Periodic Audio

I love what these guys are doing. I’ve reviewed their entire line of IEMS – and use their Beryllium (Be) as my daily driver. You would be amazed at how good a single dynamic driver could sound.

So, Periodic Audio has been cooking up something new: the Periodic Audio Carbon ($399).

Periodic Audio’s Carbon is their new flagship in-ear monitor. The diaphragms are made from an 8-micro-thick layer of lab-grown diamond. It takes about 30 hours to grow the diamond – only which 60% are usable. That’s 21 carats of waste for each run. They ain’t blood diamonds so that’s alright – but is it worth it?

Carbon sets a new bar for low distortion in a headphone/in-ear product with less than 0.1% total harmonic distortion (THD), even at sound-pressure levels (SPLs) at or above 100dB,” said Dan Wiggins, cofounder of Periodic Audio. “Specs aside, the clarity and resolution of this IEM let you hear things you’ve never heard before.

The demo station is a work of art. You’re able to easily A/B whichever IEM you’d like – including the fantastically portable Nickel amplifier (review coming soon). Once you’ve heard the Nickel…it’s tough not to pair it with any of your IEMs. It’s basically at the level of a DAC upgrade to my ears. Perhaps even more.

Going back and forth between the Be and C…there’s no doubt I prefer the Carbon. It’s definitely darker sounding – but to my ears, more accurate as far as tone (vs Be). The kicker is that it doesn’t sacrifice much as far as resolution or clarity. And bass definition is far better. Kick drums are very impactful with this IEM.

Articulation with the C is also one of the smoothest I’ve ever heard from an IEM. Top that off with some ultra-precise and well-contoured imaging – and you have something scary good.

At $399, the Periodic Audio Carbon is probably the most high-value IEM I’ve heard. In a way, it combines the sonic qualities I enjoy about some of the higher priced universal and custom IEMs – into a much more affordable package. Unless you’re a die-hard sparkle and soundstage chaser, the Carbon is guaranteed to provide the utmost enjoyment of music.