Abstract In spite of great interest of industry in titanium composites based on the cubic boron nitride (c-BN), there is a lack of information about the chemical binding of Ti in these materials. The reason for that are difficulties in characterizing the multiphase materials with high hardness using conventional methods. In the present paper, to estimate the content of different compounds of Ti formed during the technological processes we used element selective-spectroscopy. The X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were chosen to estimate the amount and kind of compounds formed. The performed analysis proved the existence of several Ti compounds (TiC, TiB 2, TiSi 2, TiO 2, Ti 3SiC 2, TiC 0.7N 0.3, TiC 0.3N 0.7) and allowed to evaluate the percent of Ti bounded to each compound. Additionally, the X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements were performed on the same samples. Due to the existence of several compounds with similar crystal structures and the high hardness of samples, the quantitative-phase analysis was not possible by XRD. Therefore, XANES and XPS appear to be the perfect tools for the investigation of micro-chemical processes occurring in composites.