UNBOXED: Reviewing the Periodic Audio Be, Ti, and MG In-Ear Monitors
Since jumping into the product review game, one of the categories that I’ve been the hardest on is in-ear monitors. In all honesty, I’ve probably been a little unfair on the IEM market simply because of personal preference. It’s always been hard for me to get used to the idea of shoving headphone tips down into my ear canal.
But the tides are turning. Earphone tips have evolved in just the last few years it seems like with different materials coming to the fore (mold-forming ones have a special place in my heart), and some companies even working with audiologists to customize the shape of their product to best fit the individual.
Bottom line, the IEM market is growing on me.
The only hurdle remaining is finding tiny earbuds that can perform better than those $5 bargain bin pair that consumers grab as an impulse buy because they know they’re going to misplace them. A recent trip to CanJam NYC solved that.
There, the first booth that I stepped into was Periodic Audio where I met founder Dan Wiggins. Dan and his team were there showing off their first line of IEMs that, as the name suggests, have a little chemistry baked into them. Their headphones are built using different metals for the dynamic drivers. To avoid getting too techy—their website has an incredible part-by-part breakdown that is worth checking out though—the result is a listening experience that is incredibly balanced throughout the entire line.
Audiophiles will certainly be able to discern the subtle differences in quality, which makes the upsell from, say, the $99 Magnesium to the $299 Beryllium very easy. Whereas the Mg IEM handles the mids very well and starts to break down at higher volume levels, the Be pair provides an even listening experience at any volume. There’s no loss of quality or noticeable distortion with the Be, which is mighty impressive for a pair of headphones this tiny.
On top of the listening experience, Periodic Audio ships the headphones with a ton of accessories, which include 9 different ear tips, an airplane adaptor, a quarter-inch adapter, and a cool little tin can that makes carrying all of this no big deal.
For as awesome as the listening experience is, though, the actual design of the Periodic Audio line leaves much to be desired. This is definitely the team’s first go around at creating IEMs for the Periodic Audio brand, and it’s absolutely possible we were looking at early-production models. But the look and feel of the headphones was a little underwhelming. The cables themselves were just basic rubber cables that you’d see on less-expensive IEMs, they’re lacking an in-line remote control, and the earpieces weren’t clearly marked for the left and right ear. And the only way to tell the difference between the three different pairs is by the color of the cap on the back of each ear. Dan and co. did promise that they were already working on improving the design of their product, which is much-welcomed news.
If you can get past the physical aspects of the Periodic Audio line, though, these are definitely some of the most impressive IEMs I’ve ever plugged into my ears.