Periodic Audio's IEMs (Be, Ti, and Mg)

It was immediately evident to me, given their approach to marketing and to the public conception of their product, that someone serious was working behind Periodic Audio's doors. That person is Dan Wiggins, their founder. His CV is very long, and very impressive. He worked on Microsoft's gaming headset, but, the list gets more impressive as it goes, with Dan also having co-founded Doppler Labs and having served as Principal Transducer Engineer for Sonos and Chief Transducer Engineer for Blue Microphones.

That's quite the list, and it speaks to the gravitas and expectations with which I entered this review period. 

All of Periodic Audio's offerings, at least thus far, use dynamic drivers. This surprised me at first, as I often personally associate dynamic drivers with considerable sloppiness, and lack of general detail. I know that this is not always true (note the Monk+ et al.), but, nonetheless, it's the mental association I have. These are just about the polar opposite of that mental schema.

So, I wanted to get a wider perspective into why Dan made that choice when designing these headphones. I asked him a couple very general questions in order to try to ascertain more information about their design and engineering process, as well as their fundamental philosophy towards transducer design and implementation. I'll try to break up and structure his response over the next many paragraphs, as it was (thankfully) very in-depth and extremely informative.

The structure of this section is as follows: the bolded headers are meant to tell what the following quote talks about; the indented quotes are direct from Dan's responses, without editing; any italicized notes that follow are my own commentary.

Design Goals

"We wanted to design something incredibly accurate but also educational."

There's beauty in simplicity, and I think that taking the gestural approach, then working from there to the specific worked out extremely well for Periodic Audio, in the end.

On Balanced Armature Drivers

"I was around when hearing aids started using balanced armatures (BAs), when Knowles really started pushing the modern BA. These were the first used in the early 1990s in CIC (Completely In Canal) hearing aids. BAs were used before, but they weren’t the tiny things we use today. They were awesome for what they were and their application: small, efficient, quite intelligible speech. But they were definitely not accurate or audiophile – intelligibility is different than accuracy. For example, if you are doing telecom system design you can often raise your PESQ or POLQA (measurements of intelligibility) by cutting off the low frequencies and bumping the 700-2000 Hz range relative to > 2000 Hz frequencies – and that is essentially trading off accuracy for intelligibility.

BAs are inherently highly resonant devices. To brutishly summary what they are: you attach a beach umbrella to the end of your diving board, and then you jump up and down on the diving board so you can listen to the output from the beach umbrella. A little reed is vibrated back and forth in a magnetic gap, a rod is attached to the end of the reed, and that rod moves a diaphragm. Then the acoustic output of that diaphragm is routed through a typically 0.5mm tall slot, and then through a ~1.5mm diameter hole. None of which is conducive to accuracy – and is why you see those nice big peaks in the response plots: resonant system, meet resonant acoustical paths!"

On Driver Design

"Doing a 10mm dynamic really isn’t much more difficult than doing a 25mm tweeter. It’s just smaller – but the approach is identical. It’s well proven out, and quite simple conceptually. Voice coil pushes directly on diaphragm, diaphragm moves back and forth, you hear that, done. Because of the large diameter, we can have much more open volumes around the transducer, so we have greatly reduced resonant behavior. A thicker unit (4mm) allows us to have good amounts of stroke (forward and back motion), which – combined with then 10mm diameter diaphragm – means effectively huge displacement, meaning high SPL and low THD (not a lot of motion for high SPL).

So I set out and designed the best 10mm transducer I could do. I’ve done lots of tweeters, micro-drivers (laptops, cell phones) and small full range speakers in the past, so this was “just another design”. We executed the design, worked with a transducer vendor to get it into manufacturing, and that was that. All done. On the transducer side…"

On Acoustic Design

"Because of the large diameter our IEM ended at, we could have a lot of internal volume if needed. So we used it! We did real porting front and back, and did a few tricks (patent pending) in that bass alignment to greatly lower THD as well as further extend the low frequencies. We had enough internal volume we can make all volumes highly non-resonant, so it’s clean behavior. And then we used materials (like polycarbonate) which are highly non-resonant and well damped. The result is one of the cleanest cumulative spectral decay (CSD – colloquially called a waterfall plot) you’ll find in an IEM. That results in just a pure, direct, uncluttered and clean sound.

The result is a highly NON-resonant design. If you look at the impedance trace of our Be, for example, you would be hard pressed to find the fundamental resonance of the transducer – and you will see ZERO ripples in the impedance anywhere else. Most audible resonances show up as impedance trace wiggles and ripples – we don’t have that. And we ensured the CSD is clean too – the perception engine in our brain is amazingly good at picking out peaks in response – even if they happen 20-30 dB down from the main band – if they are delayed relative to the initial acoustic event. So clean CSD, clean FR that are both free of their own resonances results in a very clean, open, accurate sound."

This is part of what I was talking about when I referred earlier to moving from gestural to in praxis. Dan did a great job, in my opinion, of taking what was necessary - acoustically - to achieve his goal and implementing it. I appreciate the incorporation of CSD graphs, as it has become more common nowadays, but is still ensconced by the much more pervasive FR graphs, which can be wildly misleading. The difference is audibly apparent in the cleanliness offered by the design that he created. I'll include the CSD graph for the Beryllium driver model below this, for reference.

For those that haven't seen CSD graphs in the past, I'll try too give a brief explanation as to what they indicate. With the Z-axis representing volume level, the Y-axis representing frequency, and the x-axis representing time, they show the ability of a driver to stop producing each frequency. A visually steeper CSD graph indicates that the headphone is very good at stopping production of each given frequency, which generally comes across to the user as cleaner sound, as there is less bleed between notes. This is also why it's referred to colloquially as a waterfall plot, as the steeper the "waterfall", the cleaner the sound.

A Summary of the "Accuracy" Component

  • BA bad, dynamic good!
  • Design to use all available space/volume in a typical ear
  • Design everything in-house so it’s a cohesive vision
  • Use the right material for the right job
  • Make it clean, low distortion, and highly anti-resonant

Note: the above is a quote directly from Dan, but I can't properly format quotes around bullet pointed lists. I thought that that was pretty assumable, but just wanted to clarify for its own sake.

Educating on Elements

"Just how much of a difference can the material of the diaphragm make? I am often asked that – probably the second question I’m asked about transducer design (the first typically being “what is the best speaker”). Well, as you can hear, it makes a huge difference! Periodic Audio is an opportunity to educate about materials. We think we’ve answered the question about enclosure material – why polycarbonate instead of aluminum/titanium/others. Look at a CSD, listen to the product – you’ll hear the impact a highly non-resonant and fairly well internally damped material has on the acoustics of the system. 

The same is true about the diaphragms. We ended up with a great transducer and IEM design, and as any decent or better marketer/salesman will tell you, you need at least 3 offerings to have a product line, so… We chose 3 metals to do our initial offering. Just change the material of the diaphragm, and we’re good to go. We chose 3 that are pretty well known in the audio world: titanium (extensive use in the prosound world), magnesium (Seas and others make Mg tweeters, mids, woofers) and beryllium (the “new kid” on the block).

The results are what you hear – each has a distinctive sound signature, and it’s not subtle! But you hear what the different metals will do. How accurate they are, how much they internally damp, what the effect of their material properties has on the sound. We knew we had our product line, and we thought we’d push that as well – it’s a science experiment, showing what happens when you just change one variable (the foundation of the scientific method)."

This is another example of Dan's simple, logical approach to his house sound signature. Simply changing the material of the diaphragm, and virtually nothing else, is something not often seen in the market, and as we'll get to in the proceeding triple-review, it works awfully well as a design/engineering choice.

Additionally and wholly independently, Dan expressed that this truly was a joint effort, beyond just his acoustic/design/engineering work, as his team worked extensively and fluidly together to create the product that they offer. I thought that that was more than worth conveying, as these tremendous headphones weren't created by just him, alone.

Review

So after that very, very long introduction, it's time to get down to brass tacks. Or beryllium, for this context. Or maybe magnesium; we'll figure it out. This is going to be a very long post, as I think the best way for me to structure it is to include all three reviews under this one post. I'm going to use an amalgam of my usual review format, speaking to design of all three headphones under the same subsection, but creating separate sections for the sound of each, as they are very different. I'll follow that with a wrap-up that discusses each of them in context.

For those navigating this review for a specific model, each section is tagged with the name of the IEM which it discusses, and then a "Wrap-Up" section that discusses all three holistically and briefly. Similarly, and for reference, the "Fit and Form" section that directly follows this paragraph refers to the design of all three IEMs, as they are so physically similar. Although the web-host that I use has a post format that does not allow multiple pages (which would make things much easier), using Control+F (or Command, depending on operating system) in conjunction with the model you're looking for will hopefully suit your needs.

Fit and Form

The majority of the design focus in these headphones went towards acoustics - understandably. As discussed above, the use of internal space and materials was very consciously decided to achieve the best acoustic end-result. Polycarbonate over ABS over PLA, et cetera.

But, to speak to just the visual design, it's, admittedly, fairly standard - a cylindrical body, with an average sized nozzle, and a logo-branded backplate, in different colors depending on the model. The right and left earbuds are indicated, uniquely and interestingly, by the color of the grill that covers the nozzle (right being red, and black being left (on new production models)). I like the simplicity here, as it doesn't draw any attention away from the sound.

Included in the packaging, which is very minimal, are a number of accessories. These include a standard airplane adapter, a TRS 1/8" to TRS 1/4" adapter, and three sizes of the following eartip-types: silicon, double-flanged silicon, and foam. I settled on the medium-sized, foam eartips, as they fit me best and delivered the best isolation and seal.

The cable is rubberized, with an unbranded, dark, metallic Y-splitter that hangs at my sternum. The termination is a TRS 1/8" auxiliary connector, similarly unbranded, dark, and metallic to the Y-splitter. The cable is not detachable/replaceable, which is something that I always look for in any in-ears, as stress over time can always break a cable. However, the stress relief at the termination end and at the in-ear ends is good, and, with care, I wouldn't foresee any longevity issues here.

Comfort is very good, and even though these are worn with the cable straight down (from the ear), I had no issues with them slipping out during use, likely due to my choice of eartips. I would like to point out, however, given the length of the body, these won't work all too well for those that are looking for a pair of headphones with which they can sleep. I have weird ear canals, and most IEMs stick out a bit more than usual, but they still don't get close enough to flat in the cavum that they would comfortable when lying sideways. The cable is minimally microphonic, and although it is audible in movement when no music is playing, I wasn't distracted from the music by it at all during my use.

I know that some initial users had an issue where the backplate would pop off, but I have not had that issue on any of the models, so I can't comment. Generally speaking, I saw no quality control issues with these headphones; there were no machining errors or burrs to speak of, and no wonkiness in general.

Beryllium: Sound

Starting at their highest-end and most expensive ($299) offering, these really punch above their price. The Beryllium driver model offers almost complete neutrality with a level of clarity that is top of its class, at any price range. No frequency range comes across as emphasized to my ears, within about a dB SPL. The bass is exceptionally well-controlled, with amazing texture and definition of transients. The mids are extremely natural, with a very realistic overall timbre to them. The treble extends easily, but is in no way fatiguing. There is no peakiness to speak of, and I have not once encountered sibilance from these. This is one of my favorite neutral presentations that I've thus heard, and I would very comfortably use it as a general reference for neutral headphones, for reasons that I'll get to in more detail later in this post.

The detail is almost transcendent. Genres like acoustic metal, with its intensely fast-paced, intricate, and complex structure, are an absolute treat through these. Guitars come through not only entirely realistically, but every single slide, every single fingering, every single bend is conveyed with utter precision. Writing this, I know it's starting to sound like a sales pitch, but man are these a pleasure to hear.

The soundstage itself is considerably larger than average for closed-back in-ears, but where these headphones shine is in their imaging and separation. The clarity, precision, and tonal neutrality allow every single element of any track, no matter how complex, to come through in its own distinct space. It's an absolutely impressive experience. Animals as Leader's eponymous album is something I often use as a test of a headphone's ability to keep up, as all elements are very complex, and there are many of them, which often leads to a cluttered and congested presentation, depending on the headphone. Hearing it through these has been, without a doubt, my single favorite rendition of the album. These headphones just beg to be challenged. They took everything that I could think to throw at them in stride, almost laughing back at me as they chewed threw the music.

Beryllium: Bass

Songs used: The Way it Was by Coast Modern, Down the Mother Volga by Kovcheg, and Three Ralphs by DJ Shadow

The most notable characteristic of the bass, in my time with them, is the texture. The incredible control that these drivers have over their own motion allows for great realism, especially in electronic tracks. Synths, kicks, and bass-lines have a great sense of touch to them. Additionally, they are very punchy and can push a lot of air, when called for. However, what I really appreciated was that they only push that much air when it is called for; they are not sloppy or uncontrolled or wild in the slightest. Sub-bass extension is great, with a surprising ability to rumble and shake, although again, not uncontrollably. There is no crinkling, or other distortion, regardless of how low they are forced to go. Interestingly, for their neutrality, these headphones never left me wanting more in this frequency range. I usually lean towards an ever so slightly V-shaped sound signature, what I'd deign "musical", ambiguously. However, I never found myself looking for any more oomph with these in my ears.

Key descriptors: controlled, textured, and fulfilling

Beryllium: Mids

Songs used: Carry On by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Deacon Blues by Steely Dan, and Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

What was most obvious and overarching to me, in regards to the mids, was their natural presentation. Vocals, particularly, are presented like you're in the studio with the artist. This was especially evident on very well-mastered tracks, like Steely Dan's "Deacon Blues". This is the range where the imaging, separation, and detail was most apparent to me. Every pluck of a string, every vocal quirk and breath taken is revealed in full. These are among the most detailed headphones that I've heard, likely only surpassed by King Sound's KS-H3 electrostatic earspeaker. Apologies for being so general and gestural here, but this range just felt right to me, as though every song I put through them was being presented like it was intended to be. I guess that makes sense, given their neutrality and detail, but it continuously struck me in my time listening to these.

Key descriptors: detailed, realistic, and precise

Beryllium: Treble

Songs used: Ageispolis by Aphex Twin, Morphogene by Machinedrum feat. Ruckazoid, and play by Sami Elu

The treble has just the right amount of poignancy, without being overbearing or grating. As mentioned earlier, I experienced zero sibilance in all of the time I spent listening to these, and that's extremely rare. These join Noble Audio's flagship, the Kaiser Encore, in my new rank of in-ears with a completely clean slate for treble wonkiness. I don't think that mental category is going to fill up quickly, but it is ironic that I happened to have the only headphones that occupy that division on my desk for review at the same time. Aside from being wholly inoffensive, the treble adds a lot of space and air to the sound signature. Cymbals are especially well presented. The "tang" and decay that is unique to each individual cymbal is presented nigh-perfectly, and a lot of headphones struggle with that. These, as referenced earlier, seem to laugh in the face of everything that I could think to throw at them that would trip up many lesser headphones.

Key descriptors: airy, extended, and non-fatiguing

Titanium: Sound

Moving down the list to their Titanium model, which costs $199, this represents Periodic Audio's attempt at a more consumer-focused, V-shaped sound signature. Here, the mids do noticeably step back in the mix, but not all that far. The bass is, as expected, very strong and impactful. It has great punch, without losing control or coherence. The treble is emphasized, bring a sense of air to the sound signature, although it does get a little bit peaky. Not so much so that it becomes grating or fatiguing, but enough that I noticed it.

The detail, when compared to the Beryllium, is admittedly somewhat less intense. I believe that this is as a result of the clouding that the increased bass can bring, but this isn't to say these slack off in this regard. They still fall on the high-end of average in terms of a closed-back, in-ear's detail, with the majority of smaller details being retrieved. I found, additionally, that detail retrieval is better in acoustic genres, than with more bass-heavy music. Thos seems intuitive, but I say it because my experience was that the Beryllium offered tremendous detail retrieval regardless of the genre of music, or its frequency emphasis.

The soundstage is very similar to the Beryllium, if slightly smaller, which is something that I noticed in my initial impressions of these headphones. The same comments to imaging and separation from the Beryllium apply here. These headphones really do create an image of the music in your head, and even though it doesn't match the size that open-backed headphones do, it doesn't feel congested or even necessarily small. It certainly is smaller than that comparison point, but it doesn't bash you over the head with that feeling, if I'm making any sense.

Titanium: Bass

Songs used: The Way it Was by Coast Modern, Down the Mother Volga by Kovcheg, and Three Ralphs by DJ Shadow

The bass is clearly a focus in this sound signature. To me, it seems like pretty much exactly the same as the Beryllium's bass, but brought up a few dB. It has the same great texture and detail, although it does admittedly lose a little bit of the razor-sharp transient detail. It is by no means slow, but it is slightly slower than that of the Beryllium. These qualities make it a very fun listen to electronic and dance genres, and some modern pop/hip-hop. Genres like EDM and trip-hop particularly benefit from their sensitivity to texture, as the acoustic design that was discussed in the introduction really does do wonders for the sound signature. The other place that I noticed this sense for detail was in the voice of Kovcheg's oktavist, on "Down the Mother Volga". The vocal training that that class of singer goes through is particularly well-demonstrated by these headphones. As an aside, sub-bass extension is great, with a better ability to rumble than the Beryllium, while still avoiding distortion.

Key descriptors: textured, emphasized, and satisfying

Titanium: Mids

Songs used: Carry On by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Deacon Blues by Steely Dan, and Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

The mids are noticeably recessed, but they retain much of the character that I heard in the Beryllium IEMs. Although some of the detail is overshadowed by the bass emphasis, they are still exceedingly natural and realistic. Vocals still retain all of their original timbre, and although they are slightly further back in the mix, they come across very, very realistically .Despite mentioning twice already that the bass emphasis can over-ride a little bit of detail, I would like to point out, plainly, that these are still among the most detailed in-ears that I've yet heard, with the treble emphasis bringing out some of the higher-end sparkle that would otherwise be missed.

Key descriptors: realistic, poignant, and exacting

Titanium: Treble

Songs used: Ageispolis by Aphex Twin, Morphogene by Machinedrum feat. Ruckazoid, and play by Sami Elu

The treble, although not the clean slate that the Beryllium was, is very engaging. It adds a lot of air to the sound, while simultaneously bringing out a lot of texture in the mids, in terms of harmonics and overtones. It can get a little bit peaky, but it never breached the barrier into grating territory. Just like the Beryllium, though, these never got sibilant with me, and I'm just as impressed by that as I was in the above section. Although it isn't the clean slate for treble wonkiness that the Beryllium had, it is still a feat to never breach sibilance. I spent a considerable amount of time with these, and I was really waiting for them to slip up, at least once. But, they did not, which is why I'm spending so many words talking about it. Wholly aside, just as something that was interesting to me, horns particularly struck me as having a really engaging, bright character to them, likely as a result of the harmonic emphasis that this treble implementation allows.

Key descriptors: airy, peaky, and engaging

Magnesium: Sound

The Magnesium ($99) is advertised as close to neutral, but with a slight emphasis on the treble. I very rarely see this, but enjoyed it much more than I expected to, frankly. It retains many of the qualities I found in the Beryllium, with a slightly brighter character. Bass texture is still phenomenal, possibly even a bit better than the Beryllium, with the same ability to deliver punch and slam when called upon. The mids are tremendously natural, with a very forward presentation that absolutely draws you in. The treble is the difference, as previously mentioned, and it is simply an emphasis. It is a little more peaky than the Beryllium, but not as peaky as the Titanium, to give a comparison. It adds a brightness to the music and makes it come across as a little bit lighter, colloquially.

Their control of detail retrieval is almost exactly the same as the Beryllium. Just as with those, every single microscopic detail is revealed by these drivers. The waterfall plot, which I'll include below this paragraph, is actually a little bit steeper in the bass than that of the Beryllium (which is included in the introduction), which comes across as a little less bloom in the bass, and a little bit more control.

The soundstage is similar to the Titanium; that is, slightly smaller than the Beryllium, but still very impressive for the form-factor. Again, and I feel bad for reiterating this so heavily, but the imaging and separation are really incredibly impressive. 

Magnesium: Bass

Songs used: The Way it Was by Coast Modern, Down the Mother Volga by Kovcheg, and Three Ralphs by DJ Shadow

The bass is an ever so slightly cleaner version of the same frequency range that I heard in the Beryllium. It has a little bit less bloom, and what it loses there, it gains back in texture and sensitivity. The vast majority of the comments that I had for the Beryllium in its respective section apply here: great texture, great detail, and great overall definition. The definition that all of the headphones in this line, but particularly the Beryllium and this Magnesium, have is really astounding. Sub-bass extension is, for the third time, great, and I feel it lies somewhere between the Beryllium and the Titanium in this respect, in terms of volume.

Key descriptors: textured, clean, and detailed

Magnesium: Mids

Songs used: Carry On by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Deacon Blues by Steely Dan, and Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

The mids are, again, wonderful. Almost perfectly realistic, they conveyed everything I could think to throw at them with tremendous fidelity. The imaging, separation and soundstage allow for an exceptionally engaging listen, as the track absolutely surrounds the listener, with each instrument and vocal-line, no matter how many there are, finding its correct place in the mix. These headphones form a perfect little capsule of sound in your ears, with the music mixing into one cohesive image, with exactly the right balance.

Key descriptors: detailed, natural, and realistic

Magnesium: Treble

Songs used: Ageispolis by Aphex Twin, Morphogene by Machinedrum feat. Ruckazoid, and play by Sami Elu

The treble is emphasized in these headphones, but manages to keep from being grating. Although it is slightly peakier than the treble in the Beryllium, it isn't quite as peaky as the Titanium, as mentioned before. Dan mentions on the website that these are preferable for higher-noise environments, and I believe this is why, as high-frequencies tend to cut through sound better than lower frequencies. Aside from that functional purpose, the treble gives this headphone a bright tilt, but not at all unpleasantly. It adds an extra bit of sparkle, air, and space to the music, highlighting the upper harmonics and micro-details of the source.

Key descriptors: emphasized, poignant, and bright

Combined Wrap-Up

Under this header, I'll discuss my closing thoughts and feelings on all three headphones, in order. I was going to include a trio of comparisons, covering each headphone against the other, but I feel that I have offered enough comparison within the three reviews themselves, and that doing so would not add much that would be worth the word-count. This post has been very long, so thank you to the readers who have stuck it out to this point - you're very close to the end - and I hope that it has been informative and with any luck, helpful and enjoyable. It has certainly been an exercise in organization and structure on my end.

First, the Beryllium: what a headphone! For $299, they offer absolutely unrivaled clarity, detail and neutrality in the in-ear market. They were sincerely only surpassed in detail retrieval by a pair of electrostats, and that's hardly a competition for almost anything else on the market. They are almost completely neutral - pretty much dead flat. But, they are by no means lifeless. They were one of the most engaging listens that I've had recently, in leagues with the aforementioned KS-H3, and the (also aforementioned) Kaiser Encore. They presented everything that I threw at them with utter ease and complete fidelity. Every single detail revealed, they really are an experience unto themselves. I think my best summary statement would be that these are easily in contention for the best option for high fidelity listening on the go. I'd be wholly comfortable using them as a neutral tonality and detail retrieval reference, across form-factors, and I likely will in the future.

Second, the Titanium: these were a little bit of a miss, for me. Admittedly, they aren't my preferred sound signature, and I wholly admit that that plays into my opinion of them, but I do feel that the treble is a little bit too peaky, and that the bass is a little bit over-emphasized. However, they are very technically competent, with great detail retrieval, soundstage-size, imaging, and separation - certainly still miles above what I would expect in those categories for this price range and form-factor. I think this mainly comes down to personal preference and to treble sensitivity, because they are still, admittedly, a very good attempt at a more consumer-focused sound signature.

Third, and finally, the Magnesium: I think this is the budget winner that I've heard, in IEMs, overall. It has an almost neutral sound signature, with incredible detail retrieval, soundstage, imaging, and separation (sorry to be so repetitious with those terms and their qualifier). It, just like the Beryllium, still manages to be very engaging and interesting to listen to, even with its bright tilt (I say "even with", as my general experience is that neutral - or close to it - headphones can be boring - not they always are, but that they can have a propensity to be). It is somewhat jarring to me that a sound as good as the Magnesium's - and as technical competent - can be had for only $99. I wholly recognize, as mentioned earlier, that some of this post can come across as a sales pitch, but the underlying reason is because I was so constantly and consciously impressed by what Dan has put together here.

Now: general commentary. Something that I found ruminating with me across all three products was the incredible staging that they create. Very similar to my commentary on the Kaiser Encore, what brought that out was their ability to move within the soundstage. Phaser effects, wind chimes, and the like are all an absolute aural pleasure through these headphones. Additionally, all three have a larger-than-average soundstage for an IEM, but where they truly shine is in their imaging. Every single part (more so in the Beryllium and Magnesium, but still in the Titanium) in any track, regardless of if thats 25 interlaced orchestral parts or a vocal line, a guitar, and a drum kit, finds its exact right place and - gosh - it just sounds right. For anyone in the market, I can't overstate my recommendation of checking these out - if you can audition them, take the chance; I am entirely confident that it will be worth your while.

On a final note, I want to thank Dan tremendously for taking the time to talk with me about all of the design choices that he made, beyond just the visual. It was a valuable learning experience for me, and I hope it was for anyone reading this, because his approach has created phenomenal headphones. I am very, very excited to see what he'll offer in the future, because I'm not sure how much better than the Beryllium it can get.

Disclaimers

These headphones were provided to me for review by Dan Wiggins, founder of Periodic Audio. I am not being paid by anyone to write this review, to endorse the product reviewed, or for the content that I put in the review.

These headphones were powered by an Astell&Kern AK Junior, a Google Pixel, a Neurochrome HP-1, an iFi Pro iCan, and by whatever soundcard is in the motherboard of my computer.

I have had these headphones for about three weeks, and I have put 20+ hours of analytical listening through each of them during that period.

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