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Hi. Thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to partake in this interview.

So before we dive in, tell us a little bit of background about Periodic Audio, how did it start? How did it evolve over time to what it is now?

Periodic Audio started, really, as an experiment.  How important is materials in the construction of a headphone or IEM product?  The best place to hear material differences would be the diaphragm, so that’s where we started.  We designed a great 10mm transducer and started playing with 3 different metals for the diaphragm.  Folks who heard them wanted to buy them, so we decided to take the next step – build a few dozen, try them at an audio show (for wider audience feedback), and the rest is history.
We’ve recently evolved to include electronics, which we feel still has some openings for innovative items, like our launching Nickel amplifier.
Your current lineup, tell us about the current products you offer, and the direction the have in terms of who they are for or what they provide to the listener?

We have 3 – soon to be 4 – IEMs.  All are 100% the same except for three things: 
1. The labeling on the package
2. The color of the back cap
3. The metal of the diaphragm
Our current models are Mg, Ti, and Be, with C to come on soon.  These use Magnesium, Titanium, Beryllium, and Carbon for the diaphragms.  All have very unique sound signatures – it’s not just a measurable difference by an audible difference.
We designed the product to be something we would personally want.  Great sound, high (some would say extreme) comfort, reliable, efficient, and work with anything.  Thus we do 3.5mm jacks – just about all cell phones/tablets/laptops still have audio jacks (or ship with adapters), and they work on planes, too!
The end result is a set of extremely compact, very comfortable, great sounding IEMs that work with just about anything.  High impedance (32 Ohms – and flat), high efficiency, they will sound great with just a cell phone – and really shine with a dedicated amp or PMP.
One of the most notable things about Periodic Audio is your naming scheme and products are based on elements specifically driver diaphragm material, how did that evolve?

It was really a play by Zeke Burgess.  We were messing around with different metals, and when we had people asking about buying the units, we started thinking “how do we brand these?”  Zeke said “Periodic – we use elements of the periodic table, and audio is composed of sine waves which have periodicity”.  It was brilliant.  Simple, clean – and plays on the whole “it’s just science, people!” type of brand and vibe we have.
Yeah, we engineering and science types aren’t too creative!

Let’s talk specifically about the Beryllium, it’s kind of your flag bearer product right now, and what were the factors in how that material was chosen for the top tier product?

It was really chosen – along with Ti and Mg – because it’s “trendy” in audio.  Lots of people hear about beryllium transducers in products from TAD, Starke Sound, Focal, and others.  But not a lot get to hear it.  Likewise titanium has a LONG audio history (especially in compression drivers) and magnesium is well-used in lots of European high-end transducers.  So we thought the best way to hear the differences between these well-known metals would be to use them.
So it really came down to what the industry already uses, in terms of materials, but placing them in a format where people can compare and contrast and ONLY hear the difference between the metals.
As far as “top tier”, we really don’t say we have one!  We have higher price, but that’s due to the cost of the product (magnesium is a few dollars a kg; beryllium is tens of thousands of dollars per kg, and a lot more expensive to work with).  In some regions of the world, Be is preferred sonically.  In others, it is Mg.  In still others, it’s Ti.  There really isn’t a “best”, there is what you prefer – and then how much it costs to make that product.
With 3 elements down, how does research and development of your products usually happen? Does the material come first, or do you guys have a sound you want to achieve, and you see what material will accomplish that soon? Will there be a Vibranium diaphragm soon?

We really don’t do anything other than just try a new material.  We do NOT voice our units to sound a certain way, or have a specific sonic character.  It’s really about what the element sounds like.
Some we will never do – arsenic, plutonium, lead – for obvious reasons.  Others we won’t do because they cannot be realistically made (vibranium, silicon, argon).  And we do have a limited amount of motor force available (only so much magnet you can put inside), so we will never do heavier elements.  So we’re really looking more at the elements from 1 to 30 or so.
Also, we’re pretty happy with 4 IEMs.  We’ll have to really consider what we want to do if we want more than 4 units.

What would you consider to be the main philosophy of Periodic Audio as a company?

Excuse the vulgarity, but: “No Bullshit”.  It’s about science, it’s about engineering.  We’re not a fashion statement, we’re not going to chase trends.  We’re about doing things with a heavy tilt on solid engineering, and let that drive what we do.  It’s not the image, it’s the product.
Do you have plans to expand your product range? Or if no hard plans even certain concepts you want to be able to develop?

We’re looking at some interesting electronics plays.  I’ll leave it at that…😊

Anything else you’d like to add?

We’re really surprised how well our product has taken off!  From a pure experiment to a “brand” with dealers in a dozen countries, it’s been really surprising for us.  We’re going to continue making high quality, affordable products that put performance and functionality first.

That concludes the interview, thank you again for taking the time to answer the questions. Have a great day!

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