Periodic Audio C & Be Review – Contrast

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Pros –

Outstanding bass quality, Smooth yet detailed treble, Be has excellent midrange timbre, Excellent ergonomics, Highly portable, 5yr warranty

Cons –

The C has a thin and shouty midrange, Intimate soundstages, Thin fixed cable

Verdict –

The prowess of Periodic’s in-house developed dynamic drivers is showcased first and foremost by the Be and C whose straight-forward design and resolving sounds will appeal to audiophiles and consumers alike.


Introduction –

Periodic Audio is an absolute odd-ball company; self-funded by a handful of audio specialists and executed with exemplary focus. Their core ethos revolves around portable audio, minimising the bulk of their product’s form factor while maximising sound quality. What Periodic have set out to do, is not to reinvent the wheel, but optimise it for daily life. Their products are also differentiated from the majority through their implementation of high-quality dynamic drivers, designed and tooled in-house. Their product line is themed, as their name would suggest, around the periodic table of elements. Each earphone carries an identical housing designed to create an optimal acoustic environment for their custom dynamic drivers. It’s also curious that the company does zero tuning instead, letting the metal coating of choice dictate the resulting sound. At present, they offer 4 models ranging from the affordable $100 USD Mg to the $399 USD C. All are assembled in the USA and carry the exact same design with only different coloured faceplates denoting their identity. With that said, we’ll be diving into how their latest and most potent earphones, the Be and C perform. See Periodic Audio’s website for more info and store links.

Disclaimer –

I would like to thank KS Distribution very much for their quick communication and for providing me with the Periodic Audio Be and C for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.

The Pitch – 

Beryllium foil diaphragm 

“Beryllium is among the least dense stable metals, but also has among the highest Young’s modulus values (a ratio of the stiffness) and speed of sound.  This results in high efficiency and extremely low distortion as the diaphragm does not bend on its own, moves homogeneously, and dissipates internal energy very well.”

The Be implements a 100% pure beryllium foil diaphragm with bonded PEEK aka thermoplastic surround. And this, similar to the C’s carbon driver, is an excellent material for earphone drivers on behalf of its exceptionally high Young’s ratio/hardness which permits lower distortion at high frequencies and alongside the ability to use less material for a lightweight and quick-accelerating diaphragm.

Carbon Dynamic Driver 

“Carbon is unique. Lab-grown diamond meets Neil Diamond. The ultimate statement in resolution, with distortion below any other IEM we know of. Transparency starts and stops with C. Enough fun built in to make listening to any style a joy, but revealing enough to hear any detail buried in the mix.” – Periodic Audio

Periodic implement a carbon driver into the C similar in construction to that used by many flagships. With an 8-micron thick diaphragm combined with the exceptionally high rigidity of its carbon complexion, the C promises a wide frequency response and fast transients in addition to the lowest THD of Periodic’s in-ear line-up. Theoretically, the properties of the material in addition to its lightweight permit quick acceleration of the driver which, in addition to high rigidity, permits low distortion at high frequencies.

Selectatron

With differing materials standardised by an almost identical housing design, Periodic’s earphones all offer sounds of differing characteristics. As such, though the C may be the most technically proficient, it may not necessarily suit the widest range of listeners based on its signature. As such, Periodic offer a tool on their website where the prospective buyer is able to input their top 3 preferred genres of music and the most suitable model is suggested for them.

Unboxing – 

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Both earphones feature simplistic packaging centred around the periodic table of the elements in addition to the qualities of their dynamic drivers. Inside are the earphones within a stylish metal tin. The tin is fantastic, perfectly fitting the earphones coiled around 4-fingers without requiring them to be kinked and folded in abstract ways.

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Foam inserts prevent scratches too, brilliant. Periodic audio also include a slew of accessories, 3 pairs of silicone ear tips, 3 pairs of dual flange tips and 3 pairs of foams. Additionally, aeroplane and 1/4″ adapters can be found within the box, very handy additions.

Design –

Whether paying $100 USD or $400, the buyer receives the same bullet-style design. True to Periodic’s intentions, they’re compact and traditionally shaped in-ears that will be instantly familiar to any IEM user. It should be noted that they have a polycarbonate construction that’s more resilient than normal plastics and is said to mitigate resonances. The earphones have injection moulded metal end caps, the C being outfit in a clean and stealthy black and the Be in bronze with accompanying bronze vent for a congruent aesthetic. Orientation can be difficult as it is only denoted by the colour of the grill beneath the tip, with right being red, left being silver. A bump on the strain relief would have aided this process.

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Though plain, the housings are immensely functional, however, the cable is likely to be most contentious. In particular, it’s a fixed unit so any breakages will require replacement of the earphones or third party recabling which can get pricey. The cable itself is also mediocre with a basic rubber jacket and dainty construction. The butyl rubber strain reliefs on the earpieces add some durability, however, the jack has no relief. Though I understand Periodic are gunning for optimal portability, such a compromise to the potential longevity of the product will likely be a deal-breaker for some prospective buyers. Nonetheless, a 5yr warranty is reassuring and great sportsmanship on Periodic’s behalf.

Fit & Isolation –

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Regardless, with such a traditional design combined with rounded edges and long nozzles promoting a deeper fit, the Periodic IEMs reward with excellent wearing comfort and seal. They also have the ability to be worn both cable up and down based on user preference and I do know many users who aren’t comfortable with over-ear IEMs. The compact housings barely contact the ear and formed no hotspots over extended listening in my testing. As the cable is fixed and the seal is strong, I did personally prefer to route the cables over my ear to avoid microphonics, yet as the cable enters near the rears of the earphones, it does push the cable away from the face when worn cable down too. Furthermore, the strong seal does result in a noticeable driver flex, however, this did not cause issues during my testing either. Isolation is very good for a vented dynamic driver earphones if not quite as attenuating as a fully-sealed BA earphone. Still, they are easily sufficient for public transport, especially when factoring in their bassier sound.

Next Page: Periodic C Sound Analysis

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About Author

Avid writer, passionate photographer and sleep-deprived medical student, Ryan has an ongoing desire to bring quality products to the regular reader.

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