Whatever the song may "Be" - Periodic Audio Beryllium Review by Face Audio Reviews

Introduction: Periodic Audio a relative newcomer in the audio scene has entered the scene with a completely different perspective from how many other companies address audio. And this approach leads to a current line of products that have an interesting philosophy behind them. Currently, they have a product line that consists of 3 IEMs, but that roster will only continue to grow. For more information about the principles behind Periodic Audio check out my interview with them here. Back to the IEM at hand what we have here is their highest priced product, not exactly a flagship, it's just that it costs the most to produce, this is the Beryllium or Be for short. This name, of course, comes from the material that is the main differentiator between their models, and this is a beryllium foil coated diaphragm that is the heart and soul of this IEM. So what does the Be provide and is it worth the hefty price tag of $299?

The Beryllium was provided to me by Periodic Audio in exchange for an honest and unbiased evaluation. Thanks to Periodic Audio for the opportunity to review this IEM.
Specifications: Performance
Frequency Response 12 Hz to 45 kHz
Impedance 32 Ohms nominal
Sensitivity 100 dB SPL at 1mW in ear
Power Handling 200 mW continuous
Peak SPL 123 dB
THD Less than 1% THD at 1mW
Material Properties
Melting Point 1560 Kelvin
The speed of Sound 12890 meters/second
Young's Modulus 287 Gigapascals
Brinell Hardness 1320 Megapascals
Physical Properties
Cable Length 1.5 m
Mass 2.8 / 9.3 g (IEM/Set)
Operational Temperature -20 to +50° C
Operational Humidity 0-95% Relative Humidity
NRR 31.3 dB (foam ear tip)
Overall Length 21 mm
Body Diameter 12 mm
Nozzle Diameter 6 mm
Packaging and Accessories: The Be comes in a simple white cardboard box that has the product information printed on, as well as a flap that opens up to reveal more details as well as an FR graph. Opening the side reveals a sleeve that holds the IEM, and the accessories contained in the likely aluminum, carrying case, there is an abundance of tips, airplane splitter, and a 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter. Though one thing to note with how the packaging is that the foam tips were deformed because of all the things that were crammed inside the case, which really isn't that spacious. The overall packaging is simple but functional and has nothing else notable with it, the quality of the accessories, for the most part, is pretty good, though I can't speak for the quality of airline splitter, I found that the 3.5 to 6.3 adapter to be loose leading to inconsistent connections on the 3.5mm side. The silicone ear tips are unremarkable but seem of decent quality, and the foam tips are stiffer than Comply brand tips which for the most part is ok but should be mentioned as it will exert a greater pressure on your inner ear as a result, finally the included case is simple, comes with a screw lid, and is large enough to accommodate the IEM with some tips but nothing in excess of that, the build of the case is sturdy enough to keep it safe in your bag, but the metal is fairly thin so I wouldn't expect it to withstand a more substantial impact.
Build Quality: The construction of the Be is primarily composed of plastics with only the end cap being made of a metal material and this helps keep the Be very light and unintrusive when worn over a long period of time, the build is solid with the nozzles having separately colored screens, black and red, to identify left and right, though I wish there was a more convenient way to tell which side was which. The cables are typical if a bit rubbery to the touch, and the strain reliefs are unexceptional, the overall build is solid however this is where I think the approach Periodic Audio utilized with their lineup shows the weaknesses, because all 3 models across all the price points share the same material outside of the diaphragm the Be being the most expensive loses out on the value proposition relative to the sibling models, as you get the same build and accessories for a lower price with the other models, meaning that the Be heavily relies on sound quality to deliver on the premium cost. On a purely objective level, I can't fault the build but I can't ignore the comparison to both the Mg and the Al and I just have to dock some points because of that, even while fully understanding the rationale behind this approach.
Fit: Due to the shape and size of the Be fitting is rather easy and free of any hassle, it is light, meant to be worn cable down, and is narrow enough to never really be close to being obtrusive to one's ear, the bevy of ear tips offered also lends to a very pleasant fitting experience ensuring that you are very likely to have a good experience wearing these IEMs.
Sound: The overall signature of the Be is a slight V or U shaped signature meaning it performs very well across a good mix of musical styles and genres and works well as an everyday carry especially for popular music of today. As always I tested the Be across a multitude of devices from my LG G6, Alienware 17 R3, Hiby R6, ifi xDSD, FiiO Q1 Mk II, Massdrop CTH, and I have listened to them for over 100 hours before writing my thoughts on them. The Be is generally easy to drive by most devices, though phones with weaker internal amplifiers may struggle, it does seem to be benefitted by a source with a good amount of power as the headroom really helps the Be stretch its legs.
Bass: The Be is very capable in the bass frequencies being very adept in a deep sub-bass rumble with decay on the slower side of the spectrum, so songs with prominent bass drum lines like "Love" by Lana Del Rey exhibit a pleasant natural reverb, moving up to the spectrum of the mid-bass such as the lower registers of instruments there is a pleasant warmth that while adds some intimacy to the sound, gives pleasant vocals to the musical styles of Michael Buble with the vocal undertones being enhanced without ever feeling too syrupy or overbearing, this, however, leads to the subsequent register where there is an overlap but the bass isn't blooming and the quality of the bass is very good and has good overall resolution.
Mids: The midrange is laidback on the Be, taking a step back especially relative to the bass, while it's never overtaken to the point where one would consider to be truly intrusive. What happens is that in songs like "Greek Tragedy" by the Wombats the large bassline does compete with the vocals and instrumentation a bit. Taking that into account the quality of the midrange frequencies themselves are quite good, controlled and with the details that do pop out being rendered quite well, and switching to a different style of music like Dua Lipa, "Hotter than Hell" is reproduced very well where the mixing of the track lends a better cohesion of her higher key, with the instrumentation that takes inspiration from different electronic styles. The story is the same with instrumentation wherein compositions of an orchestral style, the instruments in the midrange are fighting a little bit more for their place in the composition. While this may boil down to the kind of music you listen to, it is noteworthy for those who don't have the ability to swap around multiple earphones.
Treble: On the Be there is a mild accentuation of the treble to lift the overall signature from being too "dark" or "warm" and adds some feeling of resolution to tracks, it, however, does not go overboard and in general does not have any uncomfortable peaks and in general this mild boost is well placed adding some sparkle and air into the tracks. From violins to an electronic synthetic instrument tone, the Be handles them all well without having beats of distortion or harshness that can plague lower quality IEMs. This overall lends to a fantastic overall listening experience for modern tracks, "1989" by Taylor Swift was a wonderful overall experience.
Presentation: The Be performs only average in terms of soundstage, not noticeably wide or narrow, nor does its exceptional quality in terms of height or depth, however, it does mean that it in general sounds natural, and the general 3D positioning is fairly accurate, something that IEMs with unnaturally wide staging suffers from. As previously mentioned it has a good amount of detail retrieval overall, with nuances, especially in the lower end of the frequency spectrum, being quite impressive, and for the most part the layering and coherency is there, save for very busy tracks where the bass and midrange can have some conflict, for the majority of tracks however it performs perfectly fine.
Conclusion: Overall the Be sounds very good. It shows the benefits of material selection in designing audio gear, and really does give you something to ponder, it also is very no frills, focusing only on sound quality and it does deliver, a generally pleasing and flexible tuning, this no-frills approach does, however, have the drawbacks with many competitors around the price range possible offering better overall value propositions with those concerned with build materials, or case materials, or other ancillary things like that, but when you pair it with the Al and Mg you can really see the idea that Periodic Audio had when they engineered this trifecta, and if you can appreciate the sound tuning, which is very easy to do, like the fact that it has a simple design that leads to a great ease of use experience, the Be is a great option for you, as an everyday carry that won't draw too much attention, I enjoyed my time with it in the commute playing whatever my DAP shuffled too, or whatever Spotify recommended me, it's an interesting option for those that want JUST ONE pair of IEMs to own, and as long as you know the whole package, I can definitely recommend the Be, and I applaud Periodic Audio for the execution of this concept. To get a better idea behind the company, check out my interview here.


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