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Triangle Borea BR03 review

A new contender for best in class Tested at £399

5 Star Rating
Triangle Borea BR03 review
(Image: © Triangle)

Our Verdict

It’s rare to find a pair of speakers at this price that sound so sophisticated, but these Triangles deliver refinement and detail in spades

For

  • Sophisticated, detailed sound
  • Impressive sense of scale
  • High-quality, agile bass

Against

  • Aesthetic won’t be for everyone
  • Slight peakiness to treble

At this level, the speaker market is an intimidating place to be. Many of the usual suspects, including B&W, KEF and Mission have plenty of five-star speakers to offer, with a select few even having a What Hi-Fi? Award to their names.

So, it’s going to take a special pair of speakers to stand out from the crowd. A pair of speakers exactly like the Triangle Borea BR03 standmounters.

Compatibility

Triangle Borea BR03 compatibility

(Image credit: Triangle)

As with any pair of new speakers, it pays to get to know the Triangle Borea BR03s and their preference for placement. Triangle recommends a minimum of 2m between speakers and also between them and your listening position. It also suggests placing them at least 40cm away from a back wall and 50cm from a side wall.

And we have to agree. Even though they’re front-ported, these Triangles don’t shine quite as much when placed up against a wall. They will certainly do a job, but the overall balance and stereo imaging suffer. With room to breathe and a little toe-in to shore things up, the Borea BR03s are able to perform at their very best.

Sound

Triangle Borea BR03 sound

(Image credit: Triangle)

The Triangles deliver a huge sense of scale, much larger than rivals such as the formidable B&W 607s. They can also boast impressive separation and precision.

There’s detail and insight across the frequency range and, given their size, the quantity of bass is perfectly acceptable. There’s plenty of weight to the relatively simple, yet hefty bassline that accompanies Eminem’s No Regrets. Some might lust after a more musclebound delivery, but it’s the detail and quality of bass that gives the Triangles an edge over many rivals at the money. There’s texture in spades. 

The Boreas also demonstrate an excellent sense of timing. There’s plenty of precision and no trace of lag as Nina Simone’s My Baby Just Cares For Me trots along. The snare drum and piano sound like they’re having plenty of fun in each other’s company.

There’s a nice tonal balance to the delivery, which is careful and considerate –sophisticated, even. In the past, we’ve tested some Triangle speakers that have sounded hard and bright in the treble, but that’s not the case with the Borea BR03s.

Triangle Borea BR03 sound

(Image credit: Triangle)

Bruce Springsteen’s Terry’s Song has a raw, demo-like quality to it. If the Triangle’s were going to sound bright then this track, whether it’s the vocal, guitar or piano, could rumble them. But to their credit, the Boreas take it all in their stride.

There is a very slight peakiness to the treble, but nothing that would deter us. We’d simply recommend you refrain from partnering the Triangles with bright-sounding electronics.

So, what kind of amp would work well? During testing, we partnered the speakers with the Cambridge Audio CXA61 (£750 / $999) and had a great deal of success. The Boreas immediately sound at home, their expressive and insightful character gelling well with the CXA61’s punchy and dynamic demeanour. 

A more affordable alternative might be the Marantz PM6006 UK Edition.

Build

Triangle Borea BR03 build

(Image credit: Triangle)

The BR03s are the largest of two pairs of standmounters in the Borea range. They stand 31cm tall and feature a 25mm silk dome tweeter sat above a 16cm midrange/bass paper driver.

Triangle Borea BR03 tech specs

(Image credit: Triangle)

Type Bookshelf

Sensitivity 90dB

Power handling 90W

Minimum impedance 4.2ohms

Dimensions (hwd) 31.4 x 20.6 x 38cm

The twin-pronged diffuser appears to be pinching the silk dome, but look a bit closer and it’s just hovering over – it’s there to help reduce the directivity and improve the dispersion of high frequencies. Beneath the mid-bass driver sits a pair of bass reflex ports.

Our black review pair looks pretty punchy in the flesh, mainly thanks to the contrasting colour of the mid-bass cone, the silver trim that runs through the driver’s surround, plus that eye-catching diffuser. 

To some, the front of the speakers may look a tad unbalanced, with the ports a little cramped next to the mid-bass driver. However, with the magnetic speaker grilles, there is always the option of covering them up.

The Triangles are single-wired speakers and you’ll find a neatly finished pair of terminals for 4mm banana plugs on the rear of each cabinet. Besides our black review sample, there is also the choice of white or walnut.

Verdict

It’s not often we stumble across a pair of speakers at this price that sound as sophisticated as the Triangle Borea BR03s.

For the money, they’re savvy musical performers with a great sense of scale and an even greater appetite for presenting music in a transparent and mature manner. But are they speakers capable of worrying the current class-leaders? Most definitely.

SCORES

  • Sound 5
  • Compatibility 4
  • Build 4

MORE:

Best stereo speakers 2020

Best speaker deals 2020

Read our Mission QX-2 review

Read our B&W 607 review

  • Gray
    Anyone with £400 to spend on speakers would have to consider these wouldn't they?
    People have already been discussing them:
    https://forums.whathifi.com/threads/triangle-borea-br03.111518/
    Reply
  • insider9
    Or quite simply go with Fyne Audio F302
    Reply
  • HectorReborn
    I can't wait to get mine, been on backorder for a few weeks, but they had absolutely glowing reviews from YouTube channels I trust, and they're cheap! I had the Kef LS50s but they made my ears bleed after like 45 mins so I had to get rid of em. I hear the Bro3s are warm and easy to listen to yet detailed at the same time. And I also hear they have a 'different' and 'unique' sound that's very appealing and fun to listen to. So, again, I can't wait.
    Reply
  • scene
    HectorReborn said:
    I can't wait to get mine, been on backorder for a few weeks, but they had absolutely glowing reviews from YouTube channels I trust, and they're cheap! I had the Kef LS50s but they made my ears bleed after like 45 mins so I had to get rid of em. I hear the Bro3s are warm and easy to listen to yet detailed at the same time. And I also hear they have a 'different' and 'unique' sound that's very appealing and fun to listen to. So, again, I can't wait.
    Look forward to hearing what you think of them - especially as your buying "blind" (deaf?? - i.e. not demoed them first).
    Reply
  • HectorReborn
    I agree it's somewhat of a risk to buy deaf/blind (lol), but they have a 30 day return if I don't like them, so it's kind of minimal. But the reviews have told me a lot of characteristics that appeal to me, mainly the soft dome tweeter as opposed to metal (metal kills my ears and gives me fatigue) and that separation and vocals are strong, which is what im searching for. And at $550 if they're as good as they're hyped up to be, then it's a steal
    Reply
  • scene
    HectorReborn said:
    I agree it's somewhat of a risk to buy deaf/blind (lol), but they have a 30 day return if I don't like them, so it's kind of minimal. But the reviews have told me a lot of characteristics that appeal to me, mainly the soft dome tweeter as opposed to metal (metal kills my ears and gives me fatigue) and that separation and vocals are strong, which is what im searching for. And at $550 if they're as good as they're hyped up to be, then it's a steal
    30 day return is good, I wish more suppliers did that. Gives you a chance to really see (hear :p ) if they work with your set up, and in your setting.

    Look forward to hearing your.opinion of them.
    Reply
  • lycanthrope
    Does anyone have a view on their use of untreated paper for the woofer cone, particularly the longevity? I looked up the warranty and it specifically excludes issues related to humidity . . . only 2 years cover too.
    Reply
  • scene
    lycanthrope said:
    Does anyone have a view on their use of untreated paper for the woofer cone, particularly the longevity? I looked up the warranty and it specifically excludes issues related to humidity . . . only 2 years cover too.
    Water is not the friend of paper cones. Treated ones are more resistant, and the edges of cones on PA systems are doped to extend their lives. Doping is also done round the edge of a cone to act as damping as well, which has stops "cry" when you get extraneous vibrations from sustained higher pitched notes. Untreated paper gives a less coloured sound and as it is less dense than treated paper gives better response (less lossy). So yes - I'd avoid putting the boreas in you bathroom, and placement in a kitchen is probably something to think twice about. But they're not going to breakdown unless they get properly damp or wet - which means their response will probably be the least of your considerations.

    They come with a 2yr warranty - so did my Q3020i. Registering them online upped that to 5yrs. Triangle seem to offer this if you register online as well...
    Reply