The stated philosophy of Triangle is to add a dash of romanticism to the world of hi-fi by emphasising emotion and sensitivity rather than reason and rationalism… so no prizes for guessing this manufacturer hails from France. The question is: do its loudspeakers have that certain je ne sais quoi? Read our Triangle Borea 5.0.2 Review.
The Borea range aims to bring the brand’s passion for musicality to the home cinema market, and do so at an affordable price. The speakers benefit from some trickledown tech from Triangle’s higher-end Esprit Ez range, while also embracing modern immersive audio systems by including a new surround speaker that doubles as an upward-firing effects module.
The lineup is topped by the BR09, a five-driver, three-way floorstander. This is followed by the BR08, a three-way tower with four drivers; and finally the BR07, a three-driver 2.5-way design. Triangle also offers a brace of bookshelf speakers (the BR03 and the smaller BR02), a centre channel (BRC1), and the aforementioned BRA1 Atmos/surround speaker.
The variety shown by this seven model series allows you to build a system based on your needs, space and budget. In this review, I’m testing a 5.0.2-channel system composed of BR08s and BRC1 centre speaker front-of-house, two BR03 bookshelves as surrounds, and a pair of BRA1s sitting on top of the floorstanders. There’s no Borea subwoofer, but Triangle recommends its Tales 400 or Tales 300 as a good match. During testing, I used my two M&K V12 subs to create a 5.2.2-channel system.
With the big BR08 retailing for just £ a pair, the centre at £ and the BR03 and BRA1 both priced at £ a pair, the result is an entire system for £, hopefully leaving you with dosh for a decent woofer.
Scandi noir… or white, oak or walnut
The Borea styling is rather traditional, which is something of a surprise given the penchant shown by other French brands to go a bit mad when it comes to design (including Triangle with some of its pricier models). Instead, these take inspiration from Scandinavia – all clean lines and elegant minimalism. There are simple binding posts at the rear, and a choice of four attractive finishes: black, white, light oak or walnut, all with matching fabric grilles. The BR08 also comes with a pedestal for improved stability.
All the speakers use a 1in silk dome tweeter housed in what Triangle refers to as EFS (Efficient Flow System), which partially horn-loads the tweeter in a waveguide. The various models then employ a 5in or 6.25in midrange made of untreated cellulose, which was previously introduced in the Esprit Ez. The larger BR08 also includes a pair of fibre-glass woofers for deeper bass. All the speakers, aside from the BRA1, use forward-firing ports to augment their low-end extension.
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Since the BRA1 has been designed with an adjustable crossover, you’ll find a switch at the back with a choice of (A) wall-mounted and firing down, or (B) mounted on top of another speaker and firing upwards. The angled shape ensures precise and direct targeting of the sound waves towards the listener when wall-mounted, or reflected off the ceiling when looking skywards.
Playing the part
The Borea system confidently blends the brand’s musical ethos with the complex interactions of a multichannel system. There’s an excellent energy to the overall delivery, combined with a precision when it comes to picking out individual voices, effects or instruments. The use of the same tweeters and drivers plays its part, leading to a sound that’s both tonally balanced and pleasingly cohesive in terms of the soundstage.
Kicking off with the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Hans Zimmer Live in Prague (Blu-ray), this package didn’t disappoint. The encore of Time starts with Zimmer playing piano, before slowly building with the addition of cello, violins, Johnny Marr’s electric guitar, a brass section, and vocals. It’s a complex and subtle arrangement, and it sounded fantastic through the Boreas.
The floorstanders anchor the entire soundstage, delivering crisp high frequencies and a textured midrange that defines each instrument. They also give the drums depth without needing to resort to the subs. The rest of the array joins in, tight and responsive and ensuring all channels coalesce into a seamless whole. The upfiring BRA1s add some nice ambience to this live recording.
The 4K Blu-ray of Moonfall provided a sterner test. It has the kind of Atmos soundtrack for which the word dynamic was invented – frenetic, full-range and all-channels go. Triangle’s speakers stepped admirably up to the plate, moving the myriad effects around the room with smart fluidity.
‘These are well-balanced, flexible when it comes to placement, and handle detail and scale with equal aplomb’
The sequence where a space shuttle launches through a massive tidal wave sounded amazing through this system, with the roaring engines digging deep (although my M&K subs were obviously doing heavy lifting here). But what the Boreas delivered was a sense of size, especially as the advancing water towers over the launch gantry. The splashing of gravity-defying liquid was rendered all around, and the BRA1s played their part in immersing me in the nonsense on screen.
I was pleased to discover these speakers can deliver the grand scale required of today’s blockbusters, but what of fine detail and dynamics? A Quiet Place Part II (4K Blu-ray) has an audio mix full of subtle cues that the speakers delivered sweetly, and dialogue was handled with a nuanced clarity, proving the BRC1 to be a capable centre speaker at a bargain price. The moment where one of our heroes is startled by a monster in a train carriage, meanwhile, arrived with gusto, revealing a punchy and agile overall performance. These speakers also seem easy to drive, so partner them with a decent receiver, and you’ll be rewarded with a system that’s fast, dynamic and composed.
Bang for your buck
If you’re looking for a speaker system that’s attractive and well-made, effectively delivers object-based audio, and isn’t going to break the bank, then the Borea range is right up your Champs-Élysées. These sound well-balanced, are flexible when it comes to placement, and handle detail and scale with equal aplomb. Triangle may not be a brand you’re immediately familiar with, but on this evidence it’s only a matter of time before it’s a household name
PRODUCT: Entry-level floorstanding system with Atmos modules
POSITION: Affordable option in the Triangle range, sitting below the Esprit Ez
PEERS: Polk Reserve; Monitor Audio Bronze 6G; Elipson Prestige Facet
DRIVERS: 1 x 1in EFS silk dome tweeter; 1 x 6.25in midrange; 2 x 6.25in fibreglass woofers ENCLOSURE: Forward-ported bass reflex FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 40Hz-22kHz (+/-3dB) SENSITIVITY (CLAIMED): 92dB IMPEDANCE (CLAIMED): 8ohm (nominal); 3ohm (minimum) POWER HANDLING (CLAIMED): 150W DIMENSIONS (INCL. PEDESTAL): 260(w) x 1,051(h) x 360(d)mm WEIGHT: 18.9kg
DRIVERS: 1 x 1in EFS tweeter; 2 x 5in bass/mid ENCLOSURE: Forward-ported bass reflex FREQ. RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 57Hz-22kHz (+/-3dB) SENSITIVITY (CLAIMED): 90dB IMPEDANCE (CLAIMED): 8ohm (nominal); 5.3ohm (min) POWER HANDLING (CLAIMED): 100W DIMENSIONS: 484(w) x 252(h) x 274(d)mm WEIGHT: 7.5kg
DRIVERS: 1 x 1in EFS tweeter; 1 x 6.25in bass/mid ENCLOSURE: Forward-ported bass reflex FREQ. RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 46Hz-22kHz (+/-3dB) SENSITIVITY (CLAIMED): 90dB IMPEDANCE (CLAIMED): 8ohm (nominal); 4.2ohm (min) POWER HANDLING (CLAIMED): 100W DIMENSIONS: 206(w) x 380(h) x 314(d)mm WEIGHT: 6.0kg
DRIVERS: 1 x 1in EFS tweeter; 1 x 6.25in bass/mid ENCLOSURE: Sealed FREQ. RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 90Hz-22kHz (+/-3dB) SENSITIVITY (CLAIMED): 89dB IMPEDANCE (CLAIMED): 8ohm (nominal); 4.5ohm (min) POWER HANDLING (CLAIMED): 80W DIMENSIONS: 206(w) x 180(h) x 300(d)mm WEIGHT: 3.6kg
MOONFALL: Master of disaster Roland Emmerich directs another hugely entertaining slice of sci-fi hokum, and the film lands on UHD BD with a stunning native 4K HDR10/Dolby Vision picture and a dynamic Dolby Atmos soundtrack so bass-heavy you’ll think the moon’s about to crash through the ceiling.
Triangle Borea 5.0.2
These capable and affordable speakers are easy to look at, easy to drive and easy to place. The performance is musical, dynamic and cohesive, and you won’t find better at this price.
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