Triangle’s new Borea BR08 floorstanders arrive into a tough and crowded market. There’s no shortage of talented rivals at this level, with something of quality available from pretty much every serious manufacturer out there. Yet having spent some time in the company of the BR08, we feel they offer something special.
Their 102cm-tall cabinets look a little basic from the outside, due to flat parallel sides and a lack of adornment, but take a closer look and you’ll find them to be solid, well made and neatly finished. They come in four finishes – black ash, white, walnut and the recently introduced (and rather nice) light oak.
As would be expected at this price, these enclosures are carefully braced internally to aid rigidity. There’s been some invention in the way the drive units are mounted, with a piece of high-density EVA foam holding the back of the driver firmly against the internal brace for extra stability. But beyond that, there’s little else unusual here.
Once their plinths are bolted on, the BR08 feel nice and stable, though floor spikes that are more piercing would be useful. The ones supplied aren’t really sharp enough to get through thick carpets, and so won't be able to make firm contact with the floor underneath.
We can’t complain about the drive unit array, though. It’s clear that a large chunk of the engineering budget has gone here. The BR08 are a three-way design with two 16cm fibreglass-coned bass units and a 25mm silk dome tweeter, aided by a front-firing reflex port to augment the low frequency output.
No. of drivers x4
Sensitivity 92 dB/W/m
Frequency range 40Hz – 22kHz
Power handling 150W
Nominal impedance 8ohms
Dimensions (hwd) 102 x 20.6 x 31.4cm
The 16cm midrange driver is taken from the more premium Esprit EZ range and uses Triangle's favoured cellulose paper cone material. The company likes the material's combination of relatively low mass, rigidity and self-damping.
The tweeter, meanwhile, utilises a design that's common throughout the Borea range. We experienced it last year in the Borea BR03 standmounters, and here it features the same unusual two-pronged phase plug, claimed to aid tonal evenness and dispersion. There’s an element of horn loading of the dome, too, due to the dished tweeter surround.
The combination of these drive units – and the partnering crossover network as well, of course – gives these speakers a relatively high sensitivity of 92dB/W/m. While this means you’ll be able to get decent volume levels from low-powered amplifiers, it’s worth noting that their nominal 8ohm impedance dips to a 3ohm minimum, so you’ll still need to check for compatibility. That said, most price-compatible amps, such as the Cambridge Audio CXA81 or Rega Elex-R, will cope fine.
Note that these speakers need plenty of room to breathe. Triangle's website suggests they work best in rooms between 20-40m squared in size, and the manual recommends placing them at least 40cm from a rear wall and more than 50cm from the sides. Such is the bass output of these speakers that we end up with them around 90cm into our test room, positioned well away from the sides and slightly angled towards the listener.
Once positioned with care and partnered with suitably talented electronics, the BR08 sound very good indeed. The one point of concern is that the 25mm tweeter is crisp and detailed but easily provoked, so to avoid any such issue don’t use partnering electronics that veer towards brightness, aggression or hardness. But follow that advice and you can enjoy one of the most entertaining floorstanders we’ve heard at this level.
The Borea BR08 deliver a thrill ride with appropriate material. We play Nirvana’s Nevermind and they sound right at home: they punch hard, combining high levels of detail with an enviable ability to tie it altogether to produce a cohesive and musical whole. Those twin bass drivers dig deep but, pleasingly, remain agile and articulate too.
We can’t think of a better alternative when it comes to rhythmic drive either. These towers charge at full throttle, communicating the energy and momentum of the music brilliantly. Cobain’s vocals come through with passion fully intact, and there’s no doubting the clarity and insight of the Boreas with music such as this.
We switch to Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring and these floorstanders continue to impress. Their presentation has huge scale and authority. Wide-ranging dynamics? Ability to play at high volumes? Expansive stereo imaging? Tick, tick and almost a tick.
While stereo imaging is pretty precise for speakers at this level, it’s not as spacious and layered as some we’ve heard. The Triangles aren’t significantly flawed in this respect, though; they’re simply decent rather than exceptional. The same can be said about the overall tonal balance, which is even enough rather than ruler flat.
These are speakers that prefer to be played loudly. Push up the volume and they come alive with a vigour that makes most rivals seem sedate in comparison. They’re still enjoyable at low settings, mind you, but lack a little pep relatively speaking.
In overall terms, these Triangles are exceptional, and certainly good enough to challenge the very best at this price. They’re happy playing all genres of music and do it with a charm that’s addictive. We advise listening to them before buying any other floorstanders at this price. You’ll be thankful you did.
- Sound 5
- Compatibility 4
- Build 5
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