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Triangle Borea BR08 5.1 speaker package review

This surround system is an exacting but engaging speaker package Tested at £1896 / $2976 / AU$4399

Home cinema speaker package: Triangle Borea BR08 5.1 surround system
(Image: © Triangle)

Our Verdict

Dynamic, detailed and controlled, for the right space Triangle’s Borea BR08 5.1 surround system offers accessible, immersive, cinematic sound

For

  • Rhythmic, punchy sound
  • Impressive dynamic range
  • Detailed and accurate

Against

  • Subwoofer sounds soft and vague
  • Fussy over placement
  • Awkward Atmos topper terminals

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Dynamic, detailed and controlled, for the right space Triangle’s Borea BR08 5.1 surround system offers accessible, immersive, cinematic sound

Pros

  • + Rhythmic, punchy sound
  • + Impressive dynamic range
  • + Detailed and accurate

Cons

  • - Subwoofer sounds soft and vague
  • - Fussy over placement
  • - Awkward Atmos topper terminals

There are plenty of tried and tested methods out there for how to best lay out a surround sound system; however, we’ve come to find that no matter how precisely you measure the dimensions and angles of your listening space, some speakers are just slightly more demanding and require a bit of additional tweaking. And sometimes a lot.  

This is the case with Triangle’s Borea BR08 5.1 surround system, the setting up of which is a rather finicky business, but one that ultimately pays dividends. Putting in the extra time to shift speakers, stands, and even your sofa can make you start to doubt your hearing and sanity, not to mention put your carpet at risk. Still, the Borea BR08 5.1 system reminds us that, when you hit upon an arrangement that works and the individual speakers seem to melt away magically, it’s well worth the hassle and the spike marks.

Price

Home cinema speaker package: Triangle Borea BR08 5.1 surround system

(Image credit: Triangle)

Borea is French brand Triangle’s most affordable range of hi-fi speakers and consists of three floorstanders (BR07, BR08 and BR09), two standmount options (BR02 and BR03), a centre speaker (BRC1) and height surround units (BRA1). 

For this review, we’ve combined a pair of the large BR08 towers upfront (£899 / $1398 / AU$1900) with two BR03 standmounters performing surround duties (£399 / $499 / AU$999). A Tales 340 subwoofer, the cheapest in Triangle's four-strong sub range (£349 / $599 / AU$999), provides the low end. And with the addition of the BRC1 centre (£249 / $379 / AU$600), the whole package comes to £1896 / $2975 / AU$4498.

You can also supplement the system vertically with the upward-firing BRA1 height speakers (£349 / $599 / AU$900 per pair) to create a 5.1.2 or even 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos-capable system. If you go for the latter, the total outlay rises to £2594 / $4073 / AU$6298. Is it worth it? Read on to find out.

Build

Home cinema speaker package: Triangle Borea BR08 5.1 surround system

(Image credit: Triangle)

There is more than a hint of the Scandinavian to Borea’s design, with its clean perpendicular lines and simple finish. The bulk of the package is available in a choice of black ash, white, walnut (with black baffle) and light oak (with white baffle) finishes. The Tales 340 sub comes in just matte black or white.

They may look a little boxy, but the cabinets feel substantial and sturdy, with the neat build giving the sizeable units an unassuming appearance. Inside, the enclosures are braced to help with rigidity, and high-density EVA foam holds the rear of each driver against the internal brace for extra stability. 

Looks-wise the Tales 340 sub is a bit of an outlier, it’s surprisingly lightweight and, although its plain finish is probably intended to help it blend into your decor, we can’t help but think it looks and feels a bit cheaper than the rest of the system. Contrary to its ninja-like appearance, there’s an overly bright power indicator LED on the front, while at the rear are physical controls for volume, crossover and phase, as well as LFE and stereo RCA inputs.

Triangle Borea BR08 5.1 surround system tech specs

Home cinema speaker package: Triangle Borea BR08 5.1 surround system

(Image credit: Triangle)

BR08 Floorstanders

Type 3-way front-ported

Sensitivity 92dB

Frequency range 40Hz – 22kHz

Power handling 150W

Nominal impedance 8 ohms

Dimensions (hwd) 102 x 21 x 31cm

Weight 18.8kg

BR03 Bookshelf speakers

Type Front ported two-way

Sensitivity 90dB

Frequency range 46Hz–22kHz 

Power handling 90W

Nominal impedance 8 ohms

Dimensions (hwd) 31 x 21 x 38cm

Weight 6kg

BRC1 Centre channel speaker

Type Front ported two-way

Sensitivity 90dB

Frequency range 57Hz – 22kHz

Power handling 100W

Nominal impedance 8 ohms

Dimensions 18 x 48 x  27cm

Weight 7.5kg

TALES 340 subwoofer

Frequency range 30Hz–120kHz

Amplifier output RMS 200 W Class D

Dimensions 34 x 36 x 38cm

Weight 8.85kg

BRA1 height speakers

Sensitivity 89dB

Frequency range 90Hz–22kHz

Power handling 80W

Nominal impedance 8 ohms

Minimum impedance 4.5 ohms

Dimensions 21 x 18 x 30cm

Weight 3.6 kg

Powered by a 200-watt RMS Class D amplifier, the Tales 340 has a 25cm driver and is rear-ported, while the rest of the speakers in the package feature front-firing reflex ports to further enhance lower frequencies.

The main stereo pair of BR08 floorstanders have a three-way crossover with two 16cm fibreglass-coned bass units, a 16cm midrange driver, and a 25mm silk dome tweeter.

Borrowed from Triangle’s pricier Esprit EZ range, the midrange driver is made from a cellulose-based paper cone material chosen for its combination of low mass, rigidity and self-damping. Meanwhile, the tweeter utilises an EFS (Efficient Flow System) with a two-pronged phase plug design used across the Borea range that the company says reduces directivity and evens out high-frequency diffusion. For consistency of voice, the same 25mm tweeter and 16cm midrange driver is found on the two-way BR03 bookshelf speakers, the BRC1 centre and the BRA1 height units.

The BRA1 have angled drivers to reflect overhead sounds off your ceiling and can be wall-mounted or horizontally perched on top of the other speakers, with a switchable crossover underneath that can be altered to match the positioning. The cable terminals are also recessed on the speaker’s underside and, depending on the gauge of your speaker wire, could prove a little tricky to access. Chunky rubber feet are provided to give them a lift, but we find that this is not enough to provide clearance and we need to get creative to get the unit to sit stably.

Compatibility

Home cinema speaker package: Triangle Borea BR08 5.1 surround system

(Image credit: Triangle)

While all of the passive speakers in this package have a claimed nominal 8 ohm impedance, the minimum impedance dips to between 5.3 ohms (for the BRC1) and 3 ohms (for the BR08). Most price-matched amps should be able to manage, but it’s still worth checking first.

Triangle suggests that the largest speakers, the BR08, will work best in rooms between 20-40m squared in size and recommends placing both the floorstanders and the bookshelf speakers 40cm from a rear wall and more than 50cm from the sides. The BR08 in particular have a powerful low end and, despite being front-ported, proximity to the wall has a sizeable influence on this. After much trial and error, we end up with the speakers around 1m into the test space and only slightly angled towards the listening position.

Sound

Home cinema speaker package: Triangle Borea BR08 5.1 surround system

(Image credit: Triangle)

Once happy with the arrangement of the Borea BR08 5.1 surround package, we are pleasantly surprised by the system’s warmth, musicality, and responsiveness. The broad scale and detail that the BR03s can offer as surrounds mean that action sequences and films in which the score gets pulled off-screen are served particularly well. Watching the Willow Springs race in Ford vs Ferrari, each time a car skids off behind the viewer, there’s excellent control and sonic separation, from collisions and crashes to the scattering debris, the wind and the atmosphere of the race track.

The whole system offers plenty of detail and articulate agility alongside a powerful, punchy performance, and the centre channel projects dialogue with sharpness and clarity. Overall, the timbre of the main system feels fairly even and well balanced.

Unfortunately, the bass provided by the Tales 340 sub doesn’t match up to the nimble low end of the BR08 floorstanders, lacking definition to the point of being distracting. When listening to the beefy score from Blade Runner 2049, the lethargic sub starts to mask some of the musicality and tonal shade that the rest of the system is digging up.

Home cinema speaker package: Triangle Borea BR08 5.1 surround system

(Image credit: Triangle)

Bass aside, the cohesion across the system is quite strong. The bright buzzing of the demented fairy in Pan's Labyrinth zips seamlessly between channels with insect-like naturalism, while voices shifting to the rear, such as in the opening scene of Gravity, are also nicely consistent. 

And because Gravity is best viewed in all its Dolby Atmos glory, we reconfigure the system to include four BRA1 height drivers placed on top of the left, right and surround speakers. As Sandra Bullock tries to contain a fire on the ISS, the deep rumbles of combustion and banging of the shutter overhead have a threatening amount of weight and appear to be above the viewer, with the units providing an impressive amount of volume and range for their size. 

Swapping to the opening of Roma, the more delicate 360 soundscapes of birds and distant planes feel nicely projected vertically. However, we notice that the system as a whole doesn’t have as much of a sense of space as some others we’ve heard and occasionally feels a little laid back in quieter moments. But there’s plenty of dynamism when it really counts, and in the climactic scene in which Cleo walks into the sea, the crashing and splashing of the waves is powerfully conveyed with authority and gusto.

Verdict

Home cinema speaker package: Triangle Borea BR08 5.1 surround system

(Image credit: Triangle)

The Borea Triangle BR08 5.1 is an entertaining and admirably cinematic surround speaker package. Add the optional height units and you'll also get one of the most convincing Atmos performances we’ve heard that doesn't involve ceiling rigging.

This system may require some tinkering to suit your space, and we’d undoubtedly advise auditioning alternative subs, but the package as a whole offers an enjoyable, dynamic surround sound at a reasonable price.

SCORES

  • Sound 4
  • Build 4
  • Compatibility 4

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