The Substance of the Gods – A Review of the Periodic Audio Be

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::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).

 

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.

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

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About Author

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.

10 Comments

  1. Lucas on

    Great Review, very detailed and thoughtful. The cable is fixed or not?? Thanks

    • Pinky Powers on

      I believe it to be fixed. Yes. It sure doesn’t look like it wants to come out. 🙂

  2. Michael Gunin on

    Nice review. Just got a pair too, and Be sounds great with iBasso DX80. Plan to try Opus #1S as well.

  3. Bill on

    Pinky, I’ve enjoyed your writing over a number of reviews lately. Keep up the good work and your wonderful handling of the English language (which I must say is somewhat lacking on certain other audio-oriented sites). But I must take exception with you about the IT01 — it is nowhere near as good as the Be. The BE’s low bass (sub-bass) is stronger and better defined (through both my Fiio X7mkii and Opus #2). The IT01 has no low bass to speak of; even using EQ it won’t come out and remains simply a dull thudding presence at the bottom. It’s midrange is also too prominent and requires EQ-ing, whereas the Be is simply better balanced overall. I have to admit to being pretty puzzled by the positive response to the IT01. But not to the Be.

    • Bill on

      p.s. The right channel nozzle is red, the left is black.

      I found the bass slightly congested and unclear with the stock Periodic Audio tips; it opened up better when I switched to the old white UE silicon tips.

      Best regards

    • Pinky Powers on

      That’s curious. Makes me think you aren’t getting a proper seal with the IT01. I recommend JVC Spiral Dots. I use them for most IEMs, and they usually give me the best results.

      My experience is there is great sub-bass, with deep, deep extension. Not a ton of mid or upper bass. That’s where the cleaner presentation comes from.

      With a poor seal, though, all that will leak away.

      • Bill on

        Thank you. After 50 or so pairs of IEMs, I’m fairly well aware of the need for a good seal. I’m just not hearing things the way you are. The IT01 seems to me to have a rather loose and hazy midrange, whereas the Be seems more clear and well-defined. Etc. I’ll keep listening, but we may have to agree to disagree. Happy at any rate that you like the Be. Best regards…

        • Bill on

          Though both pairs, to me, are too mid-range forward for completely comfortable listening. Some people may say that I simply prefer a V-shaped response; no, I simply think that what looks V-shaped on paper is what will sound natural for IEMs. Otherwise the predominance of mids and upper mids becomes raucous at loud volumes. If I EQ down the mids and upper mids of the Be I get great sound. Otherwise not.

          • Pinky Powers on

            Yeah, I think we must agree to disagree. Since both IT01 and Be have at least a slight V-shape to my ears, we are clearing hearing things VERY differently. lol

            • Bill on

              I seem to disagree with most people these days, as I’ve spent about 30 more years listening analytically to stereos and headphones than most of the kids who review them these days, and I understand more as a result. High resolution and low distortion will at least temporarily cover up a host of problems–including poor balance. The Periodic Audio people are very proud of their “flat” response, and they include a graph with their product. But IEMs are different than over-ear headphones, and their response HAS to be different. Recently I listened to the “Coward” track from the Interstellar sound track. I like to listen at enjoyably loud volumes, but not so loud as to hurt my hearing. If I want to approximate the kind of bass that should be on that track, and use the right volume for that, then by the end of the track, which is heavy in midrange and treble arpeggios, the sound becomes terribly raucous and shrill. If I EQ down the mids and upper mids, centering around 2 kHz, then I get good sound all the way through: great bass in the opening, and clear, open sound at the end, all at a loud volume. Conclusion: The Periodic Audio Be is balanced too forward in the upper mids. Even at low volumes it can sound a little nasal because of that. The NuForce Ne-650M, while lacking the ultimate clarity and resolution of the Be, doesn’t require EQ for me to listen to that track. To many people it will have a V-shaped response, but it sounds natural for all genres without EQ. Too bad the Be doesn’t.

              I should say that with EQ the Period Audio Be sounds wonderful.

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