The scientists at Periodic Audio debuted their newest metallic driver IEM and super-small but powerful in-line headphone amplifier at CanJam SoCal 2019. I’ve been using their Magnesium IEMs since the show in Irvine, and must admit that once I got the right fit with the supplied tips, I was off to the races.
The new Carbon IEM ($399 USD) could be called the “Diamond” model, because uses a diaphragm made from an 8-micron lab grown diamond layer, is fitted to a proprietary high-strength/high-temperature polymer substrate through a vapor-deposition process. Forming a true carbon tetrahedral layer on the driver diaphragm face. Fat in the bass, and with a pleasant sizzle. Tonally it falls between the Beryllium and Titanium models. Overall, this might be one of the cleanest sounding IEMs I found at the show anywhere near this price range. Per Periodics’ own test results, the distortion levels of the new Carbon are at nearly 1/10th of the Beryllium model. The new Carbon is definitely an IEM made in the city of Ventura, California.
Also showing was their long awaited still-NEW Nickel headphone amplifier. Small in form, but big on power for a sub-1OZ device. Released in January of 2019, but for the first time showing at CanJam SoCal 2019. A fixed 6db gain, into 250mW at 32ohms continuous with a peak ranging near .5-Watts. Running a pair of IEMs at 100db continuous, one can expect a battery usage life of 9-hrs-plus without breaking a sweat. So with moderate volumes, one could easily expect practical battery life in the 12-14hr range. The new device includes a separate power supply, true 5V rail, and charge time rated around 30mins. Using a 10kOhm analog input impedance, the Nickel’s line-input draws almost zero power from your chosen source device, but relying on your sources built-in DAC.
by Eric Franklin Shook