Triangle Borea BR03 Review – The French connection
Triangle’s latest range of speakers combines some of its design trademarks with some new thinking. Ed Selley tries it out. Read our Triangle Borea BR03 Review.
New Triangle speakers don’t appear that often, the company being in the habit of replacing ranges when it has a reason to rather than routinely scheduling updates. The Borea range sits above its entry-tier Plaisir with two standmounts, three floorstanders and a centre. The BR03 is the larger of the two standmounts.
It combines a 160mm untreated cellulose mid/bass driver with a 25mm silk dome tweeter. The former is the same as that used in the Esprit EZ series and is augmented by a pair of forward-firing circular bass ports. The tweeter is new to the Borea line and mounted in a partial horn rather than the true horn loading of the more expensive models.
The cabinet makes use of a series of perforated MDF and EVA panels that increase rigidity while reducing unwanted vibration and energy loss without huge increases in mass.
Triangle quotes frequency response at 46Hz-22kHz and the BR03 is extremely easy to drive. Connection is via a single pair of relatively sturdy
PRODUCT Triangle Borea BR03
TYPE Standmount loudspeaker
(WxHxD) 206 x 380 x 314mm
• 25mm soft dome tweeter
• 160mm cellulose mid/bass driver
• Quoted sensitivity: 90dB/1W/1m (8ohm)
DISTRIBUTOR Elite Audio Distribution
TELEPHONE 01334 570666
binding posts and, thanks in part to those front-firing ports, it seems fairly unfussy about placement.
The black front panel contrasts nicely against the rest of the cabinet and the choice of finishes means that at least one of them is likely to appeal. Compared with some rivals at the price it doesn’t feel quite as slick, but neither does it come across as cheap or lightweight.
Connected to a Rega io (HFC 464) and iFi Zen DAC, the Borea BR03 is able to reflect the talents of the electronics while showing some positive attributes of its own. It is easy to drive to room-filling levels without any strain, lending it an effortlessness with Sarah Jarosz’s gorgeous World On The Ground, which helps the presentation considerably.
The tonal balance is fractionally on the bright side of neutral and it undoubtedly benefits from the fundamental neutrality of the source equipment being used here, but partnered with any degree of care, it can take the deceptively complex Dinner Party – the side project of flamboyant US saxophonist Kamasi Washington and other modern jazz greats – and keep everything convincing and ordered. Even with a fairly wide placement, the Triangle isn’t the most expansive speaker, but it forms a convincing and impressively three-dimensional image.
Where it truly excels is the bass. Triangle has historically been strong here and the BR03 doesn’t disappoint. Future Toyi Toyi by Keleketla! (see p96) is underpinned by a potent bassline that is reproduced in a way that is felt as much as heard. The integration with the rest of the frequency response is seamless and it helps the cabinet sound bigger than it is. There’s a wholly commendable feeling of speed, too. Thanks to minimal port noise and the drivers’ responsiveness, it feels consistently light on its feet, even when the material is extremely challenging.
Putting the affordable electronics to one side and making use of the Copland CSA 100 from HFC 465 suggests that the Triangle has the transparency to handle being used with more capable and revealing equipment as well as more price comparative items. There are limits to how much better the performance gets and it isn’t wholly representative of what the (considerably more expensive) Copland is capable of, but it does suggest that the Borea has a bit of stretch to it should you choose to upgrade your accompanying electronics further down the line.
At times, the Borea BR03 can feel a bit ‘normal’ for a Triangle; a brand with a long history of studied quirkiness, but it’s hard to argue with the level of performance that it offers. Partnered with any degree of care, this is a speaker that should delight in a wide selection of systems.
A supremely capable standmount that sounds consistently more expensive than it is.
- Lively sound
- excellent bass
- well made
- easy to use
- A little care needed in partnering