceable cables, I have no complaint about the build. This is a solid product.

    Case 02.jpg
    Case 01.jpg
    Upon first listen, I loved the tonality of the Beryllium. However, I did feel they lacked dynamism. So I didn’t listen long before I threw them on my Cayin i5 for a full week of burn-in, using pink noise. When I picked them up again I heard… perfection.

    The treble is smooth, with a warm yet airy timbre. A touch of sparkle accompanies this predominately organic profile. For the most part, the Be’s high frequencies are downplayed. There’s just a bump in the lower treble for clarity, and incredible extension, infusing the soundscape with impressive resolution, atmosphere, and air.

    Be’s low-end is my favorite thing about it, and the first thing I took note of. For starters, there’s a lot of it. Bass is accentuated beyond neutral, but not so much as to drown out the other frequencies. Still, the presence it holds is impossible not to obsess over. Intriguing textures wrap the flood of bass notes, giving layers and detail to the bloom and oomph. There’s powerful impact, along with a wealth of richness, which carries over into the mids. The tonality here gives me goosebumps every listen.

    Be 03.jpg

    Speaking of mid-range… surprisingly, there isn’t an abundance of weight or body. This is probably due to a dip in mid and upper bass. Vocals are tinted warm, but they are a little thin and wispy. However, they are of good size and fairly neutral on the stage. Clarity, also, is quite good, with nimble articulation and realistic texture. There’s a naturalness in its tone, though it could use a bit more note weight.

    Soundstage is marvelous, and very cubical, giving you great space in all directions, including height. The instruments on that stage are on the large size, too. So it doesn’t feel like insects playing within a grand hall. Thanks to the Be’s superior resolution, separation is clean and individual elements are easily identifiable. This is another of those cases where an IEM performs well beyond my expectation. I’ve fallen hard for these.
    The Accutone Studio S2 ($339) has a lot in common with Periodic’s Be. It pursues warm and natural tonality, with even smoother treble and less sparkle. The bass has nice timbre and sufficient quantity, though Be is fuller, with more emphasis. Vocals are warmer, and thinner, on the S2. It’s a less dynamic, more relaxed IEM. Soundstage is spacious, though I don’t think it quite matches Be. Resolution is not as sharp, yet separation is handled admirably. What I miss more than anything is all the texture and detail Be delivers. However, I must admit, the Studio S2 feels even more accurate and genuine of tone.
    Be 02.jpg

    iBasso released a ******* beast that just kills higher-priced IEMs up to a certain point. The IT01 ($99, Review HERE) is brighter in the treble and more sub-bass oriented. As such, it has the better sense of clarity and detail. Whereas Be is warmer and fuller, drawing closer to perfect naturalness. Their vocals are both on the lean side, and their dynamism is about the same. Soundstage is also on equal footing to my ears, with Be possessing the taller ceiling. I’d say they are again matched for resolution and separation. What I can I say? Between these two in-ears, I see no winner. It’s a matter of tuning preference. Like I said, this cheap little ****** is that good.

    You will be hard pressed to find a DAP or amp which does not mingle well with the Beryllium IEM. It’s tuning is such, that if you fancy it, there’s little a source can do to ruin it. It’s neither too bright nor too warm. Your DAP will only accent the Be this way or that, while the impeccable balance will remain more or less intact. Furthermore, this earphone is easy to drive, and none of my players struggled in anyway.

    Be & Opus2 01.jpg
    The Opus#2 ($999, Review HERE) unleashes Periodic’s full potential. With life-like resolution and dimensionality, and natural weight and timbre, you will be amazed at what a $300 IEM can achieve. The bass hits with hellish impact, yet it never has a chance to cloud the image, for the soundstage is so grand and clean.

    Cayin’s N5ii ($369, Review HERE) renders such a clear, detailed sound. Its dynamics attack hard, its resolution is high. There’s an excellent sense of depth and layering. The Beryllium truly comes alive with this player. For a rather reasonable price, this setup is good enough to qualify as any sane person’s end-game. It is SOOOOOO good!

    Be & N5ii 01.jpg
    Be & N3 01.jpg
    If you want to go full Budget-Fi, the Cayin N3 ($149, Review HERE) will cast a warmer pall over the Be. Smoothness, rich bass, and rolled off highs, no one will cry fatigue with this pairing. There’s very little depth, and the clarity could be better, yet it’s hard not to bask in the sheer musicality of it all.

    Well there you are. The Periodic Beryllium is outstanding. It’s one of the most pleasant things I’ve ever listened to. The tuning just speaks to me, caressing my spirit with its warmth and texture. It is a dynamic in the very best of ways, with monumental scope and richness, performing well beyond personal hopes or expectations. This is the second Beryllium encrusted driver I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing, and both instances impressed me. While I can’t say empirically it’s due to the element being used, I shall, nonetheless, keep my eye on this sort of product from here on out. I highly recommend you give the Be a shot.

    -~::Pinky_Powers::~-

    Be 01.jpg
      josesol07, WHO23 and hqssui like this.
  3. kevingzw
    A Milestone in In-ear Technology!
    Written by kevingzw
    Published Mar 30, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Superb Tonality and Timbre, Full-Sounding, Ultra-Wide Soundstage, Clear and Precise Imaging, Simple "No-nonsense" design, Comfortable for Long Listening Sessions.
    Cons - Poorly built 3.5mm Termination, Thin Cables feel prone to wear and tear.
    The "Pre"-Preface:
    I would like to thank Dan Wiggins and his lovely wife @ Periodic Audio for being such a wonderful host in CanJam Singapore 2018! I thoroughly enjoy my conversations with you guys (what a amicable couple!) I look forward to reviewing future releases under the Periodic Audio brand. Best of Luck!

    20180324_123516.jpg



    The Real Preface:
    As mentioned above, I am in love with Periodic Audio. However, I am not in anyway affiliated with Periodic Audio. I purchased this unit with my own hard-earned cash. I will not let my personal bias impair my judgement. Out of respect for Dan, I will share my honest 2-cents about this product.



    How I discovered the Brand:
    During one of my random 3am Youtube binges, I discovered Periodic Audio via Innerfidelity's coverage of Canjam New York 2017. Amidst the video, I discovered Periodic Audio and their "no-frills" approach to the over-saturated porta-audio market. Steering away from industry trends, Periodic Audio settled on a "single dynamic transducer" approach to alleviate "timing delays" and "unnatural sound" of balanced armature setups.

    Peirodic Audio boasts a line-up of 3 IEM's (Mg, Ti and Be). The Mg is priced at $99, the Ti at $199 and the Be at $299. Each earphone shares the same schematics, apart from the various diaphragm materials being utilized (Magnesium, Titanium and Beryllium). For easy identification, the metal caps at the back of each earphone share the same color of each corresponding diaphragm type.

    Intrigued by the quirky lab-themed marketing, I was excited to snag a pair of the entry-level model, the Mg (Magnesium) earphones at the show. That was until I poisoned my ears with the demo Be's. At that given moment, I knew I had to purchase my own pair (THE PRECIOUS). I managed to get my hands on them at a discounted price (Thank you, a la Dan Wiggins!)



    Packaging:

    20180331_011408.jpg
    Love the Image on the front flap!


    In accordance with Periodic Audio's No-nonsense approach, the packaging is pretty straight forward. Unlike its American counterparts (Campfire audio etc), Periodic audio opted for a cheap bio-degradable package that serves its purpose; protecting the earphones inside and nothing else. To avoid unwanted costs, this approach reduces the unnecessary costs borne on the consumer. To quote Dan loosely, "who listens to the box"? A pragmatic approach indeed.

    The print on the front of the box flap features and exploded schematic/blue-print of the earphone itself (very cool!)



    Accessories:

    20180331_011842.jpg

    Apologies for the lack of 1/4 adapters. Misplaced it before writing this review.

    1 X Periodic Audio Be Earphones
    1 X Periodic Audio Tin Case
    1 X Boxful of Eartips (Rubber, Foam)
    1 X Airline Adapter
    1 X 1/4 Inch Adapter

    They didn't skimp on the accessories. There's pretty much everything needed to get you started out of the box. I especially love the rounded tin case provided in each Periodic Audio package. It reminds me of the lozenge tins produced by Robitussin and Altoids. A tasteful way to store earphones! The inner of the case itself is lined with foam, protecting the earphones against hard thumps and surface scratches. Overall, its a tasteful package.



    Build Quality:

    451104-periodic-audio-be.jpg

    Courtesy of PCMag

    At a $299 price-point, most audiophiles would expect a solid metallic construction with an over-ear design (ideally with a detachable cable of sorts). This has none of that. From an engineer's perspective, Dan and his team of industry-trained designers opted for a high-quality poly carbonate build.

    20180331_012438.jpg
    How it sits in my ear

    For starters, plastic sits more comfortably in the ear canal thanks to its light-weight nature. In addition, plastic serves as a better chamber with better resonance properties as compared to metal. It is obvious that the team has designed this product for long-term, fatigue-free listening. Taking the entire thought process into account, I have no qualms with the build on the actual driver assembly.

    The ends of each case are sealed with a beautifully machined rear cap. There are tube/vents built at the top of the earphone to alleviate the build-up of air pressure in the chamber. Thankfully, the placement of the vents do not compromise on its ability to isolate.

    The termination between the cable split and the earphones themselves are reinforced with molded rubber jackets. Unlike other non-detachable earphones in the market, these feel ultra-durable with that extra layer of security.

    20180331_012102.jpg
    The Be (Top) vs an Oyaide Connector (Bottom)

    The cable is thin and supple, retaining little to no memory. Cable noise is non-existent during my journeys to Train Station on any given day. My main gripe lies with the cable jacket and the 3.5mm terminated jack. The thinny cable leaves little to be desired when it comes to its longevity. The 3.5mm termination is poorly built when placed next to other aftermarket connectors like Ranko or Oyaide. These are areas that can be improved in future iterations or product releases in the pipeline.



    Sound Description:

    Gear used: Aune X1S 32bit DAC/Amp
    Spotify Premium
    LG G6 (ESS Quad DAC)
    Cowon Plenue D

    Tracklist:
    Jack White- Corporation (MP3, 320/kbps)

    Jack White- Respect Commander (MP3, 320/kbps)


    The Handsome Family- Far from Any Road (MP3, 320/kbps)


    Mariya Takeuchi- Plastic Love (FLAC, 24bit/96khz)


    Nicolas Godin- Clara (FLAC, 24bit/96khz)


    Dry The River- Shaker Hymns Acoustic (MP3, 320/kbps)


    Being the most expensive of the line-up, the Be's house a pure Beryllium diaphragm with a proprietory dynamic transducer on each side (similar to that of the Campfire Lyra 2). According to the listed measurements, the Be's are easily driven and efficient, with an impedance of 32 ohms and 100dB SPL @ 1mW of power.

    Lows:
    Thick is the right word used to describe the bass section. It has an uncanny rumble on several tracks with a sub-woofer like stage presence (similar to that of the Campfire Vegas). Do not be fooled however, as the bass decays quickly enough without overshadowing other areas in the frequency band. Mid-bass isn't particularly forward but it has enough authority to signify its presence.

    Mids:
    Now, this is the shining jewel. The Be captures the timbre of each instrument and vocal section with ethereal precision. Mids are full and well-bodied, with enough lower-mid emphasis. The Mids aren't particularly forward but across the entirety of the frequency band, they're placed on an even playing field.

    Highs:
    The Highs are slightly rolled up. Backed up by the thick bass, the highs are noticeably "muted". IMHO however, it does capture the entire spectrum quite naturally without it being "hostile" to the ears.

    Treble:
    Treble sensitive listeners, rejoice! The treble here is rolled off at this "acoustic sweet spot", with ample bite to represent cymbals with an accurate timbre. There's enough of it without it being an overpowering, sibilant mess. Treble-heads, please look elsewhere!

    Soundstage and Imaging:
    The Be's run far and wide. The placing of instruments are realistic, with superb stereo separation. The placement of the vent allows the driver "to breathe", enhancing the experience with the best imaging I've ever had on a earphone at this price-point. It's like loudspeakers in your ears.

    Scalability:
    Like other dynamic driver earphones, they do respond to amping rather well. More juice allows you to achieve more control over the Be's with a better damping factor. Paired with my Aune X1s, the Be's are noticeably clearer in the mid-band. Soundstage is further improved as well, with wider stereo separation and multi-layered imaging.



    Comparisons:

    20180331_013009.jpg
    Battle of the Tin cans!

    Periodic Audio Be ($299) vs Noble X Massdrop ($249) - Understandably, this isn't exactly a fair fight, Sadly, I do not own many earphones at this price point in my rotation.


    The Periodic Audio Be utilizes one single dynamic driver while the Noble X's uses a dual-balanced armature array in its setup.


    The Be is obviously more "full-sounding", with a superior timbre. The Noble X's places emphasis on the upper-mid registers and a sub-bass rumble that's unheard of in most Balanced Armature Setups. It is quick and nimble in its presentation. It does however, lack the dynamic flexibility and body of the former. The bass section of the Noble X distorts quickly unlike the Be's, with its cohesive bass-response.


    Imaging on the Be's blow the Noble X's out of the water. It is wider and larger as compared to the slightly unrealistic representation of the Noble X's. Make no mistake, the Noble X's like most multi-driver setups, feature great separation. It does lack the consistency and accuracy captured by a full range dynamic transducer.


    The details picked up on the Noble X is accurate and reference-like thanks to the Prat of balanced armatures. It decays with a planar-like rigidity. The Be's as expected, are slower compared to the Noble X's. However, the Be's draggier sound, is how music is supposed to sound: warm and inviting. Balanced Armatures have a tendency to sound coarse and dry no thanks to its lack of air displacement. Dynamic drivers imo, are the superior transducer type in reference earphones.



    TLDR:
    The Be's are shining achievements in portable audio. Of all the earphones I've owned, this is arguably the best earphone in my collection to date. The sound is rich and inviting, with sound-stage and width that shoots way above its price point. Periodic Audio has achieved the impossible with this product. Competitors beware, there is a new contender in town!
      meringo and earfonia like this.
    1. earfonia
      Nice review! It was great meeting Dan Wiggins in CanJam Singapore! Wonderful guy indeed! I tried all three, the Magnesium, Titanium, and Beryllium, and to my ears the Magnesium sounds best, more balance with better perceived clarity. Dan told me his wife also prefers the Magnesium. Those are great example of how different diaphragm material on similar design, have such great impact on sound quality. I wanted to buy the Magnesium, but unfortunately it was out of stock.
      earfonia, Mar 31, 2018
      hqssui and kevingzw like this.
    2. kevingzw
      @earfonia The Mg's are serious budget-fi contenders! Nearly purchased an extra pair myself :)
      kevingzw, Apr 3, 2018
  4. mejoshua
    An absorbing bass experience + clarity
    Written by mejoshua
    Published May 30, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Deep, textured and thumping bass experience, clarity and separation
    Cons - Bass may be too heavy for some, staging may be on the intimate side
    Before I begin the review, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Dan and team at Periodic Audio for allowing me to review their debut IEM lineup. Because I can only post one review for each item at a time, the same opening paragraphs will be repeated for all three IEMs, with only the review on sound differing.


    A short preamble before the review proper: Periodic Audio takes an interesting approach to their design philosophy. I will not bore you with details here – you can find all you need to know about their company and approach on their very neatly designed website, periodicaudio.com.


    Two things that I found most novel in terms of design and engineering choices, which is reflected in their company name, is that firstly, their choice of driver material is based off certain elements on the periodic table. Their opening lineup includes Mg (Magnesium driver), Ti (Titanium driver) and Be (Beryllium driver), which is their current top of the line offering. Beryllium seems to be a popular choice of material for hifi, which I recall the popular Focal Utopia headphones also utilizes.

    Secondly, Dan and team have chosen to use a polycarbonate shell for the IEM housing, which purportedly reduces resonance drastically. I was skeptical at first, but after my initial impressions which I will go into later, I realized that it sounds like they are on to something.


    Packaging and Accessories:

    The packaging comes in a utilitarian white cardboard box, and in it contains the IEMs, as well as a selection of tips including silicone and complys in small Ziploc packs, stuffed inside the yellow gold metal container with the Periodic Audio logo emblazoned on the top shell. They have also generously included a in flight adapter as well as a 3.5mm to 6.35mm (1/4”) adaptor. Some may raise an issue with the quality of the packaging, but personally I can see that Periodic Audio has chosen to focus on the quality of the product and accessories, which they clearly delivered.



    Design:

    All 3 Periodic IEMs sport the same outer shell and housing, with the differentiating factor being the piece that covers the back of the IEM indicating the type of metal used. The Mg has a shinier silver back plate; the Ti has a darker hue, gunmetal type tint back plate; and the Be being the easiest to spot among the pack, having a darkish golden back plate that is quite aesthetically pleasing. The polycarbonate shell feels tougher and harder than it sounds, and is a deep black. What is also interesting is that there are no L/R indicators on the shells or the strain reliefs, but the guys at Periodic have opted to colour code the earpiece filters. The left earpiece has a blue filter, and the right has a red filter. The only downside about this is when trying to identify them in an environment that may have little light – it might be difficult to tell the difference then. I had no issues during the day though.

    My only niggle with the IEM design might be the cable. The cable seems run of the mill, and does not feel sturdy enough to endure daily abuse. It has some cable memory, tends to get tangled easily and is also not very compliant during coiling and storing.





    Comfort and Seal:

    I found all 3 IEMs to fit well and fit quickly, with very decent levels of isolation when I’m out and about during the day. This is with the default silicone tips. Once they are in, they also do not move about easily, and I find that they sit snugly in my ears.


    Sound:

    Sources used – Onkyo DP-X1A, Sony A15

    The moment I first listened to the Be, I knew that it was something special. Not merely because it is the most expensive one in the lineup, but more so because of its absorbing sound signature. The Be marries a wholly musical tuning with good technicalities and lifelike imaging, resulting in a immersive and engaging listening experience. The hallmark separation and clarity, together with a powerfully but tightly controlled bass remains distinctive. However, unlike the Mg and the Ti, the Be has a comparatively thicker midrange that brings a slightly warmer tilt to the overall tonality, which is very pleasant, especially for a stickler for timbre like myself. I found that the Be came the closest in accurately replicating the timbre of instruments and voices.


    Bass:

    The bass is still weighted and slightly emphasized but what sets it apart from its titanium and magnesium brothers is how effortlessly it maintains its tautness and grip-like control. It seems to reach the lowest recesses a hint more ably than the Ti but it is not clearly noticeable with casual listening. It is heavier than the Mg, and punches similarly to the Ti, but exceeds the Ti in quality and speed. The Be gives a punchy, weighty and highly musical bass experience, thoroughly in line with what I expect from a quality bass presentation. I love it!




    Mids:

    The cold tilt of the Mg is gone, and in its place a warmer tone created from thicker midrange notes fills out any deficiencies in this range perceived from the previous models. There is some magic in the tuning here because this mid weightiness does not compromise on clarity and resolution, but conveys a very lifelike and powerful midrange. This is especially so for the reproduction of vocals and instruments such as strings and brasses. I have to make a note here that plucked strings are incredibly and convincingly realistic. Unlike the Ti, the mids are less centered in front of your face, but rather more centered in a 3D axis closer to your face. While this may seem strange, the presentation of audio space is actually more balanced in terms of all 3 axes, which I will elaborate more about on the section on soundstage. Backing vocals sound excellent here, with harmony lines clearly delineated but in a layered way. This is because they pan out to the left and right: not in a simple wide planed way, but rather curves in around the headspace, as if the backup vocalists were singing from the left and right spaces beside your ears. There is obviously a greater focus on delivering a more powerful vocal experience in the Be compared to the others, and I can safely say Periodic has delivered on this front.


    Treble:

    Treble extends well and is crisp, with great speed and resonates with bell-like clarity. What this translates to is defined, singular strikes on the most complex band arrangements, even with rapidly successive cymbal work. There is neither sibilance nor harsh peaks here as well, yet like the Mg and Ti, the treble tonality here generally veers towards slightly cold.


    Staging/Imaging/Separation:

    In terms of resolution, the Be naturally comes up top. On very high quality recordings it is easy to hear the intakes of breath and little nuances conveyed by the singer. Of course it will not compare favourably with IEMs that well exceed its price tier, but I could comfortably say it is competitive with earphones costing below $1k. The stage is most immersive out of the 3 models in the lineup, and throws out a spherical space. This spherical space is more width and height than depth, but depth is still great. It does not, say, extend far behind the listener’s neck, but is still rather convincing. The main vocalist is somewhere around the centre of the sphere, and instruments are imaged quite precisely within the 3D field. Bass tends to emanate from the bottom back, and instruments and backup vocals fill the spaces around the ears. Separation is top notch while retaining solid layering of instruments. While the presentation of spatial depth could still be even better, it is holographic enough to be quite immersive – this is mostly contributed by the excellent timbre and realism that the Be produces.


    *note – I also managed to find time to listen to the Be out of the Schiit Fulla 2 which is my office setup, and I found that the Fulla 2 presents a superb synergistic match with the Be. It retains good technicalities while sounding very musical, akin to marrying the merits of pairing it with both the Onkyo DP-X1A and the Sony A15.

    Conclusion:

    Periodic Audio has served up a potent combination of IEMs suited to different budgets and tastes in its entrance to the audiophile market. One can hardly go wrong with either the Mg, Ti or the Be. For my personal preferences I’d pick the Be any day, because I’m biased toward a musical tuning that has focus on engaging mids and quality bass. But if one is on a budget, the Mg comes with a high recommendation. I find the Ti more of a specialist – if you love rock or metal, or genres that tend more toward a v-shaped tonal profile then the Ti would be perfect. Well done, Dan and team at Periodic Audio!

    images

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      sludgeogre and mgunin like this.
  5. calbear
    Periodic Audio Beryllium-My 1st review of anything
    Written by calbear
    Published May 28, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent sound quality.
    Cons - Small miscellaneous nuances that can be overlooked.
    Hello all,
    First time reviewer, long time lurker...

    I would first like to disclose that I won these from a local headphone meet, where Periodic Audio could not attend, but generously donated three of their headphones for a raffle: their Magnesium (Mg), Titanium (Ti), and Beryllium (Be). I was lucky enough to have my name pulled for the Be.

    My second disclosure is that I have never done a review of headphones, and have only seriously delved into this hobby for less than two years. I was very much into home theater (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-d...-starfield-ceiling-stadium-configuration.html) as you can see in my personal DIY build thread, and have been into electrostatic and planar speakers for a decent amount of time. That segued into planar and electrostatic earspeakers, and hence my first headphone meet and ultimately these Berylliums.
    Therefore, my review will probably be considered by many as a novice, so please keep it in mind when reading my thoughts.
    The meet occurred back in November, and I said I would provide my thoughts shortly thereafter. Life has run away since then. To be honest, there has been much apprehension on my part for doing this review, as I am not comfortable with the verbiage and phrases of what I can hear. I just know what I like and what I don't.

    There are multiple reviews of the Be headphones, with plenty of photos of the headphones and accessories (most of which look 10x better than I ever could take with my camera), so unfortunately this will only have words.

    My first impression was to look at the bare-bones packaging. Great for the environment, simple, and to the point, which I appreciate. I'm not sure how much fanfare I need when opening up packaging when I know I'll probably never use it again (I felt the same about opening my first iPhone, counter to everyone else's thoughts about presentation... you'll never place your iPhone back in there, so packaging is not a big thing for me if it's not utilitarian). I do want to point out that a beautiful timepiece, with it's special box and presentation that would likely be used again and again to store is a different thing altogether (I'm big time into horology). This came with a nice gold circular tin storage container that I have found useful for storage. It already has dents and dings from being carried in my bag along with my keys and other paraphernalia, so I appreciate how this protects the headphones better than a soft bag. There was a plethora of ear inserts to fit literally any shaped ear, and I was lucky that the default ones fit me perfectly. The 1/4" adapter comes in handy when plugging into my home system. The double plug used in airplanes seemed out of place, as I haven't been on a plane with one of these inserts in many moons. I guess it's better to provide it and have me place it aside, than to not, so it's not a bad thing.

    The cord is relatively thin and flimsy. I am not sure what should be expected in $300 buds, but these felt similar to the $10 ones I've bought from a number of brick and mortar stores. I haven't had any issues or concerns with being tough on them and breaking them the past 1/2 year, but they do give me pause over other brands I've owned which seemed to have more sturdy cords, and cost significantly less. I do have to say that the 5 year warranty does give me peace of mind that they will stand behind their product if it fails.

    Immediately, I noticed the red color inside the headphone chamber as the light from the window hit it perfectly, as if it was spotlighting it. Initially, I thought it quite clever for them to do so, although in the past few months, I have found it more of a hindrance at night when I'm trying to listen to them in bed. I now realize that having a raised "R" on the outside of it, or some other indicator (like an inline mic, but that's another thing) would be more helpful than having it inside, as I now have to use my phone flashlight to identify it. Again, not a big deal, but something to point out.

    I actually let everyone attending the meet try out the headphones first before I finally tried it. The consensus was that they are great sounding headphones. Not one member had any bad things to say about them, and to me, that was saying a whole lot about the sound quality of the Be.
    Once I placed them in my ears and listened to them through my Chord Mojo, I was very impressed. Nice tight bass, and clear highs. I can understand how other reviewers say it has a V-shaped profile, as I noticed that as well. Now I don't know that much about breaking in headphones like you would with speakers, but I have to say that in the past 6 months, they seem to sound better to me than my initial impressions. As portable as they are, I find they are my default headphones when I'm not at home (the different Stax earspeakers I have are my go-to's when home). I do have a set of Stax SRM-002 that are also considered "portable", and the portable Stax sound better than the Be, but carrying around the Chord DAC, the Stax energizer, and the earspeakers and headband (detachable but I always use them) really aren't convenient nor truly portable. Using the Be with either the Mojo or Fiio E18, or even just my LG V20 with the Quad DAC is seriously all I really need to enjoy the beautiful tones and clarity in almost any setting. I've let family and friends try them out, and they are all amazed at the quality of sound coming from them.
    When I listen to Diana Krall live, or jam to some of my favorite 80's songs, I have not found one song where these headphones have not excelled in sound quality. Cymbals and audience noise and footsteps are clear, where on other non electrostatic IEMs, I did not oftentimes notice they were there. Imaging and sound stage are pretty distinct and wide. I can close my eyes and feel immersed in the music and the environment. These are top-notch IEMs that I will continue to enjoy for years to come (and ones in which will not be passed down to my kids).

    I hope this has been helpful, and I will try to be more technical in future reviews, as I learn the nomenclature and train my ears in this wonderful hobby we all share.
      iBo0m likes this.
    1. iBo0m
      Actually, not going deep into "technical stuffs" doesn't mean a review lacks something. I've enjoyed your review. Thanks! :)
      iBo0m, May 30, 2019
      calbear likes this.
  6. IryxBRO
    Periodic Audio BE — flagship IEMs from USA
    Written by IryxBRO
    Published Apr 17, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - good bass and textures, exposed mids, excellent treble, good stage
    Cons - cable is not detachable
    [​IMG]

    Periodic Audio BE IEMs — a flagship model from a very ambitious American brand with people in white robes behind it. A product developed by engineers for the sake of audiphiles, three times more interesting to consider due to the country of origin. BE stands for beryllium which means 100% pure beryllium foil diaphragm used in a single dynamic driver in the essence of this model. Lots of other interesting features about BE IEMs can be found at the official Periodic Audio website. Our task is to express personal opinion about its build and sound quality while trying to compare the approach of tuning between Asian and American brands.

    [​IMG]

    Periodic Audio BE technical specification:
      • Type: single dynamic driver IEMs
      • Diaphragm: 100% pure beryllium foil
      • Magnets: N48H
      • Frequency Response: 12Hz — 45kHz
      • Impedance: 32Ω
      • Sensitivity: 100dB SPL @ 1mW
      • Peak SPL: 123dB
      • Power handling: 200mW continuous
      • THD: <1% @ 1mW
      • Shell material: polycarbonate + Metal-Injected-Molded grade 304 stainless steel logo caps + chemically etched grade 316 stainless steel grilles
      • Cable: 1.5m, integrated, 3,5mm audio jack
    Graphs:

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    [​IMG]

    Packaging, design and build quality:

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    Periodic Audio BE are nicely packed into a well designed box which has IEM structure printed on the front side and product specifications at the back. The unfolding part reveal the additional information — highly demanded visual graphs of the frequency response range.

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    Box contains a paper holder with special openings that retain gold color storage case and IEMs while all the rest of accessories are stored inside the case.

    [​IMG]

    Couple of words about the quality of the box and storage case — yes, those do raise some questions for a person who got used to extremely good quality of packaging of IEMs from Chineese and Korean manufacturers. As far as I know, people from Periodic Audio do care much more about the resulting sound and build quality of IEMs instead of focusing on the additional accessories. The main quality question addresses pretty thin aluminum storage case that doesn’t have secure locking mechanism and won’t last long. On the other hand — the rest of the accessories look perfectly well, box is not that visually attractive but does the job of protecting the product during the transportation. Let’s say that we see two different approaches: either to provide visually attractive packaging to move the stock despite sound characteristics or to put an accent on the quality of sound which is the most important for IEMs.

    [​IMG]

    Box contents:
      • Periodic audio BE IEMs
      • Storage case
      • 6 pairs of silicone eartips
      • 2 pairs of memory foam eartips
      • 3.5mm -> 6.6mm adapter
      • 3.5mm -> 2 X 3.5mm L+R plane adapter
    Box contents surprises with the plane and 6.6mm adaptors. Never thought that people would use $300 IEMs in planes instead of the 1cent options that are provided by the crew.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, it was a joke. I know that there are some DAPs that are equipped with such kind of outputs. Rarely, but still… Good variety of eartips makes it possible to ensure a proper fit for any ear. Brand claims that eartips are made of medical grade silicone and uretanes that should secure you from any allergic reactions.

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    Caps with brand logo are made of 304 stainless steel.

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    Shells are made of polycarbonate for zero resonance and extra strength to resist mechanical damages. All shell elements are perfectly aligned and neatly assembled with very small spacing between parts.

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    Cable is 1.5 meter long, covered with black silicone and ending with 3.5mm straight plug in rubber housing.

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    Unfortunately, cable is integrated. It does have good bending protection from IEM side and looks pretty durable in overall to live long and happy life. But I would still recommend to pay a little bit more attention to its well being in comparison to IEMs where you can exchange the cable at your own will.

    Fit:

    BE IEMs are quite comfortable, thanks to low weight (only 9.3g for both) and wide variety of provided eartips. Fit is secure and tight, no tendency to fall out while walking or exercising. Pretty good and common feel for IEMs with bullet-like shape.

    [​IMG]

    Sound quality:

    BE IEMs were tested with Hidizs AP80 DAP.

    Lows and midbass:

    Smooth and texutred lows are one of the main virtues of BE IEMs. Bass is disctinct, perfectly contoured with deep reach and impressive extension. Presence of bass is not overemhasized or underpowered — enough to create balanced perception of the sound in overall and perfectly exposed to reproduce micro detail and draw the attention towards it. Layering with other frequencies is decent, lows are not overlapping with mids and not shadowing any instruments no matter which volume you are at. Adequate bass reaction and speed keeps the sound complete. In overall, lows feel quite open, wide and extended. I cannot say that BE are dedicated for bassheads as the lows are kind of accurate and weighted intead of being too accented and heavy.

    Midbass is vivid, energetical and engaging. Drums sound natural and rich. No influence is spotted from the treble part which results in accurate and non distructive sound in some tracks susceptible to excessive drum gain.

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    Mids and vocals:

    First impression was that mids are recessed, sound distant and thin — common for V-shape tuning. Couple of tracks later, after getting used to the sound of BE, came the understanding that mids are adequately exposed and don’t tend to overly bright or dark tonality. Appropriate thickness and even delivery in this range make BE IEMs quite comfortable for different kinds of genres and long listening sessions. Voices sound natural and rich, no harsh peaks or artificially added emotions spotted on female vocals. Although, male voices do have a little bit of mellow feel while female’s do sound a bit more vivid. But this doesn’t grow into negative perception. Furthermore, most of the resolving potential is gathered in this range influencing string and bow instruments at the first place, followed by vocals. Amount of details is not so great as reproduced by BA drivers but definitely impressive for the single dynamic unit.

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    Treble:

    BE treble is astonishing: clear, transparent and very detailed. Treble crispness and clarity together with delicate delivery reminds of the best examples of balanced armature IEMs. BE is by far the best dynamic model regrading treble range, overall feel transparency and treble extension. This is also highlighted by the additional accent on this range that makes the sound less neutral but more fun and appealing to a listener.

    [​IMG]

    Soundstage:

    Imaginary soundstage is more than average in terms of depth and width. Very good layering and instrument separation helps to keep perfectly distinctive sound for all instruments with no mixing between them. Precise instrument positioning and clarity defines the stage depth while transparent treble and open sound of bass adds some width.

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    Sound in overall:

    Periodic audio BE sound can be described as slightly V-shaped, with open and textured bass, resolved and weighted mids, bright, crisp and accurate treble. Despite slight but apparent V-shaped tuning, BE still sound good with many different music genres. Rare combination of fun sound with such omnivorous nature.

    Compared to Earnine EN2J:

    [​IMG]

    Earnine EN2J (from South Korea) are based on 2 BA units tuned for very neutral sound with decent resolution. While BE sound brighter and more engaging, EN2J are like being very «flat» in the direct comparison. Lows are more extended and having more weight in BE while treble is similarly rich and bright. Overall resolution is slightly higher in EN2J due to the overwhelming microdynamics of high quality BA units but bass texturing is not that great. In terms of fit BE are lighter and more comfortable but EN2J have another good feature — exchangeable cable.

    Compared to Tanchjim Oxygen:

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    Tanchjim Oxygen are my favorite single dynamic IEMs with neutral sound, great balance and perfectly delivered ranges. BE are directly comparable, having similarly good resolution, more exposed lows and better extension of treble. I would say that main difference in sound is that Oxygen IEMs are more neutral whereas BE are more vivid at both ends. The other sound characteristics are quite similar. Fit is much better with BE.

    Conclusion:

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    My very first take on IEMs originating from USA turned to an invention of a brand that definitely know how good the sound of single dynamic driver should be. Moreover, Periodic Audio has managed to implement this knowledge in their flagship BE IEMs. Its sound impresses with accurate bass, great layering, crisp treble and engaging but very comfortable picture in overall. Build quality is nothing more to be desired as well. The approach towards the good sound in different parts of the world is not that huge but obvious — egineers in Periodic Audio prevail over marketing that often invest only to the attractive facias… Soundwise, haven’t met other models with such interesting and successfull combination of the engaging V-tuning and adequate delivery of mids. At my own scale, BE would place somewhere at top, next to my most favorite models.

    Another conclusion — «Chi-Fi» is not relevant and kind of rudiment funny word. Having lots of IEMs from different parts of the world (and now from USA as well) I can make a conclusion that there are best products with the best sound quality that originate from different countries. And many good examples from China. It is just the huge amount of less than average or mere quality IEMs from China that would confuse the choice. Periodic Audio, on its turn, deserves the ovations for making IEMs with excellent sound quailty at the very competitive price point when compared to best products from Asian markets with significantly lower material and labor cost. Something had to be sacrificed but definitely not the sound quality.

    You can buy Periodic Audio BE IEMs at official store
      cleg likes this.
  7. Zelda
    Beryllium Flagship
    Written by Zelda
    Published Dec 6, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Well built and comfortable shells.
    Powerful and engaging bass response.
    Smooth and controlled treble
    5 years warranty
    Cons - Fixed and thin cable can be a disadvantage compared to the competition.
    Cable noise
    No right/left indicators
    Review - Periodic Audio Be (Beryllium)

    be (1).jpg

    Website - Periodic Audio


    Overview

    The Be IEM is the higher of the Periodic Audio in-ear options, featuring a Beryllium diaphragm as speaker in a very compact and smooth design. With a comfortable and lightweight fit it presents a powerful and very warm sound with a sense of musicality. Not aimed for pure accuracy and control, but still detailed well balanced through the midrange and highs. Plenty amount of bass with quantity too, addicting and very fun to listen, too. And also covered by a long five years of warranty.

    be (2).jpg

    Official Be info

    Specifications
    (From Periodic Audio site)

    specs.png

    Price: U$299.

    Warranty: 5 years!!!.

    be (4).jpg
    The Periodic Audio team opted for a more eco-friendly packaging, simple and very compact. The outer box holds plenty of info about the company and the Be earphones, while the inner box is a plain recyclable cardboard box. Yes, it looks cheap and nothing inspiring but it is costs-saving (and also a way to contribute to the ecosystem; it also helps to avoid international customs delays.

    be (5).jpg

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    As for accessories, the package includes a small round tin can with a wide array of different ear tips. There're 3 pairs of single silicone tips, 3 pairs of dual tips and 3 pairs of foam tips. Being stored inside the small case some ear tips may not arrive in perfect shape, though it seems to be a temporary effect. There're also two extra adapters, 6.3mm and plane. The case is really small, and while it can hold the compact design of the earphone, it could still have been of better quality and more spacious, or at least include a soft cloth bag.

    be (7).jpg

    Design

    Like the box, all the Periodic Audio earphones feature a very compact and minimalistic design (and the reasons are explained by the company on the links below). The earpieces are made almost entirely of polycarbonate material, which means plastic but of very good quality, with just the rear part made of metal. The shape is very straight, compact for the single dynamic driver inside, in a completely smooth finish and matte black color. It is also well rounded on both the outer and inner part at the base of the nozzle. The nozzle is of ~6mm of diameter and also longer than the standard found on IEMs of this straight form factor. There're no right and left sides indicators on any part of the earphones, only the red colored nozzle for right and black for left. There's really no reason to miss something as basic as this as even a small dot on the cable relief would have been enough.

    be (8).jpg

    As for the cable, well, first of all, the strain relief at the exit of the shells is a bit short, and while well attached, it is not flexible at all. The whole cable doesn't look very inspiring and the fixed option versus the so common detachable alternatives nowadays might mean a disadvantage for many people. Replaceable cables are cool and practical, indeed; however they need to be well implemented. Personally I don't mind the fixed cable option as long as it is of good quality, or at least backed up by solid warranty and customer service, which is the case of the Periodic Audio earphones.

    be (9).jpg

    Plug and split are quite small too, without any proper strain relief either, and missing a slider at the upper half. On paper, the stated materials used on the cable may sound good enough, and in practice it is very comfortable and unobtrusive, and while not springy at all it can be noisy when worn straight down.
    Nevertheless, the earphones are covered by an unbeatable warranty period of 5 years, while so far the longest warranty offered by other companies was up to 3 years.

    be (10).jpg

    The fit is very easy and with the so lightweight shells the Be is very comfortable to use. The thin and soft cable can be worn either up or down without issues. Isolation is good, at least above average for a IEM with this type of straight design, and the small hole on the upper part didn't implied any lack of isolation.

    Further details about the Periodic Audio products may be found at the FAQ section and IEM Anatomy.

    Sound Quality

    The Be is efficient enough as most in-ear monitors, reaching great results at moderate volume levels and without a sign of distortion if dialing volume up a bit more. It's still an IEM set that tends to get a better balance at higher volumes than what I'd usually use, yet remains quite comfortable and controlled. However, pairing the Be is not quite easy. Despite the strong emphasis on the low-end and very slight lift on the treble, the signature is not of a usual lively v-shaped signature that plays best with any source. Won't be calling it picky, though using a more budget player like the Shanling M0 or PAW Pico didn't bring comfortable sonic results on the Be IEM. The slightest coloration, and the Be would sound too dark. Going with a more dedicated source like the Aune M1s or iBasso DX120 showed a much higher performance; the Be sounds spacious, well layered and extended, still keeping the mid-bass lift but on a less pronounced level.

    be (11).jpg

    The Periodic Audio Be IEM has a full and powerful sound with a bit dark warm and rich overall presentation. A very pronounced lower-end and a faint gain on the treble region in order to save it from sounding too off.

    The bass is the dominant frequency with a much stronger impact at the mid-bass area, putting the sub-bass a second priority in comparison. The strong mid-bass lift is impossible to ignore, and sometimes can sound annoying too. It is not a peak on certain bass region, but rather an enhancement on the whole bass. Quality wise, the bass shows good control and nice separation. Sub-bass rumble is plenty, and also less overdone than the mid-bass part. Dynamics are quite good and also speed is better than average for just a single dynamic driver with good sense of depth. Overall, it is a fun, very fun and addicting bass presentation.

    The midrange takes a step back on the presentation, more distant and thinner in body. The balance goes towards the lower mids, which is nothing surprising considering the strong bass impact. There is some bass bleed too that mixes with the mids and giving a thicker note texture and weight to lower vocals. With the very warm signature, transparency will be missing on the Be, though separation is good with a natural timbre and coherence. Not a best option for female vocal oriented music due the lack of forwardness and also for the bit dry texture, though still plays well with male singers thanks to the fuller lower midrange.

    Treble is a bit more forward than the upper midrange, but far from being as present as the bass is. It has a very smooth and laid-back presentation that can still show decent amount of sparkle on the lower treble when the tracks ask for that avoids it from sounding boring, but still remains safe of harshness even at higher volume where the Be tends to shine. Those looking for more bite on electric guitars or more crash on cymbals won't find the Be enough, but for a more relaxed sound it is something to consider.
    Sound stage is not particularly wide; however, the depth stands out more with good dynamics and coherence that should be found on a single dynamic driver, and overall the sound is spacious and layered. Micro detailing is very competent for the price, and while it doesn't sound very obvious due the laid-back and warmer signature, it is definitely there when listening with more attention.

    be (12).jpg
      Dsnuts likes this.
  8. Dobrescu George
    Periodic Audio Ti and Be - Musical Brothers
    Written by Dobrescu George
    Published Oct 29, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - - Clear Sound
    - Warm and Thicc
    - Musical and Romantic
    - Good build quality
    - Fairly Comfortable
    - Good treble sparkle
    - Good dynamics and impact
    - Good value
    - Excellent all-rounder
    Cons - - Cable is not detachable
    - L and R markings are not traditional, makes it a bit complicated to figure at first which is the left and right earpiece
    - Can be a bit too bassy and warm for some listeners
    - A bit too thicc for some, not for the faint of heart
    Periodic Audio Titanium and Beryllium - Musical Brothers

    We reviewed the Magnesium IEM from Periodic Audio, and now it is time to also review the Titanium and Beryllium from the same lovely company, trying to figure if they have their place in this really rich and varied audio world.

    [​IMG]




    Introduction

    Periodic Audio has became well-known since the last review we wrote on their products, and we couldn't be more happy, as their products are a statement to research and development in the audio world. We have only good words to tell about their customer support and interaction, and we've seen customers happy with the solutions periodic audio had whenever there was need for a service process. The company has an interesting idea behind their products, where their first three products were made to look and be built pretty much the same, with the biggest difference in the drivers, which resulted in differences in the sonics of each of those IEMs. We're going to be comparing Ti and Be variants of their IEMs, as well as comparing them with other IEMs in similar price brackets.

    It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Periodic Audio, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review is not sponsored nor has been paid for by Periodic Audio or anyone else. I'd like to thank Periodic Audio for providing the sample for this review. The sample was provided along with Periodic Audio's request for an honest and unbiased review. This review will be as objective as it is humanly possible, and it reflects my personal experience with Periodic Audio Be and Ti. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in Periodic Audio Be and Ti find their next music companion.



    About me

    https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.ro/p/about.html




    Packaging

    First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:


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    The package for Be and Ti is the same as it was with the Mg we reviewed before, and as we said before, we like the concept, and we like the fact that Periodic Audio includes a lot of technical data with their IEMs, including technical data about the materials used for the drivers.

    We are fans of the golden carrying case included with both, as it is a thick metal case, which should offer a good amount of protection to both IEMs, and we are fans of the number of tips and accessories included with the IEMs.

    Once opened, the boxes are not sealable anymore, so you should keep this in mind if you plan on having them exposed on a shelf.

    All in all, the packaging is great, nothing too fancy, but not lacking in any way.



    What to look in when purchasing an entry-level In-Ear Monitor

    https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.ro/p/what-to-lookl.html




    Technical Specifications

    Ti

    [​IMG]

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    Be

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    Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

    The build quality, aesthetics, fit, comfort, and isolation are exactly the same as those found on Periodic Audio Mg, which we reviewed before:

    https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.com/2018/08/periodic-audio-magnesium-warm-delight.html


    To freshen up a bit, we should mention that the IEMs are barrel-type, they have a silicone tip with one of the most usual types of locking mechanism, they are well made, and you shouldn't have any issues wearing them portably. They isolate fairly well, and they o well with comfort.

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    The cable is not detachable, but it is of a good quality.

    The L and R markings on the IEMs are very different from other IEMs, Periodic Audio using red and blue wax grilles to determine which is the right and the left IEM.

    There is a difference in the color of the cap at the back of the IEM body, but that's pretty much the only difference we could find between different Periodic Audio IEMs, aesthetics and build quality wise.

    All Periodic Audio IEMs are vented, so there's no driver flex.


    All in all, the Aesthetics, Build Quality and Comfort are also great, and we couldn't find any faults with Periodic Audio IEMs, except for the fact that the cables are not detachable, but since they've been released, there've been no reports of the cables breaking, so we feel Periodic Audio has done a great job with the included cables.



    Sound Quality


    Ti

    Starting with the Ti, it has a thick and bassy sound, with a really nice instrument separation, good soundstage, a sweet presentation of the female vocals, and with a rather great treble extension, but with a smoother presentation of the upper treble. The ADSR/PRaT is on the smoother side all-around, so textures are not overly enhanced, and the sound is overly smooth, musical, fun and laid-back.

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    The bass of Ti is really deep and impressive, drums in metal are timed properly, and although their PRaT is on the smoother side, Ti can still keep up with metal and even death metal. Reach of the bass is as low as you could desire, although we'd like to note that it does thicken the midrange, and it is pretty warm all-around. The word "tactile" describes the bass very well.

    The midrange is sweet and smooth, a musicality euphoria status, where you're always surrounded by a melody of love and pleasure, and although this may sound like they are fuzzy, the instrument separation is actually quite good, and although the midrange is pushed back compared to the bass, it doesn't feel underpowered, being rather as most music lovers like it.

    The treble is actually something of an acquired taste, a smooth, relaxing and fun presentation, although well extended one. You're going to hear the higher octaves, but they won't be rough nor harsh, rather, they'll be relaxing and smooth, further enhancing the thicc bass and midrange. Treble is presented in line with the midrange, with the bass being the most forward element of the whole sound.

    A few things that impressed us with Ti, are that they keep being utterly clear even at crazy-loud volumes. Also, the value of Ti, compared to other IEMs we heard, makes them as detailed / clear as most ~350 USD IEMs, while their price tag is roughly 200 USD, so we're quite happy that Periodic Audio is pushing the Audio Industry to better prices.



    Be


    Now, about Be, this is the flagship of Periodic Audio's lineup, at the moment of writing this review. It is the best sounding of their offerings as well, a rather energetic and upbeat performer, with a V-shaped sound, with a good amount of warmth and thiccness, a more relaxed and musical midrange, and with a sparkly and fun-sounding treble.

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    The bass of Be is deep and powerful, although the focus is more centered around 100 Hz, rather than in the sub-bass, making be warm and emotional, working really well with rock, acoustic music, and with older music, rather than electronic. The bass can be a bit over enhanced on an overall level, but not because it distorts, as it is clear as the clearest day we've seen, but rather because it crosses a bit in the basshead territory, giving music a truly warm and friendly sound.

    The midrange is sweet and juicy, Be presenting music musically and fun, with a spot-on tone for both male and female vocals. There's a slight tilt towards a musical presentation, with a bit of a more happy tone to things than absolutely neutral, so music tends to sound a bit happier on Be than on a more neutrally-tuned IEM. The warmth of the bass also tilts the midrange a bit, giving some of that analogue-taste to the midrange as well.

    The treble of Be is incredibly well extended, with a good amount of sparkle, but without a lot of grain, being smooth and enjoyable to listen to for long periods of time. The extended treble gives them a really airy overall sound, with a really good instrument separation, and with a good amount of soundstage in both width and depth.


    All in all, the Be sounds like a great value for its 300 USD Price, they are the flagship of Periodic Audio's lineup, and just like Ti, they can go really loud without distortion, and they can be named one of the most organic-sounding IEMs we tested to date.



    Soundstage

    All Periodic Audio IEMs have a good amount of soundstage, but we could say that Be has a much larger soundstage in both width and depth, compared to Ti, and they are the biggest-sounding of all Periodic Audio's IEMs. The soundstage of Be becaiscally extends as good as you can wish for it to do for a IEM in this price range, it has a happy and fun presentation, while the soundstage of Ti is good, but it doesn't have the width that Be has.

    The instrument separation is quite great on both, and we couldn't complain about either, Be being slightly better in this aspect than Ti, but both having great instrument separation.



    ADSR / PRaT


    The ADSR and PRaT (Texturization) is slow to natural with Ti, and quicker on Be. This means that with Ti, most textured instruments will be smoot, making most music musical, without an analytical edge, while Be has a more natural overall PRaT, meaning that they are more textury, but again, their presentation is not overly analytical either, leading to a sound that is clear, organic and natural.



    Portable Usage

    The ortable usage is excellent for both IEMs, neither doesn't require any special care for picking their source, as they are easily driveable from a smartphone, and both are pretty resistant to hiss, and neither doesn't have any hiss from something like Hiby R6.

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    It is possible to walk and jog while wearing both Be and Ti, and it is possible to enjoy a long walk wearing both, but we surely would recommend taking care when inserting the IEMs, because they have small vent holes at the top, and if those vents are covered, it could lead to some driver flex.

    On this page, Periodic Audio IEMs have no driver flex, and they are all a pleasure to sue for long periods of time.

    The cables on both are similar, they are supple and flexible, but the cable aren't quite that interesting-looking on either, making them a great IEM to wear if you don't want to get too much attention, like say, while walking in a not-too-friendly place.


    Noise isolation is quite good, and you can walk on a busy street while wearing them, without minding the noise too much, and they don't leak very much, but they are not very isolating in either way, being fit for isolation in most environments, but not being a library dead-silent IEM, nor sealing you away from noise quite like an Etymotic IEM.

    Due to their easy-to-drive nature, and their fun sound with most sources, good isolation, and no driver flex, we consider that both reach our golden standards for portability and portable usage.



    Comparisons


    We'll try comparing both Be and Ti with a few IEMs close in terms of price and performance.

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    Periodic Audio Ti vs Dunu Falcon-C - This comparison is interesting because Falcon-C is priced almost the same as Periodic Audio Ti, but it has quite a different sound. Starting with the package, Falcon-C has a great package, just like Ti, but Falcon-C has detachable cables, based on the MMCX standard, while Ti has no detachable cables. Going forward to the comfort, Falcon-C can only be worn over-the-ear, while Ti can be worn both straight-down and over-the-ear. Falcon-C is a bit more open than Ti, so it leaks more and isolates a bit less than Ti. The sound is much more V-shaped on Falcon-C, with more treble emphasis, less bass emphasis, a less tactile bass, and a more balanced overall presentation. In this sense, Falcon-C works better for metal music, and for electronic music, although Ti's tactile bass makes them quite a good fit for electronic music as well. Now, Ti has a much thiccer bass, a much warmer and smoother sound, and if you want the sweetest midrange, but with a thicc bass, then Ti will surely give that to you, along with the option of wearing them straight-down as well if you desire to.

    Periodic Audio Be vs Oriveti New Primacy - This is a great example of even pricing between items, although here, ONP and Be are a little clsoer to each other than Ti and Falcon-C were. ONP is a natural and even-sounding IEM, with a nice amount of texture. Starting with the package, ONP has a similarly great package, but it has a detachable cable, compared to Be, which does not. ONP can mainly be worn over-the-ear, while Be can be worn both over-the-ear and straight-down. The comfort is not better with ONP, as they suffer a bit from Driver Flex, while Be does not. In terms of sound, Be is much warmer, with a much more sparkly treble, and a more impressive overall sound, although if you're looking for a flatter, more honest presentation of music, ONP surely achieves that well. If you're looking to be impressed by a thicc, warm, sparkly, and fun sound, Be is a safe bet, while if you're looking for a more even, more natural presentation, ONP is still a great choice, provided you don't mind a bit of driver flex.

    Periodic Audio Be vs FiiO FH5 - This is an elephant in the room we couldn't ignore, FiiO FH5 is priced close enough to Be, or rather even lower than Be, so we need to do this comparison most of you asked us to do. Starting with the package, FiiO clearly has an advantage in terms of tips, and FH5 comes with a much more solid-looking cable, they are made of metal, while the shells of Be is made of plastic, and FH5 is an over-the-ear only IEM, while Be is both over-the-ear and straight-down. Now, the comfort isn't necessarily better with FH5, as they have a somewhat shallow insertion depth, so it is easier to lose seal with them, especially considering that Be makes a great seal, but we'd say that both are fairly great in terms of comfort. The sound is quite different actually, with FH5 being similarly thicc as Be is, but with more emphasis and focus on the midrange, with Be having the midrange pulled back, and its treble enhanced. This means that if you prefer a more thicc, but mid-forward presentation, the FH5 makes one heck of a choice, while if you prefer a more V-shaped presentation, with a nice treble sparkle, then Be makes a great choice. The soundstage is also much more airy and wider on Be, while on FH5, it is more intimate, making this a matter of taste.



    Recommended Pairings

    Both be and Ti are fairly easy to drive and both scale a little with a better source.

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    Periodic Audio Be + Shanling M0 - Shanling M0 is a really inexpensive Ultraportable that will drive Be close to its maximum potential, and should provide a really amazing overall price/performance ratio. They can get M0 incredibly loud, and still clear, textured, and with their original signature, as M0 doesn't have much of a tuning of its own, making it an ideal player for those on-the-go, looking for a nice, inexpensive DAP.

    Periodic Audio Be + HIDIZS AP80 - HIDIZS AP80 is another great option for those looking for an ultra-portable that is inexpensive, but which provides a great performance. It has a similar overall sound when compared to M0, but while it doesn't have the same great volume wheel, and while it has more corners, its screen is a little better suited for touch usage, and it has forward / backward buttons, making it a great overall portable DAP as well.

    Periodic Audio Be + iBasso DX120 - iBasso DX20 is a great little DAP, with a lot going on for it, including the price, which is very acceptable for a device of its power. It has two microSD slots, it has a lot of power, and even a balanced output, making it a pretty future-proof option, and pairing it with Be results in an even better overall texture when compared to ultraportables pairings, DX120 also has a larger display, making it more suited for those with large hands, and for managing large music libraries.



    Value and Conclusion


    We've been writing about two IEMs from different price brackets, but we enjoyed writing about them together either way, as they are built to look, feel, and wear the same, but they sound quite a little different from each other. We find amazing what Periodic Audio has shown to us, by using exactly the same housing with their IEMs, basically highlighting how much of a difference the driver alone can make for a IEM.

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    From the overly smooth and bassy sound of Ti, to the textury V-shaped, organic and natural sound of Be, we feel that both IEMs are quite exceptional in terms of sonic performance and clarity.

    Starting with the package, it is similar for both IEMs, and it is a rather basic package in its nature, but Periodic Audio have been nice enough to include a lot of useful data with their IEMs, for example technical data about the exotic material embedded in their driver. There is a good number of tips and accessories, and all Periodic Audio IEMs come with a beautiful metallic carrying case.

    Starting with the build quality and aesthetics, both IEMs are well built and they feel solid in hand, they have a basic-looking but effective cable, which is not microphonic at all, and although we wish they had a removable cable, we're happy that they included a high-quality cable for their IEMs. The exceptional customer service of Periodic Audio is a good part in purchasing their products, and a good reason why you can trust their build quality and non-detachable cable.

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    The wearing comfort is great, as is the isolation and the ease of pairing them with anything you already have, making both great portable IEMs.

    If you're looking for a smooth, thicc, musical and laid-back sound with a tactile bass, a great instrument separation and with a really sweet and juicy midrange, then Periodic Audio Ti should be at the top of your searching list, especially if you want something that does much more than its price point would indicate. For 200 USD, Ti is one deal you don't want to miss, especially if you plan on using both straight-down and over-the-ear wearing styles and if you don't mind being a little careful about the cable, as it is not detachable.

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    If you want to hear the best Periodic Audio has to offer, then Be is your best choice, and they are indeed one amazing IEM. Their sound is in line with other Be based headphones and IEMs, with a really nice warm bass, with a juicy and fun midrange, and with a good amount of sparkle in the treble. The soundstage tends to extend quite a lot, in both the width and the depth, with an airy, and well separated sound. Periodic Audio Be should totally be in your list if you're looking for a warm, thicc, moderately V-shaped, airy, and organic-natural sounding IEM.



    Playlist used for this review


    While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.

    Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
    Eskimo Callboy - Frances
    Incubus - Summer Romance
    Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage
    Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
    Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir

    Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
    Manafest - Impossible
    Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us
    Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
    Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
    Docor P - Bulletproof
    Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
    Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
    SOAD - Chop Suey
    Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
    Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
    Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
    Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
    Eminem - RapGod
    Stromae - Humain À L'eau
    Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
    Metallica - Fuel
    Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
    Masa Works - Golden Japang
    REOL - Luvoratorrrrry

    Korn - Word Up!
    Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
    Fever The Ghost - Source
    Fall Out Boy - Immortals
    Green Day - Know The Enemy
    Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
    A static Lullaby - Toxic
    Royal Republic - Tommy Gun
    Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
    Skillet - What I Believe




    I hope my review is helpful to you, and I hope you have a good evening in there!!


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      WHO23 likes this.
    1. raysclim1568
      Thanks for the absolutely reference review material . I am so hype and jump into Periodic website to place order for Be. I also realized that there's 3 option for the same IEM , which is NEW / refurnished / restock ... for best value of the buck , i selected the re-stock version which is lowest priced. should I be worried about the quality reduced on the cheaper option ? does the 5 years warranty applies on the refurnished and re-stock Stock ?
      raysclim1568, Nov 2, 2018
      Dobrescu George likes this.
  9. Cinder
    Periodic Audio Be Review: Let There Be Sound
    Written by Cinder
    Published Sep 17, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Natural sound, very resolving, comfortable sound signature, easy to wear, lightweight, cohesive sound signature, impressive bass performance, great warranty support
    Cons - Needs a build-quality overhaul, particularly in terms of the cable
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    Periodic Audio Be Review: Let There Be Sound

    Periodic Audio is a company heavily grounded in science. They take an objective, bare-bones, approach to audio that revolves around their R&D, not their marketing. It's not easy to find a company taking such a down-to-Earth development strategy these days and, as such, is quite welcome. The Be is Periodic Audio’s flagship IEM, coming in at a price of $300. Does Periodic Audio’s approach to creating IEMs result in competitive products? Or is the Be just another middle-of-the-pack design?

    You can find the Be for sale here on Periodic Audio’s official web store. It includes a limited 5-year warranty.

    About My Preferences: Heads up, I’m a person! As such, these words are my opinion, and they are tinged by my personal preferences. While I try to mitigate this as much as possible during my review process, I’d be lying if I said my biases are completely erased. So for you, my readers, keep this in mind:

    • My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass.
    • I have a mild treble sensitivity.
    Source: The Be was powered like so:

    HTC U11 -> Zorloo ZuperDAC-S-> earphones

    or

    Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones

    or

    HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones

    or

    PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones

    All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.

    Tech Specs
    • Frequency Response: 12 Hz to 45 kHz
    • Impedance: 32 Ohms nominal
    • Sensitivity: 100 dB SPL at 1mW in ear
    • Power Handling: 200 mW continuous
    • Peak SPL: 123 dB
    • THD: less than 1% THD at 1mW
    • Cable Length: 1.5m
    Sound Signature
    Sonic Overview:

    The Be’s takes on a gentle and tasteful V-shaped sound signature. It has a somewhat warm midrange containing a spike in the 1–2KHz range to aid vocal clarity, a slightly boosted mid-bass, a rumbly sub-bass, and a gently emphasized treble. The Be comes off as a very polite IEM; one that won’t fatigue you with too much bass or make your ears bleed with an overly-energetic treble.

    Treble: Songs used: In One Ear, Midnight City, Outlands, Satisfy, Little One, Show Me How To Live (Live at the Quart Festival)

    The Be’s treble is articulate, airy, and naturally toned. It does a great job staging high-hats and cymbals and presenting them free from the metallic tinniness that you can sometimes hear in IEMs with a more “pro” focused sound signature. The Be excels in not only capturing details but displaying them in a cohesive and immersive fashion. Similarly, its treble layering is top-notch. There’s a distinct separation between almost all of the instrumentation in even the busiest of songs.

    I was unable to find a song that sounded sibilant through the Be. Even my worst-mastered songs, such as Satisfy, were a breeze to listen to.

    Midrange: Songs used: Flagpole Sitta, Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, Dreams, Too Close, Little Black Submarines

    Unlike its more affordable sibling, the Periodic Audio Ti, the Be does not have a deeply recessed midrange. While it certainly isn’t flat, the Be’s midrange is a bit more present than it would be in your average V-shaped IEM. It has a warm lower midrange and a competent, but not overblown, upper midrange. Mid-bound instrumentation is presented in great detail, the smallest nuances of the song being shown in perfect concert with the treble and bass.

    The Be has one of the most rich and lush midranges I have heard to date. It’s just right: not too warm, like the Thinksound Rain2, or too cold like some balanced-armature-based IEMs. As a result, the 1KHz-2KHz range (which is responsible for vocal intelligibility and forwardness) didn’t need to be as intensely emphasized as it has to be in some other IEMs. Well, it's that and Periodic Audio also understands that if you tune the entire midrange correctly you don’t need to just slam an extra 4dB of vocal emphasis to hear vocalists clearly.

    Bass: Songs used: Moth, Gold Dust, In For The Kill (Skream Remix), War Pigs (Celldweller Remix)

    Rather than simply copy-and-pasting the bass from another IEM in their lineup onto the Be, Periodic Audio seems to have tuned the Be’s bass from scratch to make it work seamlessly with the rest of its sound signature. The Be’s mid-bass is emphasized past the midrange by about 4dB with the sub-bass slowly rolling off from 50Hz down to 20Hz. The sub-bass then picks back up on its way to 10Hz where it decays quickly into inaudibility. This somewhat unconventional sub-bass tuning is a part of what makes the Be’s bass so special: it has a very life-like sound profile that closely mimics what you’d hear in an acoustically-sound room with a dedicated subwoofer, or dare I say, a live instrument? There’s plenty of impact to go around, though less so than with the Ti (Periodic Audio’s most V-shaped IEM). That said, the Be does have a leg up when it comes to rumble: it moves a lot more sub-bass than the vast majority of IEMs in this price range, most of which have hardly any presence below 50Hz at all.

    Packaging / Unboxing
    I do not have any packaging on me for the Be. See this review for information about how Periodic Audio packages their IEMs. All of the IEMs that Periodic Audio sell use the same packaging (save for some changes to the text on the boxes from model to model).

    Build
    Construction Quality
    The Be has the same exact build as the other IEMs in the lineup, at least externally (save for a difference in cap color). The housings are made of a polycarbonate: a light plastic that supposedly has zero internal resonance. The stress reliefs are made from a somewhat stiff plastic. It doesn’t feel like it does much to relieve cable stress in more extreme situations though. A softer and more pliable material may be more suited to get the job done here.


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    The Be’s nozzles have also been revised. Instead of featuring the colored wired mesh that the V1 used, all the Periodic Audio V2 IEMs use a finely-perforated plate that sits flush with the lip of the nozzle. The right side is colored red to give you a visual indicator of which channel is which.


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    The cable has also been revised to not use as many metal parts. While there’s no difference in functionality, I do miss the small amounts of flair that they gave the V1 units.

    And speaking of cables, I think we should talk about the cables that Periodic Audio uses. They aren’t bad per say, they just don’t feel sturdy in a way that you’d expect from a $100-$300 IEM. Increasing the thickness, using a (reasonable) braided cable, or even adding a structural layer of sleeving would each be very much appreciated and add a lot to the fit and finish of the Periodic Audio lineup.

    Comfort
    The Be is very comfortable, especially when using the foam eartips that were in the box. The housings are so light that they are barely noticeable when in use. I had no problems when wearing them for over three hours during a project at work. They even worked ok while jogging, though they do stick out a bit too far for comfort for my comfort during rigorous exercise.

    Accessories
    The Be comes very well stocked. Inside the box you’ll find:


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    • 3x pairs of silicone eartips
    • 3x pairs of foam eartips
    • 3x pairs of dual-flange eartips
    • 1x airline adapter
    • 1x 1/4in adapter
    • 1x hard carrying case
    The carrying case is compact but still has plenty of room to easily store the Be. The lid screws on and doesn’t seem to have any looseness issues that a more poorly-machined case might.

    Comparisons
    1: Shinola x Campfire Canfield IEM ($195)

    The Canfield IEM is, along with the Be, one of my favorite dynamic-driver IEMs on the market right now. It, much like the Be, offers an unabrasive sound signature that is capable of capturing and presenting a large number of details in a cohesive manner. The biggest differentiator between the Canfield IEM and the Be is, on a sonic level, that the Canfield IEM has a flatter midrange and a less-emphasized upper register. As such, the Be has a more open sound signature and a more easily-audible detail retrieval. For over $100 less though, it’s hard to declare a clear winner between the two IEMs, especially when you take into account their build quality and different target sound signatures.

    2: Optoma NuForce HEM6 ($350)

    The HEM6 has a very different sound signature from the Be. While the Be follows a more traditional (albeit very finely tuned) V-shaped sound signature, the HEM6 has a thicker lower midrange, more withdrawn upper register, and large spike up at 10KHz. This starkly contrasts the Be’s treble tuning given that the Be has a valley at 10KHz, not a peak. Ultimately the decision between the Be and HEM6 will come down to personal preference, though I have to say that the Be more closely aligns with my personal preferences.

    Summary
    The Be is a top of the line dynamic-driver IEM. It easily places itself above similarly-priced dynamic driver IEMs, both in terms of technical performance and in terms of cohesion. I have found no flaws with the sonic characteristics of the Be and give it top marks in that respect. That said, to truly be considered in the $300 ring as an overall leader, an IEM’s build quality needs to inspire confidence in its user. While the V2 revision of the Be did tackle some of my concerns with the V1 unit, I’d like to see an overhauled cable design. Overall though, the Be has been an absolute pleasure to use. So if you want to hear some of the best dynamic-driver sound on the market, and don’t mind paying a little bit extra attention to your IEM’s cables, definitely check out the Periodic Audio Be. You won’t be disappointed.

    As always, happy listening!
      B9Scrambler likes this.
  10. JP the Elder
    2 Be or not 2 Be? A Hate/Wait/Love Story in 3 Acts
    Written by JP the Elder
    Published Jun 15, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - After 2 weeks run-in: Coherent, detailed, near-magical sound
    Light and easy to wear all day
    Keeps sounding better as your source and gear get better - anybody try these with a Chord M-Scaler and a DAVE?
    Cons - Captive Cable
    Cliff Notes Version
    After a horrible start and a very long time in training, these “Be-came” so good that I purchased 2 Be. “Be-cause” I never wanted to Be without. I also gave away several other iems “Be- cause” I no longer needed or wanted to listen to them. I think the Periodic Audio Be are one of the greatest bargains in audio at $300. Very Highly Recommended.
    The Be has a captive cable. I wish I could try my favorite cable with the Be, but cable swapping is not allowed. Maybe the next version of the Be will allow that.

    Prologue
    Beryllium in speakers can really Be something very special. About 30 years ago, I heard beryllium as a tweeter in the Yamaha NS500 speakers. “Be-ing” a college student of modest means, I took extra yearbook photography assignments and at the end of the term, I took everything out of the piggy bank except the squeal and bought a pair. Yes, they were vapor deposition Be instead of solid Be foil, but my ears said they were the best sounding speakers that I could afford then and I voted for them with my paychecks and enjoyed them for years.

    Today, several very well-regarded speakers for pro, home, and mobile use are blessed with beryllium tweeters. The Focal Solo 6be, Twin 6be, Trio 6be, Trio 11be, and SM9 are among the powered speakers that are generally well respected by the pro audio market. They cost between about $2,5k and $7k per pair. The Focal Utopia home series with beryllium tweeters tops out around $65k per pair. The Focal Utopia 6.5” separates car speakers are about $2k a pair. Then there are the very well-regarded Focal Utopia (open back $4k) and Stellia (closed back $3k) beryllium-based full-sized headphones. How could I resist risking $300 for some Be iems from Periodic Audio? Yes, I ordered them from Amazon and paid for them with my very own money.

    Act 1: Hate
    As soon as I extracted my new Be from the well-designed packaging, I plugged them into my iPad Pro to make sure they were working. There was sound coming from both channels. This was important. I noticed that the inside of one channel, visible down the hole in the center of the eartip was blue and the other channel was red. This was an elegant way to determine right and left channel, except for in two instances: in the dark, or if you prefer the Comply eartips with the wax screen that would cover the red or blue parts. One reviewer went on a rant about this. I just applied a very simple and inexpensive fix. Since the outside of each golden endcap is nicely engraved with the Company logo, I put a few coats of my wife’s chip resistant clear nail polish on the right channel’s end cap so it is smooth and the left one has the factory engraving. Now I can easily distinguish the right from the left in whatever conditions allow my fingers to feel. (I added the fire engine red metallic later on the right channel to color code the outside.)

    Since the Be’s were basically functional, I started training them (I loathe the term “breaking in” as that implies either that some kind of crime is happening, and the cops should stop it, or that something destructive is happening. I prefer the term “training” as in “Train up an iem in the way it should go . . .”). Initial training material included Celtic Woman “A New Journey”, Burmester “Art for the Ear”, Berlin/von Karajan “Holst: The Planets”, Michael Card “Starkindler” and Rick Wakeman’s “Merlin”. All were “.wav” files playing on my iPod pro set to repeat all with the volume about a solid forte (volume slider between the pause/play indicator and the next track indicator).
    Shortly thereafter, I nearly blew it. I know it’s not fair to listen critically after only 13 hours of training, but I couldn’t help myself. I rationalized that I should check the Be progress and target the remainder of the training for the problem areas (if any). So I stuck ‘em in my ears and plugged them into my Roon/Hugo2 and listened up.
    Here There Be Bass - good, solid, detailed, layered, one of the three best jobs with Enya Watermark bass lines I have ever heard in iems or headphones with my Hugo2 (Jerry Harvey Layla 2 with Silver Dragon cable tops the iem chart for me, and the Fostex 900 with hard-wired Silver Dragon cable for full size headphones). I could tell that for the bass, the Be has the potential to Be something very special.

    Then I made the mistake of trying a men’s acappella choral group. In just a few notes, I was hit with an intensely negative emotional experience, best summed up by JRR Tolkein’s Gollum screaming: “Nassty, NASSSTY SSIBILANCESSS! It hurts Us! It Hurts Us! We hates it! We HATES IT!”

    I had to turn off the tunes to shut Gollum up so I could think. (Screeching like that is my worst sonic nightmare. Like several fingernails scraping several chalkboards, it stops further audio processing until it is silenced.) After rational thought returned, I decided that the Be really needed more midrange and treble training to try and make the upper mids and lower treble listenable. I remembered that the Grado 10e’s and RHA MA750’s had similar, but not as glaring, mid/treble issues, which were solved by 5 to 7 days continuous training. I put the Be’s on double secret probation and added sibilance torture tracks like MercyMe’s album “Welcome to the New” on the training playlist. That album actually sounds fantastic through my reference system, but several other systems and less refined iems and headphones can make it screech bigtime.

    Act 2: Wait
    Some people tell me that patience is a virtue. To which I usually reply “Yeah, right. I ain’t a doctor and I don’t need patience.” The iPad pro fed continuous music from the Training playlist to the Periodic Audio Be at a good solid forte level for another whole week. That’s 168 hours or half a fortnight. What Happened? I then went back to the Roon/Hugo2 rig and listened to my bass tests first:

    Bass: Potential for excellence on both acoustic and electronic bass was shown using Major Mackerel’s “Conga Beat the Drum”, Dub Colussus’ “Dub Me Tender”, Kraftwerk “Radioactivity” and “Autobahn”, MercyMe “Welcome to the New” and “Greater,” Rick Wakeman’s “Merlin,” Mannheim Steamroller’s “Prelude/Chocolate Fudge”, Iona “Kells”, and Stephen Wiley’s “Glory to God” from DC Talk’s Yo Ho Ho CD. I say potential for excellence, because there was something about the decay and release of some bass motes that just did not sound quite right, but the bass attack, extension, and the body and layering of the bass notes and sostenuto was as near “spot on” as I have heard through any sub-$1,000 iem or headphone.

    Mid/Treble: Much improved. Some sibilance remained, but at least the above tracks were listenable without cringing. Gollum’s screaming at me was gone. In general, the mids and treble were nowhere near as detailed, precise, coherent, involving, and attention-grabbing (in a good way) as the bass.

    If you ever heard one of the ESS Heil or the Carver Amazing loudspeakers, this one-week-of-training sound was the exact opposite. The ESS folded motion transformer and the Carver ribbons made absolutely exquisite music for the midrange and treble, and both were paired with bass sections that sounded like elephants plodding through quicksand by comparison.

    Conclusion: Continue Training for the second half of the fortnight. Support for this came from a few reviews on Head-Fi. One mentioned 200 hours and another said 250 hours were required. Note to Dan at Periodic Audio: Please emphasize that the Be really needs 10 to 14 days of continuous “Training” or “run-in” to unleash most of their potential. Listening too much before then could make you wish you never bought them.

    Act 3: Love
    When music is being played or replayed very well, there is an emotional response. Breathing slows, as if the noise from breathing will shatter the magic of the moment. Heart rate will be affected, racing or slowing as the music carries it along. This is not just getting the notes right. One of my favorite conductors said that getting the notes right does not mean you are making music, you are just not making noticeable mistakes. The bass, midrange, and treble all need to be there at the right time and in the right proportions to permit the possibility of making music. The attack, body, and release of the notes must be right. This elusive ethereal confluence is difficult to achieve through playback, and usually can be fouind only while soaking up the original live event in person.

    336. The number of very slow hours in two weeks or one fortnight. The only audio equipment that I have heard of needing more training than that is the new Spectral mono amp – it gets 500 hours before leaving the factory.
    I have really been enjoying about a month with my now fully trained Periodic Audio Be. Those bass tracks listed above found just about everything I think was missing. I place the Be third on my all-time bass list – behind the Astell&Kern/JH Audio Layla 2 with a Moon Audio Silver Dragon v3 cable and the Fostex 900 (original with Moon Audio Silver Dragon cable “hacked” in). And the Be does this at 1/5 to 1/10 the price.

    The mids/treble testing included most of the now quite enjoyable MercyMe Welcome to the New album. This, of course, sounded best on the reference rig. Then Quincy Jones’ “Back on the Block” from Burmester’s Art for the Ear. When the female soloist, full jazz choir, and instruments get into a very complex passage, it takes a very good playback chain to handle it without smearing or losing something. At times it can sound sibilant, but it is not. (This was on a Burmester compilation CD that was produced to help sell Burmester systems costing upwards of $100k.) On this track, I realized that Be were the first two letters in “Beautiful” for good reason. With my suspicion confirmed by hearing Radka Toneff “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” from Art for the Ear, and Celtic Woman’s “The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun”, “Newgrange”, “Caledonia”, and “Mo Ghile Mear” on their A New Journey CD, I thought the Be were ready for the final testing.

    The Be passed my final “goosebump” tests with great delicacy, insight, and that elusive emotional response. Cecelia Bartoli’s “Exsultate Jubilate” from her Mozart Portraits CD at the right volume is absolutely captivating – especially for the last two minutes. It was all there, the orchestra, the hall ambience, Cecelia’s voice soaring and reverberating from the walls. I rarely hear this reproduced this well. Bria Skonberg’s “Trust in Me” was suitably mesmerizing. Kaa (Jungle Book) could not have done it better. And finally, Celtic Woman’s “Over the Rainbow” from A New Journey brings four female voices: Chloe, Orla, Meav, and Hayley, each a soloist in her own right, into a four-part harmony that just begs for absolute silence to hear the voices interplay with each other and the hall harmonics and to follow the melody weaving from one voice to the next. I suppose that I breathed during the 2:38 of that track, but I do not remember. Yes, I still preferred the Layla 2’s presentation, but the Be handily bested most of the other iem’s I have heard.

    Conclusion:
    2 Be or not 2 Be? Yes. I purchased 2 Be. With my very own money. Be-cause I never wanted to Be without. I think the Periodic Audio Be are one of the greatest bargains in audio at $300. I saw on the Periodic Audio website their Be B-Stock sale, I grabbed one for $149 due to some microscopic cosmetic flaw that I may notice someday.

    The Be sound better and better as the source tracks and playback equipment get better. The same “.wav” file sounds better on the iPad pro than the iPhone 6 plus. There is a bigger quality jump moving from the iPad pro to the Roon on Dell/Chord Hugo2 and the really good gets much better with the reference rig: Furman 15 dmi/MIT power cords/Melco/Silver Dragon USB with or without Audioquest Jitterbug/Chord Hugo2.

    I try to keep 2 dynamic and 2 balanced armature iems for comparison purposes in reviews, and to have something to take with me – because the Sennheisers and the Laylas do not leave the house. My current Dynamic Duo are the Periodic Audio BE and the Sennheiser ie 800s. Gone are the Nuforce 700 and 800 series, Klipsch 6 ii, Focal Sphear, and RHA MA-750.

    The Etymotic ER4s and Grado 10e did not fare well against the Be. Be put them on probation and the Massdrop/NuForce EDC3 iem with an aftermarket Moon Audio Silver Dragon v1 cable sent them away for good.

    Room for Improvement
    The Be has a captive cable. Please note that all 3 of my favorite headphones and both of my favorite balanced armature iems had the capability to swap cables and I installed my favorite Moon Audio Dragon (Black Dragon for the Utopias, and Silver Dragon for the NightOwls, Fostex 900’s, Astell&Kern/Jerry Harvey Layla 2’s and Massdrop/NuForce EDC3’s.)

    I wish I could try my favorite cable with the Be, but cable swapping is not allowed. Maybe the next version of the Be will allow that. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Periodic Audio Be with a Moon Audio Silver Dragon would be a better all-around performer than the Sennheiser ie800s, at about half the cost, but we may never know.

    Final Thoughts
    If you are thinking of making a roughly $300 “Sound Investment” for in-ear monitors and do not mind waiting a few weeks for them to be trained properly, please put these on your very short audition list. I also recommend that on that very short list should be the Massdrop/NuForce EDC3 three Knowles balanced armature iems for $100 (for the drop I was in from Drop.com) with another $200 for a Moon Audio 2-pin iem silver dragon v1 cable for about $200 from moon-audio.com. The combination makes the decision between the EDC3+Silver Dragon and a stock Be very difficult. The two iems do different things. I believe that different people will choose differently, but many will find that a close match, even though they have different strengths and different sound signatures.

    Short Summary: I think the Periodic Audio Be are one of the greatest bargains in audio at $300. Now I know why Be are the first two letters in Beautiful.

    Shorter Summary: Berylli-Yum. Delicious sound.