Periodic Audio’s Be in-ear-monitor headphones hit all the correct notes for demanding music lovers and audiophiles who need high-performance audio on the go.
Should you haven’t heard of Periodic Audio, you’re not alone. The California-based firm was based in 2016, and it didn’t ship its first product till February 2017. The corporate’s present product lineup consists of three in-ear-monitor (IEM) headphones. Periodic Audio’s founders, Dan Wiggins, Ben Webster, Mike Kim, and Zeke Burgess have a long time of mixed expertise within the audio and consumer-electronics markets.
The founders are apparently chemistry buffs. Periodic Audio is a nod to the Periodic Desk of Components, and the diaphragms within the firm’s headphones are manufactured from one elemental steel or one other: the Mg from magnesium, the Ti from titanium, and the top-of-the-line Be reviewed right here from beryllium. The properties of those supplies have a significant impression on every headphone’s sonic efficiency.
Feel and appear
The Be affords frequency response rated at 12Hz to 45kHz, nicely past the higher and decrease limits of human listening to. Impedance is 32 ohms, which suggests you may drive these with even a modestly powered transportable sensible system.
Aside from the diaphragms and the colours of the tip caps—the Be is gold, the Ti, grey, and the Mg silver—the three fashions share the identical design. Periodic says the tip cap serves a significant function. It’s the identical weight because the transducer, so the general mass of the headphone is centered. This counterbalance, in accordance with the corporate, reduces strain in your ear’s tragus and antitragus options, which is the place you’re feeling ache after prolonged use of some IEM headphones. Periodic says Dan Wiggins discovered the significance of this steadiness whereas creating listening to aids for Siemens.
Regardless of the motive could also be, the Periodic Audio Be rank among the many extra comfy pair of IEMs I’ve tried. The included ideas offered distinctive grip, creating the strong seal that’s important to perceiving good bass response.
Furthermore, the Be stayed in my ears and I by no means needed to fear about them falling out. As wonderful as they’re on this regard, nevertheless, they don’t fairly rise to the extent the B&W C5, which stay the gold-standard in my e book. Even after prolonged listening classes, the Periodic Audio Be by no means brought on ache to my ears and all the time felt comfy—the only exception being the reminiscence foam ideas, as I observe beneath.
Although I by no means had any issues with it throughout my evaluate interval, the three.5mm plug gave me some concern. It jogged my memory of a equally designed, unprotected three.5mm plug that I unintentionally snapped whereas sitting down with a hi-res participant in my again pocket. Periodic Audio would possibly need to take into account including a hard-plastic protector, just like the B&W C5 has.
The Periodic Audio Be is available in a spherical, gold-colored steel carrying case with a screw-top lid that simply matches into any pocket or purse. A beneficiant assortment of different-sized ear ideas, a 1/Four-inch adapter, and a two-prong airline adapter are packed inside.
Sound-isolating reminiscence foam ear ideas are additionally included. The ear ideas are superior for blocking out your environment. Reminiscence foam ear ideas, nevertheless, elevated bass response in a method that muddied the headphone’s sound (it is a widespread downside with all these ideas). I additionally discovered that the reminiscence foam ear ideas grew to become barely uncomfortable throughout lengthy listening classes. That wasn’t the case with the common ideas.
No excessive tech, simply plain outdated headphones
Whereas there is perhaps quite a lot of expertise that’s gone into the Be’s design and supplies, these are good-ol’ audiophile headphones. They’re made for listening to music, not for making cellphone calls. There’s no inline microphone, no quantity management, and no play/pause management. The Periodic Audio Be are for customers who worth pristine sonics above all else.
At first look, you would possibly even suppose Periodic Audio didn’t embrace designations for the left and proper channels. Some headphone makers have taken to placing ridiculous, microscopic labels on the barrel or the cable. Your search will likely be in useless on the Be. There aren’t any markings in any way on the headphone’s barrel or cable.
As an alternative, Periodic Audio put the left/proper designations on the grilles. The proper earpiece is pink and the left, black. Whereas admittedly awkward at first, it grew to become very straightforward to inform which was proper or left at a look. In the long run, I cherished it.
Updates within the present mannequin
My evaluate pair of Be IEMs symbolize an up to date model of the earlier technology. The Be IEMs have a brand new cable and Y splitter. The 1.5-meter cable could be very skinny, extremely versatile, and has a little bit of spring to it, resisting everlasting bends and kinks. The Be are feather-light and simple to pocket. As an audiophile, I initially raised an eyebrow on the skinny cable, however I didn’t discover any sonic draw back. After utilizing the headphones for just a few days, I appreciated the design alternative.
Like all rubber-coated cables, this one tangles simply. If I did not train warning every time I put the headphones in my pocket, I would have to spend just a few seconds detangling them earlier than each use. Maybe of their subsequent product replace, Periodic Audio would to think about using a nylon braid or making use of a further coating to scale back the tangle issue.
The steel Y splitter has been changed by a rubber one. The steel Y splitter apparently had the potential to scratch sensible telephones or hi-res digital-audio gamers while you had the them collectively in the identical pocket.
Whereas most IEM product warranties are restricted to 1 12 months, Periodic Audio affords a 5-year guarantee on their headphones—far above the business norm. The Periodic Audio crew says poorly made merchandise are one among its pet peeves, and that they’re constructing the form of product they themselves would need to purchase.
The beryllium benefit
On the within, the first distinction between the three Periodic Audio fashions is the steel used for the headphone’s diaphragm. That’s the place beryllium reigns supreme. Audio system with beryllium-based drivers—from such high-end producers as Focal, Revel, TAD, and Paradigm—make music sound pure and sensible. Why is that? Of all of the metals, Beryllium has one of the best mixture of lightness and rigidity. Sound additionally travels via the steel effectively.
I paired the Periodic Audio Be with Astell&Kern AK70MKII, Astell&Kern Kann, and Fiio X7 Mark II hi-res digital-audio gamers. I performed a big selection of hi-res FLAC, DSD, and ALAC supply information, and I streamed music through Tidal. The Periodic Audio Be’s sound was intoxicatingly good and introduced out one of the best in every system.
In a nutshell, the Periodic Audio Be are candy, refined, detailed, and clear, with a fragile high finish that was freed from any apparent distortion or haze. The purity throughout the audio band is the very first thing that you simply’ll discover. Yo-Yo Ma’s recording of Bach’s Cello suites was divine, with every observe cleanly struck. On the 24-bit/96kHz FLAC model of “Heartbreaker,” on Led Zeppelin II, it was straightforward to make out the fantastic particulars inherent in Jimmy Web page’s guitar riffs. John Bonham’s drums snapped, and cymbals had life-like crispness.
Vocals have been spot-on. It was really easy to fall in love with Adele, Alexis Cole, Alison Krauss, Woman Gaga, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Patricia Barber throughout any listening session.
The Periodic Audio Be delivered excellent, audiophile-grade bass. Whether or not your musical taste is R&B, rock, jazz, or rap, you’ll be happy. Bass traces on Adele’s “Ship My Love (To Your New Lover),” Rebecca Pidgeon’s “Spanish Harlem,” and Daft Punk’s “Lose Your self to Dance” that includes Pharrell Willams, have been deep, dynamic, and managed. There was no synthetic, boomy, or uncontrolled bass right here. The participant you select to pair with the Periodic Audio Be will impact the bass response. I famous variations between every of the three hi-res gamers I used.
The Be produced constantly easy sound. Sax traces on the 24-bit/96kHz model of Steely Dan’s Gaucho have been silky clean. Hello-res orchestral tracks from the London Symphony Orchestra’s recordings of works by Verdi, Tchaikovsky, and Bach got here throughout with lovely majesty. That’s not all the time a simple feat for IEMs to perform.
Periodic Audio’s Be in-ear-monitor headphones ship pure sonic bliss. Pair them with one of the best sources and hi-res music participant you may afford to understand what these headphones are able to. Their light-weight design, strong match, and luxury throughout lengthy listening classes are excellent for reference music listening on the go.
They don’t provide the utility of wi-fi connectivity, an inline distant, or a microphone for pairing with a smartphone, however they excel the place it counts most: reproducing music. In actual fact, they sound so good, they rank amongst my favourite IEM headphones at this value level.