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Periodic Audio Be IEM

In-ear headphones with beryllium diaphragms

Item # 425BERLIUM

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Overview

Our take on the Periodic Audio Be IEM

It was hard to miss the Periodic Audio booth at CanJam NYC this year — their whole crew was decked out in lab coats. It was a fun, tongue-in-cheek tribute to the company's name, but also underscored their measured, scientific approach to personal audio. Case in point: the dynamic drivers inside their top-of-the-line Be IEM in-ear headphones.

Periodic audio

That's me, on the left, trying out some Periodic Audio in-ears — while sound expert (and my doppelgänger) Ben Webster dropped knowledge.

In their element

It was hard to miss the Periodic Audio booth at CanJam NYC this year — their whole crew was decked out in lab coats. It was a fun, tongue-in-cheek tribute to the company's name, but also underscored their measured, scientific approach to personal audio. Case in point: the dynamic drivers inside their top-of-the-line Be IEM in-ear headphones.

For this model, the company uses a beryllium diaphragm that delivers incredibly accurate sound across a wide frequency range.

Who is Periodic Audio?

Periodic Audio was founded in California by a group of longtime audio experts, who are well-versed in high-grade metals and their different acoustic characteristics. So they created a trifecta of solidly constructed, studio-quality in-ear headphones, all identical except for one key piece: they switched out the diaphragm material in each model to create three distinct-sounding headphones.

Which Periodic Audio in-ear headphones are right for you?

The answer to that question depends on how you're listening and what you're listening to. Here were my thoughts, after very brief sessions with each:

Mg IEM (magnesium diaphragms) — I was told ahead of time that this model was the utility player of the three, and worked best as an everyday, on-the-go set of headphones. Totally made sense. I connected them directly to my phone and enjoyed a pleasant, neutral sound. Their clear mids and highs stood out, even with the noise from the crowded show.

Ti IEM (titanium diaphragms) — If you listen to a lot of EDM or hip-hop, take a look here. These headphones had a lot of swagger and energy, particularly on the low end. Titanium tends to produce powerful, punchy bass. I'll admit — these were my least favorite of the three with the acoustic tracks that I sampled. But I bet they would thump nicely with some old-school Gang Starr, or even some classic soul — anything where it's just as important to feel the beat as it is to hear it.

Be IEM (beryllium diaphragms) — This flagship model sounded the most articulate, and I wish I had been in a quieter area where I could really soak in and appreciate the subtleties. To get the best out of these, I had to switch over to a high-res portable player. Beryllium is much lighter and stiffer than the other two metals, so it can move more smoothly and efficiently. Smooth is a good description of the sound, too — the vocals were some of the silkiest I've heard in a pair of in-ears.

Built for success

When I spoke to Ben Webster, one of the company's founders, I was surprised at the level of care in just selecting the build materials. Ben told me how much they labored over every choice — "is this the lightest? The sturdiest? The best?"  Every single tiny piece was considered significant, and went through a large amount of scrutiny.

Exploded view of the Periodic Audio Mg IEM

This exploded view shows the magnesium diaphragm and other carefully selected driver materials.

And I could feel that care as I held the textured earbud housings between my fingers. They chose polycarbonate resin over a host of other materials, due to its rigidity. The powerful magnets and top-notch driver elements inside move quickly with minimal resonance.

 A proper fit for sound

Here's something I've learned from listening to many, many in-ear headphones: their sound is only as good as their fit. Periodic Audio includes 9 pairs of ear tips to ensure a secure, comfortable seal.

There are six medical-grade silicon tips that help properly direct the drivers. (A few of the company's engineers have experience creating hearing instruments.) And I personally preferred the included foam ear tips. They expanded and conformed to my ears, blocking out the noise, so I could better enjoy my tunes.  

Product Highlights:

  • in-ear headphones designed for critical music listening and professional monitoring
  • 10mm wideband dynamic drivers with beryllium diaphragms
  • designed, engineered, and assembled in California
Build and Sound Features:
  • beryllium diaphragms deliver a flat, neutral sound signature with strong bass and clear, detailed highs
    • tuned for highly accurate sound across a wide frequency response
  • polycarbonate resin earbud housings help lower resonance
  • dual-ported design for extended bass presence with less distortion
  • Each earbud is counter-weighted to relieve pressure on sensitive areas inside the ear
  • 50" copper cable terminated with a nickel-plated brass 3.5mm miniplug
    • 1/4" adapter included
General info, Accessories, and Specs:
  • includes 9 pairs of ear tips:
    • 3 sizes of memory foam ear tips for strong noise isolation
    • 6 sizes of medical-grade silicone ear tips
  • airport adapter included
  • compact metal storage case included
  • frequency response: 12-45,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 100 dB
  • impedance: 32 ohms
  • weight: 0.6 oz.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • In-ear headphones with attached 50" cable (straight 3.5mm plug)
  • 3 Pairs of memory foam ear tips
  • 6 Pairs of silicone ear tips (1 pair installed)
  • Snap-on 3.5mm-to-1/4" adapter
  • Airline adapter
  • Metal storage case
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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
Noise-canceling No
Bluetooth No
Mic For Taking Calls No
iPhone Control No
Lightning Connector No
Android Control No
Frequency Response 12-45k Hz
Sensitivity 100 dB
Impedance 32 Ohms
Weight 0.6 ounces
Cord Length 50"
1/4-inch Adapter Included Yes
Volume Control No
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research

Features

Overview: Periodic Audio in-ear monitors are constructed of 21 precision manufactured parts per side. All of the components are designed, engineered, and assembled in the USA. All three models (Magnesium, Titanium, and Beryllium) use 10mm metal diaphragms, with each type of metal delivering a different sound signature. The bodies are made of resonant-free polycarbonate bodies for durability. The IEMs come with nine pairs of ear tips, an airline adapter, a 3.5mm-to-1/4" adapter, and a metal storage case.

Beryllium (Be): The Periodic Audio Be in-ear monitors feature a beryllium diaphragm made of grade 99% pure beryllium foil of 25 micron thickness. The Be diaphragms have a very neutral sonic signature with strong, clear bass and a balanced high end. The IEMs are very accurate with a lower THD than the other two models.

Cable: The Beryllium IEMs feature a 50" (1.5m) long flexible cable made of 99.999% pure copper. The thin cable is tangle-resistant, and has molded rubber strain reliefs at the ear tips and connector. The straight 3.5mm plug is constructed of nickel-plated brass. The package includes an airline adapter (female 3.5mm-to-dual male 3.5mm plugs) for in-flight entertainment, and a 3.5mm-to-1/4" adapter for use with professional audio or home components with a full-size 1/4" output.

Ear Tips: The Be in-ear monitors come with a wide variety of ear tip styles and sizes. There are ear tips made of silicone (two shapes, three sizes) and memory foam (three sizes):

  • Silicone: The silicone ear tips are made with Dow Corning medical grade silicone rubber, which provides a 30-60% higher resistance to break down than normal silicone rubber. There are two shapes of silicone ear buds included. Single flange ear tips provide the widest range of fit and comfort. Dual flange ear tips provide a stronger acoustic seal in the ear canal, but may not be as comfortable.
  • Memory Foam: The memory foam ear tips are more cylindrical than the silicone tips. These ear tips compress between the fingers for easy insertion into the ear canal. Once in place, the memory foam expands to its original shape and size, creating a good seal and a secure fit that won't fall out of the user's ear.

Specifications:

  • Frequency Response: 12 Hz to 45 kHz
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB SPL at 1 mW in ear
  • Power Handling: 200 mW continuous
  • Peak SPL: 123 dB
  • THD: Less than 1% THD at 1 mW
  • Ear Bud Dimensions: Diameter 0.475" Depth 0.868"
  • Weight: 0.6 ounces

Our Product Research Team

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