Periodic Audio Review: Only the necessities

Periodic Audio (PA) is a startup brand that has just hopped onto the audio industry. Periodic Audio is from California, USA and introduced themselves with some unique concepts or principles which intrigued me to learn more about. As they announce their first three lineups of their product, Mg, Ti, Be, they’ve set their principles very clear: single dynamic drivers are better than multi BAs.

While some companies target their products on people’s emotion, PA takes a very scientific approach towards their product. Spectral decay plot attached on their website for better references, PA states that using multi BAs require crossovers result in sonic mishmash as well as inaccurate image specification. PA tuned their IEMs just by creating their own diaphragm and that’s it! No filters, no crossovers, no this and that, just a dang good driver.

 

 

Unboxing

The packaging is simple and seamless, but nothing impressive really. Not a surprise though, as Periodic explained in advance why their packaging is so simple. Here’s their answer from the F&Q… 

“As long as your product reaches you without damage, then the packaging did its job.  Packaging shouldn’t sell you on the product.  It should not be one of the “brand promises” to you.  It’s the product inside that matters.”

It’s pretty clear that the guys behind Periodic Audio have that ‘engineer mindset’ – which they’ve removed any unnecessary or unpractical elements. Not saying it’s bad, but I find opening a product for the first time to be one of the most memorable experience and PA could have done better making the packaging look attractive while keeping it simple  – Campfire audio does a great job when it comes to this. Other than that, the provided accessories are pretty plentiful. It comes with 5 pairs of silicone tips, 3 pairs of foam tips, 1/4″ adapter, airplane adapter, and a small metal case.

 

Earpieces

Earpieces have that good old classical style we’re all familiar of – the round barrel looking shape. Aesthetics are quite simple, though the faceplates make them look pretty neat actually. All PA IEMs have the same appearance, except the faceplate colors – Be for gold, Ti for dark grey, Mg for silver.
Besides, Periodic made it clear from the get-go that they don’t believe in BA drivers or multi-drivers – but only a hella good single dynamic driver. They are pretty serious when it comes to low distortion and reaching the ideal FR, so they’ve kept all of their IEMs to only have 1DD but equipped with different tuning and driver materials. Drivers for Mg are made of 96% magnesium allow, pure titanium for Ti, and pure beryllium for Be. I suggest giving these some good amount of burn-in, especially for Ti – since the driver for these feel more rigid and is the only IEM from the family that doesn’t have driver flex.

 

Cable

I’m a guy who often enjoys simplicity as Periodic does, but Periodic kept it a bit too simple with their cables. The cables feel somewhat flimsy as if they’ve stuck in one from those bundle earphones. I’ve heard that PA was planning to make these detachable but aborted for not being satisfied with either MMCX and 2Pin. That’s okay, though the problem is that the cable seems pretty weak and with no reinforcements whatsoever. For me, the non-detachable cable was a bummer, though the good part is that PA got you covered for 5 years of warranty. It seems like the durability concerns won’t be significant as it’s supposed to be.

 

 

 

 

Mg: Highlights bass and vocals

Mg shows an uncompromising performance even if it’s the most affordable model from the lineup. Bass feels powerful, large, and nicely controlled which prevents it from getting overwhelming. For its price range, Mg’s bass performance is one of the very best available to the market. Mids sound big and plentiful, providing quite a realistic scale of vocals. The thickness is more on the thicker side, making it a bit more desirable for male vocals but female vocals would sound just as sweet and rich. It also doesn’t cause any sibilance and the same applies to the other two IEMs, so I won’t be mentioning about this further.

Treble takes a step back but well presented with satisfactory details. Mg does a fine job to catch the small details in the background but with smoothed out edges, making it desirable for long-time listening. In conclusion, Mg seeks for a sound that has a big scale on bass/mids with smooth yet detailed trebles. If you got to enjoy Mg and would like to bring out more from it, I’d suggest giving Be a try. Ti would also be a good choice if you’re into highlighting the instruments or simply something that sounds more fun, 

 

 

 

Ti: Highlights texture and instruments

Ti is more V-shaped compared to the other models, however no assumptions that Ti would do badly on mids. Note that all three Periodic IEMs sound bassy while Ti has a bit more treble amount compared to the other two. Highs are shifted forward while keeping the mids on its original place. Vocals are just as good as Mg & Be, but slightly darker with a sexy, husky tone added to it. 

Ti is the fun-sounding one among the family and would be an appropriate choice for those who enjoy high engagement on instruments along with the crispy bass and treble. Also, staging is more spatial and wider compared to Mg and does a better job highlighting the backgrounds. The bass is denser and the borderlines between low/mid/high are more distinguishable than Mg. It’s pretty common here in the audiophile world to neglect the mid-child while choosing an IEM, but I strongly recommend giving Ti a consideration if these features feel to check out.

 

 

 

Be: Highlights bass and vocals

Be goes for a bass-centric sound with soothing mids and highs. The imaging is bigger with even more bass quantity than Ti, but still never gets overwhelming. The bass textures are refined and have a better extension on the low-end. The overall performance feels to be superior to Ti and Mg. Tonality and imaging are the best among the family, but the gap isn’t drastic to call it night and day.

The kick on the bass feels deep and realistic, which is probably the strongest merit of this IEM. Image specification is also nice, which is another advantage that Periodic Audio claimed for using a single driver. Vocals sound sweet and bold while keeping an adequate amount of graininess, adequately exposing the texture. The sound signature and characteristics are very similar to Campfire Audio Vega. The performance-wise Be is right under Vega’s shoulders, though it’s actually impressive for an IEM that only costs $299 (FYI sound signature-wise Ti was very close to Vega). In short, Be follows Mg’s sound signature, but better in accuracy, lower distortion, density, staging, and extension.

 

 

 

Verdicts

All Periodic Audio IEMs follow the same sonic path: Big, bold, and plentiful. No gimmick or extras, just nailing hard on sound. While there were some minor elements that they’ve missed (like lack of reinforcement near the connectors and non-detachable cables), but Periodic done a pretty nice job overall with fabulous execution in sound tuning. I love their motto and principles and hopefully, they’ll advance even further by gathering a good amount of user feedback to make it more trendy. Well done, Periodic!

 

 

Thanks to Periodic Audio for providing the IEMs in exchange for an honest impression/feedback. 

I am not affiliated with Periodic Audio and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.

Periodic Audio

8.5

Sound quality

8.5/10

Build quality

7.6/10

Comfort

9.0/10

Functionality/Matchability

8.2/10

Value for the price

9.3/10

Pros

  • Great bass and staging
  • Low distortion, precise imaging
  • 5 year warranty

Cons

  • Non-detachable cable
  • Plain design and packaging

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