"We are thrilled to celebrate our first year back at Can Jam," says Dan Wiggins, co-founder of Periodic Audio. "It's been an incredible year of putting our products in the market, and building our retail network, and now we look to educate consumers about measurement and performance."
"With its compact and lightweight design, the new Nickel amplifier exemplifies portable convenience, measuring just 2 inches long, 1.25 inches wide, and half an inch thick, and weighting just over half an ounce. Its strong yet lightweight polycarbonate body provides a reliably durable enclosure that will withstand the demands made on a portable product. With a specified output of 250mW into a 32-ohm load and typical run times of 8 to 10 hours on a single charge of its battery, the Nickel amp will surely meet the demands of today's mobile listener," the company says.
The Nickel amplifier can supply high levels of power: 150mW into 50 ohms, 250mW into 32 ohms, or 270mW into 16 ohms. It is stable into an 8-ohm load, making it ideal for nearly any set of headphones on the market. Its fixed 6 dB of gain provides more allow headroom than most headphones and DACs can generate, but is low enough to maintain nearly the full dynamic range of volume from any source.
The Nickel amplifier includes Periodic Audio's patent-pending SmartSwitch system. The Nickel has no on/off switch; rather, it uses its internal MCU to sense the presence of the input and output connectors. Only when both connectors are occupied will the Nickel turn itself on. Once it's turned on, its battery level is constantly displayed on the integrated LED light pipe, which changes from green to yellow to red as the battery charge drops. Turning off the Nickel is as simple as unplugging the source or the headphones.
The Nickel amplifier has a two-stage power-supply system. A dedicated battery charger is used to keep the 220mAh battery charged and conditioned and the battery feeds a dedicated dual-voltage converter that generates dedicated ±5V analog power rails. This topology virtually eliminates USB switching noise-the listening experience is not compromised, even when charging the battery.
The Nickel amplifier is designed to provide clean, nearly unlimited power for almost every type of headphone in an extremely compact and portable package. All aspects of mechanical and electrical design, including layout of the four-layer SMT board, were completed in-house, with full custom tooling for all parts. The Nickel is designed, engineered, and built in the USA.
The Nickel has a 3.5mm audio input jack, a 3.5mm output jack for headphones, and a micro-USB port for charging the battery. Both audio jacks are TRRS configuration, so the amp will pass through any microphone signal from your headphone.
"We believe that the leap in performance you get from using the Ni with a phone and our award-winning Be (beryllium driver) in-ear monitors is comparable to using an integrated amplifier with a separate preamp and high-power amp in a home system," says Wiggins. "The difference is mind-blowing."
During CanJam NYC 2018, Periodic Audio will feature a full CRY Sound test system, as used for production quality control for most headphones. A staff member will be available throughout the show to measure visitor's over-ear and in-ear headphones. It takes only about three seconds to measure a set of headphones' frequency response, impedance, phase, distortion, channel balance, sensitivity and polarity. The test results will be emailed to the participant.
Founded in 2016, Periodic Audio is led by the seasoned team of Daniel Wiggins, Mike Kim, Zeke Burgess, and Ben Webster. Collectively, they have more than 140 years of consumer electronics experience in electronic, mechanical, firmware, acoustical, and industrial design for a wide variety of brands, including Apple, Blue Microphones, Event Electronics, Flextronics, Harman International, Mackie, Microsoft, SONOS, and Starke Sound.