Periodic Audio BE IEMs — a flagship model from a very ambitious American brand with people in white robes behind it. A product developed by engineers for the sake of audiphiles, three times more interesting to consider due to the country of origin. BE stands for beryllium which means 100% pure beryllium foil diaphragm used in a single dynamic driver in the essence of this model. Lots of other interesting features about BE IEMs can be found at the official Periodic Audio website. Our task is to express personal opinion about its build and sound quality while trying to compare the approach of tuning between Asian and American brands.
Periodic Audio BE technical specification:
- Type: single dynamic driver IEMs
- Diaphragm: 100% pure beryllium foil
- Magnets: N48H
- Frequency Response: 12Hz — 45kHz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 100dB SPL @ 1mW
- Peak SPL: 123dB
- Power handling: 200mW continuous
- THD: <1% @ 1mW
- Shell material: polycarbonate + Metal-Injected-Molded grade 304 stainless steel logo caps + chemically etched grade 316 stainless steel grilles
- Cable: 1.5m, integrated, 3,5mm audio jack
You can buy Periodic Audio BE IEMs at official store
Packaging, design and build quality:
Periodic Audio BE are nicely packed into a well designed box which has IEM structure printed on the front side and product specifications at the back. The unfolding part reveal the additional information — highly demanded visual graphs of the frequency response range.
Box contains a paper holder with special openings that retain gold color storage case and IEMs while all the rest of accessories are stored inside the case.
Couple of words about the quality of the box and storage case — yes, those do raise some questions for a person who got used to extremely good quality of packaging of IEMs from Chineese and Korean manufacturers. As far as I know, people from Periodic Audio do care much more about the resulting sound and build quality of IEMs instead of focusing on the additional accessories. The main quality question addresses pretty thin aluminum storage case that doesn’t have secure locking mechanism and won’t last long. On the other hand — the rest of the accessories look perfectly well, box is not that visually attractive but does the job of protecting the product during the transportation. Let’s say that we see two different approaches: either to provide visually attractive packaging to move the stock despite sound characteristics or to put an accent on the quality of sound which is the most important for IEMs.
- Periodic audio BE IEMs
- Storage case
- 6 pairs of silicone eartips
- 2 pairs of memory foam eartips
- 3.5mm -> 6.6mm adapter
- 3.5mm -> 2 X 3.5mm L+R plane adapter
Box contents surprises with the plane and 6.6mm adaptors. Never thought that people would use $300 IEMs in planes instead of the 1cent options that are provided by the crew.
Anyway, it was a joke. I know that there are some DAPs that are equipped with such kind of outputs. Rarely, but still… Good variety of eartips makes it possible to ensure a proper fit for any ear. Brand claims that eartips are made of medical grade silicone and uretanes that should secure you from any allergic reactions.
Caps with brand logo are made of 304 stainless steel.
Shells are made of polycarbonate for zero resonance and extra strength to resist mechanical damages. All shell elements are perfectly aligned and neatly assembled with very small spacing between parts.
Cable is 1.5 meter long, covered with black silicone and ending with 3.5mm straight plug in rubber housing.
Unfortunately, cable is integrated. It does have good bending protection from IEM side and looks pretty durable in overall to live long and happy life. But I would still recommend to pay a little bit more attention to its well being in comparison to IEMs where you can exchange the cable at your own will.
BE IEMs are quite comfortable, thanks to low weight (only 9.3g for both) and wide variety of provided eartips. Fit is secure and tight, no tendency to fall out while walking or exercising. Pretty good and common feel for IEMs with bullet-like shape.
BE IEMs were tested with Hidizs AP80 DAP.
Lows and midbass:
Smooth and texutred lows are one of the main virtues of BE IEMs. Bass is disctinct, perfectly contoured with deep reach and impressive extension. Presence of bass is not overemhasized or underpowered — enough to create balanced perception of the sound in overall and perfectly exposed to reproduce micro detail and draw the attention towards it. Layering with other frequencies is decent, lows are not overlapping with mids and not shadowing any instruments no matter which volume you are at. Adequate bass reaction and speed keeps the sound complete. In overall, lows feel quite open, wide and extended. I cannot say that BE are dedicated for bassheads as the lows are kind of accurate and weighted intead of being too accented and heavy.
Midbass is vivid, energetical and engaging. Drums sound natural and rich. No influence is spotted from the treble part which results in accurate and non distructive sound in some tracks susceptible to excessive drum gain.
Mids and vocals:
First impression was that mids are recessed, sound distant and thin — common for V-shape tuning. Couple of tracks later, after getting used to the sound of BE, came the understanding that mids are adequately exposed and don’t tend to overly bright or dark tonality. Appropriate thickness and even delivery in this range make BE IEMs quite comfortable for different kinds of genres and long listening sessions. Voices sound natural and rich, no harsh peaks or artificially added emotions spotted on female vocals. Although, male voices do have a little bit of mellow feel while female’s do sound a bit more vivid. But this doesn’t grow into negative perception. Furthermore, most of the resolving potential is gathered in this range influencing string and bow instruments at the first place, followed by vocals. Amount of details is not so great as reproduced by BA drivers but definitely impressive for the single dynamic unit.
BE treble is astonishing: clear, transparent and very detailed. Treble crispness and clarity together with delicate delivery reminds of the best examples of balanced armature IEMs. BE is by far the best dynamic model regrading treble range, overall feel transparency and treble extension. This is also highlighted by the additional accent on this range that makes the sound less neutral but more fun and appealing to a listener.
Imaginary soundstage is more than average in terms of depth and width. Very good layering and instrument separation helps to keep perfectly distinctive sound for all instruments with no mixing between them. Precise instrument positioning and clarity defines the stage depth while transparent treble and open sound of bass adds some width.
Sound in overall:
Periodic audio BE sound can be described as slightly V-shaped, with open and textured bass, resolved and weighted mids, bright, crisp and accurate treble. Despite slight but apparent V-shaped tuning, BE still sound good with many different music genres. Rare combination of fun sound with such omnivorous nature.
Compared to Earnine EN2J:
Earnine EN2J (from South Korea) are based on 2 BA units tuned for very neutral sound with decent resolution. While BE sound brighter and more engaging, EN2J are like being very «flat» in the direct comparison. Lows are more extended and having more weight in BE while treble is similarly rich and bright. Overall resolution is slightly higher in EN2J due to the overwhelming microdynamics of high quality BA units but bass texturing is not that great. In terms of fit BE are lighter and more comfortable but EN2J have another good feature — exchangeable cable.
Compared to Tanchjim Oxygen:
Tanchjim Oxygen are my favorite single dynamic IEMs with neutral sound, great balance and perfectly delivered ranges. BE are directly comparable, having similarly good resolution, more exposed lows and better extension of treble. I would say that main difference in sound is that Oxygen IEMs are more neutral whereas BE are more vivid at both ends. The other sound characteristics are quite similar. Fit is much better with BE.
My very first take on IEMs originating from USA turned to an invention of a brand that definitely know how good the sound of single dynamic driver should be. Moreover, Periodic Audio has managed to implement this knowledge in their flagship BE IEMs. Its sound impresses with accurate bass, great layering, crisp treble and engaging but very comfortable picture in overall. Build quality is nothing more to be desired as well. The approach towards the good sound in different parts of the world is not that huge but obvious — egineers in Periodic Audio prevail over marketing that often invest only to the attractive facias… Soundwise, haven’t met other models with such interesting and successfull combination of the engaging V-tuning and adequate delivery of mids. At my own scale, BE would place somewhere at top, next to my most favorite models.
Another conclusion — «Chi-Fi» is not relevant and kind of rudiment funny word. Having lots of IEMs from different parts of the world (and now from USA as well) I can make a conclusion that there are best products with the best sound quality that originate from different countries. And many good examples from China. It is just the huge amount of less than average or mere quality IEMs from China that would confuse the choice. Periodic Audio, on its turn, deserves the ovations for making IEMs with excellent sound quailty at the very competitive price point when compared to best products from Asian markets with significantly lower material and labor cost. Something had to be sacrificed but definitely not the sound quality.
You can buy Periodic Audio BE IEMs at official store