Impressions: Periodic Audio's Magnesium IEM

Here's the last of Periodic Audio's IEMs, and their lowest priced offering: sneaking just under the $100 mark, at $99. I've been very impressed in my listening thus far, so I'm (sorry for the repetition) very excited to hear what these have to offer in the budget price-ranking.

For the third time, I'll make pretty much the same comments on design. It is pretty industry standard, but wholly inoffensive, and admittedly does a more-than-adequate job of highlighting the brand without becoming gaudy or cloying. Nothing particularly stands out here, but it really does seem to be the trend that Periodic Audio is shooting for sound, not design, and they've hit their mark twice so far, and I expect them to again.

So sound, then. These are advertised as relatively neutral, with a lean towards treble; something that I rarely see. It immediately became apparent that vocals can be a little bit aggressive, but that was quickly tamed with an adjustment to listening level, and I can't say whether or not that will be observed consistently over the review period, so the jury is still out. Bass is powerful, without coming across as grasping for the center of attention. The mids are very natural, with good realism in both vocals and instruments. Detail across all ranges is really commendable, with great retrieval; it simultaneously avoids bashing you over the head with that aspect, thankfully, keeping it as a benefit, and not an attention-getter, if that makes sense.

I really can't overstate how balance seems to be a highlight of all three of these headphones. The soundstage (about the same size as the Titanium, slightly smaller than that of the Beryllium) is not only wider than I have come to expect from closed-back in-ears, but the imaging , separation, and spectral decay all work together to achieve this incredible sense of balance, as mentioned. Everything moves just right, particularly in electronic music, where phaser effects are more commonplace.

It seems that Periodic Audio really intends to keep this streak of theirs up, in terms of quality, and they've reinvigorated me to buckle down over the next few weeks and chew through these headphones, giving them the attention that they seem to deserve.

 Impressions carried out over the course of this playlist...

Impressions carried out over the course of this playlist...