Periodic Audio Be 2022 Review
Pros: + Plentiful of bass without overpowering the rest of the frequencies
+ Visceral and full bodied
+ Warmish mid-range
+ Well extended but not fatiguing treble
+ Good overall clarity and detail retrieval
+ Very easy to drive
+ Gets pretty loud without distortion
+ New design with better looks
+ Lightweight and comfortable
+ Now with a better quality, detachable cable
+ Nice selection of eartips
+ Metallic carrying case
Cons: – Bass is not that tight and controlled
– Mild mid-bass masking
– Bass is slightly out of tune when listening to acoustic instruments
– Medium sized soundstage
– Comes without a balanced cable
– Cable gets tangled and is mildly microphonic
– 2.5mm plugs makes it hard to find an after-market cable
– Carrying case is too flimsy
– Heavy competition
The review sample was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
I didn’t receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don’t use affiliate links.
The price of the Be is $399 and you can order it it from Periodic Audio online shop.
Periodic Audio is a U.S. based company that features a cool lab theme for all their products.
Periodic Audio products are made by and for audio quality connoisseurs. The Periodic Audio team is dedicated to the foundational vision of ‘putting a High-End Audio System in everyone’s pocket’.
According to Periodic Audio, an audio product must sound good, it should not be complicated to use, must be comfortable and if you have to carry the audio product, it must be convenient to do so.
The company makes earphones and DAC/amps while all products come with a five year guarantee in the United States and two years to the rest of the world.
I have already reviewed the Rhodium USB DAC dongle here.
The Be is not a new earphone, it is an older model that, together with the rest of the company’s earphone line, has been redesigned to have a detachable cable and a sturdier, more compact earbud housing.
Be is an earphone known as the master-of-all-music, failure-at-none.
Periodic Audio’s other IEMs may do better in some genres but for all-around excellence, Be is the one that shines.
Revealing enough to be a true reference IEM but forgiving enough to use on any source.
The Be uses an 8mm beryllium plated driver with powerful N48H grade neodymium magnets.
Beryllium is among the lowest density stable metals but also has among the highest Young’s modulus values (a ratio of the stiffness) and a very high internal speed of sound.
This results in high efficiency and extremely low distortion as the diaphragm does not bend on its own, moves homogeneously, and dissipates internal energy very well.
New design better comfort
The earbud housings are now made from the high durable Tritan copolyester thermoplastic.
Periodic Audio says the material is also better for audio applications than either polycarbonate or ABS.
The bullet shaped ear-shells are more compact and lightweight than the previous generation and offer a much more comfortable and stress free fit while noise isolation is very good, especially with the double flange ear tips.
The new rounded design with the glossy finish is also more classy and beautiful looking.
A well thought new design that added a lot both to the appearance and the comfort factor of the previous generation.
The new detachable cable
The whole range of Periodic Audio earphones now comes with a replaceable cable.
The 3.5mm cable has custom 2.5mm connectors that plug to the earshells.
Periodic Audio developed its own 2.5mm jack, the IDEEL (IEM Direct Electrical Engagement Link) connector.
The company says it’s the world’s smallest 2.5mm jack, measuring just 3.6mm across with a mounting depth of 9.5mm.
This rather odd decision, instead of using regular MMCX or 2-pin connectors, has the advantage of keeping earbud size compact and offers better contact but it is not easy to find after-market cables.
In case that your cable gets damaged you can buy a new one from Periodic Audio but they don’t offer the option of a balanced plug.
The cable is of good quality, it looks durable but it is mildly microphonic, it gets easily tangled and the cotton sheathing seems prone to fray.
The Be comes with a wide variety of accessories.
You get the 1.2 meter long cable single 3.5mm TRS to dual 2.5mm TS jack and ear hooks.
Single Flange Tips – Small, Medium, Large
Dual Flange Tips – Small, Medium, Large
Memory Foam Tips – Small, Medium, Large
Protective Travel Case
Gold Plated ¼” TRS Adapter Jack
Gold Plated Dual Mono Airplane Adapter.
With 32Ω nominal impedance and a sensitivity of 100dB/1mW it is easy to drive the Be from small USB DAC dongles or even from your phone.
I have mostly used the Periodic Audio Rhodium, FiiO KA1 and iBasso DC05.
Beryllium plated drivers are very stiff so the earphone was burned for more than 100 hours before evaluation.
The Be has a “V” shaped tuning with great frequency extension.
The sub-bass is surprisingly deep for such a small driver, it is full sounding and impactful without sounding dominant over the rest of the frequencies.
Bass and mid-bass are boosted well above the neutral target, a very fun sounding earphone that can favor certain kinds of music, like electronic or rock but it is not ideally suited to acoustic instruments because they are reproduced slightly out of tune, at least when strictly reference criteria are applied.
The bass is visceral and dynamic but at the expense of some mid-bass clarity and definition loss while you can hear mild resonances and a droning effect.
Bass is a little loose, not that tight and controlled while the mid-bass inner lines get a little masked between them, especially when things get a bit crowded.
On the other hand the mid-bass doesn’t bleed into the mids, so the region doesn’t sound congested nor compressed.
Mid-range is slightly recessed, vocalists and related instrumentalists get pushed a little back in the overall mix but they don’t lack in presence and weight.
Articulation is clear, timbre is natural with a touch of warmth and plenty of harmonic saturation, the presentation is quite lifelike and realistic.
Higher mids are more crisp and sharper but not that much to make for a harsh or sibilant sound.
Treble is boosted in the presence and brilliance areas giving the Be a sparkling and luminous character that counterbalances the extra bass so it doesn’t sound dark, slow or dull.
There is a touch of inoffensive brightness, higher pitched instruments have some extra bite, notes fade away in a non rushed manner while detail retrieval is plentiful.
The Be is delightful, it is rocking and dancing, just plug it to your phone and get ready for the party.
The soundstage is open and airy but nothing spectacular, it doesn’t feel congested or cramped but it is not that layered or laser sharp when it comes to instrument positioning especially when we are talking about classical music.
Overall impressions are quite positive but it should be duly noted that $399 is a lot of cash for a single dynamic driver earphone with only one cable in the package.
Competition is very stiff, there are a lot of other earphones with equally impressive performance that additionally have cables with interchangeable plugs and/or tuning filters and more premium carrying cases.
The Dunu Falcon Pro ($219.99), BQEYZ Autumn ($199) and FiiO FD5 ($319.99) just to name a few that spring in mind.
Of course these models are not backed by a five year guarantee in the United States but still this is a very crowded market and the Be seems to be overpriced when compared to the competition.
In the end
The Periodic Audio Be is a fun sounding and enjoyable earphone suitable for everyday casual listening with an impressive low end but without sacrificing in overall clarity and tonal accuracy.
An enhanced version of the previous model with the same adorable sound and a renovated design that now offers a more comfortable fit and has a detachable cable for better longevity.
Copyright – Petros Laskis 2022.