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Periodic Audio IEMs Mg, Ti, Be, C

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  1. Marburger

    Exactly! This is what I have been thinking about mics. I rarely have long calls therefore it doesn't bother me to take a phone out of my pocket. It is good that I am within  75% too :)
  2. DanWiggins
    We're part of the 75%, always makes me think of this clip:
  3. Brucemck2
    Terrific sonics (Be model) and great customer service!
  4. meringo
    @DanWiggins Thanks for participating with us here on HeadFi! I have an engineering question for you --  Why attached cables? 
    Although I loved the Be, I was a little surprised to see a $300 IEM without detachable cables. I'm sure there are advantages, and I'm curious as to how that decision went down. Reviewing the website, it looks like you have a pretty great warranty to help ease any concern of a break, so I ask this plainly to gain some general knowledge. 
    Kevin Lee likes this.
  5. DanWiggins
    Why not?
    Seriously, there are really only two viable alternatives for detachable cables at this point:
    The 2-pin PlasticsOne type connector, which is really big and bulky for IEMs (we made the cable attachment as small as possible for a reason - comfort)
    An MMCX variant, but those are (IMHO) completely inappropriate because they are rated for a low number of insertions, are not intended for rotation once mated (typically RF cables are routed once and secured, as changing routing of the cable will affect RF system performance), and are not all compatible.  Witness the countless threads complaining about noisy and poor-performing MMCX-based connectors!
    So at this point, we're going wired.  Reinforced cables, properly designed cable locks, and slick-enough jackets.  We are investigating a potential connector for some time in the future, but for now - it's hard to beat attached cables.  And if one should break because of materials or labor defects, well there is a 5 year warranty!  We can also repair the cables fairly affordably as well...
    monsieurfromag3 and meringo like this.
  6. RobA19
    Think my post over on the Trinity thread a few weeks back was the first to mention Periodic. So pleased they're doing well. Definitely see the Be in my future, but my wallet is taking a breather from 3 sets of Trinity earphones (waiting on delivery like everyone else!) and a new set of iSine 20's & B&W wireless P7's :joy: Will be reading reviews with great interest.

  7. meringo
    :) Thanks! This is a great explanation. 
  8. Marburger
    Now I see the logic behind it. Actually I am not cable guy at all. Unless the stock is well made, i do not care about upgrading. 5 year warranty is also rarely seen for iems  Actually i have not seen other than this yet.  
  9. DanWiggins
    In addition to designing audio product for just about everyone on the face of the earth, my team has also been responsible for launching literally hundreds of consumer products over the last 20 years.  Literally hundreds of millions of boxes shipped (heck, SONOS alone is 10+ million), and literally over 40 man YEARS spent on factory floors doing production (I typically spend 3 months a year on factory floors).  We've learned what to engineer in to survive nearly any real-world use case out there, and exactly how to build something that will provide all the quality you need.  
    Our test spec runs 17 pages and covers things like thermal cycling, thermal/humidity/vibration long-term storage, cable bending, cable pull tests, eartip insertion/removal cycling, repeated drop tests, liquids exposure, UV exposure, and much more.  With that kind of coverage of testing and the experience background we have you learn a lot about materials, assembly techniques, and longevity of products.
    Designing a product where you can offer a long warranty requires paying attention to the details during the design, designing with the assembly process in mind (so you do not design in assembly failure operations), and then testing the crap out of it before you release it.  You run the tests on a few hundred units to guarantee 2 sigma (98%) results (meaning you build and burn 200 of each model) and then you can offer what you want.  Yes many see a 5 year warranty as risky, but then, starting a headphone/IEM company is risky in itself!
    EDIT: NOTE we do NOT cover damage from abuse.  If you run your knife through the cable - that's on you.  If you drop your IEM in your pool - that's on you.  If your dog chews up, swallows, then "returns" your non-functioning IEMs - that's on you (although this one may get some special treatment as it would be a funny-as-heck story!).  But if they fall apart from normal wear and tear, that's on us and we'll stand behind it 100%!
  10. DanWiggins
    Just a quick note about what you can get when you actually design everything - transducer to cable to body - and do it correctly.  Watch Jude's SoCal preview, about 17:30 into it.  You'll see a pretty eye-opening THD plot... :wink:
    RobA19 likes this.
  11. Marburger
    OK, @jude lets discuss in the forum what is your favorite out 3 :)
  12. DanWiggins
    Better than that, people should stop by the CanJam in SoCal this coming weekend and listen!  We have 4 listening stations set up.  Each station features digital streaming content from Tidal (basically anything you want) via a SONOS Connect (using the Toslink/optical output), which feeds a Channel Islands Audio VDA2 DAC, and that feeds a Channel Islands Audio VHP2 headphone amplifier which then drives our IEMs.  And we have more loose/open box IEMs as well!  At NYC, we often had 6 or 7 people listening to units at our booth.  So no excuse for those who attend that they "couldn't listen to our gear" because of someone else in the booth... :)
  13. jude Administrator
    My favorite of the three is definitely the Periodic Audio Be (beryllium). I'm listening to it right now from the Chord Hugo 2 (pre-production unit), and it's an extremely impressive IEM for $299. During the CanJam SoCal video shoot, I didn't have time to listen to it for an extended period, but I'll keep it in my backpack to give it more listening time.

    First impressions: I'd call the Periodic Audio Be's signature neutral-ish as I'd personally define it (as "neutral" is still a bit of a moving target in the headphone world). There's flat-measuring like the Etymotic ER4SR, but that generally sounds (to me) leaner than what I'd subjectively call neutral. (For this reason, I prefer the Etymotic ER4XR to the ER4SR.) My tastes have definitely shifted over the past few years to something more akin to the sound of flat-measuring speakers in a good room environment--something that compensates for the lost room effect with headphones.

    (Though I've spoken with Dan Wiggins, we haven't specifically discussed this topic yet. I'll hunt you down at CanJam, Dan! :beyersmile:)

    Paul Barton of PSB has been discussing this for quite some time now. One day soon, I'll discuss a trip we took last year with Paul Barton to the NRC in Ottawa where we listened to the flagship PSB loudspeakers (that measure rather flat) in an anechoic environment (versus a more normal room environment). Anyway...

    Here are the measurement from the CanJam SoCal Preview Video, where I compare the frequency response and total harmonic distortion of an IEM (Etymotic ER4SR) that measures pretty darn flat (with diffuse field correction applied) versus the Periodic Audio Be, which, in comparison, more closely meets my personal definition of perceived neutrality.

    (I will measure the Etymotic ER4XR and drop a similar comparison in here, sometime after I get back from CanJam SoCal.)

    First, some information about the measurement setup I used for this--audio measurements were made using:
    1. G.R.A.S. 45BB-12 KEMAR with anthropometric pinnae for low-noise earphone and headphone testing
      1. This is a next-generation headphone testing setup, and you can read more about it by clicking here: Next Generation Headphone Testing
      2. I will be posting more details about this system soon, as it is definitely worth discussing in detail.
    2. Audio Precision APx555 Audio Analyzer
    3. Rupert Neve Designs RNHP headphone amplifier
    4. Herzan custom acoustic enclosure
    5. NOTE: The measurements reflect diffuse field correction applied via the APx555's input EQ.

    (Click on the images below to view them in a larger size.)

    RMS Level -_ Smooth - Periodic Audio Be versus Etymotic ER4SR - DF.jpg

  14. DanWiggins
    Stalker!  Restraining order! [​IMG][​IMG]
    In general, flat IN EAR tends to sound overly midrangy and dull.  Flat ANECHOIC tends to measure bumped-in-bass and spiked-in-treble when in-ear.  Why?  Cavity resonance of the ear canal and proximity effect for the bass.  It's kind of the stuff that Sean Olive over at Harman has been documenting.  And has been "known" inside the industry for quite a while.  Designing something that is flat in your canal will typically be perceived as bass-shy and dull on the top end - or that it has too much midrange.

    Much like speakers.  Speakers that measure completely flat in an anechoic chamber and have no real consideration for in-room use tend to sound overly boomy and shrill in a typical room.  The environment of your speaker - whether an ear canal or a large room - has a massive impact on the actual sound you hear.  So it should account for that.

    If I take my IEMs and measure them free-field, in a ~1 cubic foot sound box, they measure radically different than they do on my IEC 60318-4 coupler.
    Rooms (or in this case, ear canals) always win...:)
    monsieurfromag3 likes this.
  15. Marburger
     Thank you for the extended impressions and for the FR chart  Jude! You kept your word as you promised in your last Headfi TV :)
    Actually,  I am glad that  I made the right choice for choosing the Be. I wanted also lately something neutral reference but not cold or sterile. I hope it will grow on me every time i upgrade my source too. I have no doubt that the Be will scale up very well from the flagship sources like  Hugo 2. Unfortunately I will be able to test mine only through old and trusty Fiio x5, when it arrives next week. i will upgrade later for something better, but at the moment can't decide which DAP or dac/amp will complement it better.
    By the way, for the money Mg, Ti  are very competitive   in the market too. Also I would like to know how the sound differs from each other too. 
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