• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Triangle Borea BR03 Review (bookshelf speaker)

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
33,680
Likes
117,939
Location
Seattle Area
#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Triangle Borea BR03 bookshelf speaker. It was kindly sent to me for testing by a member and costs US $499 on Amazon including Prime shipping.

I like the distinctive white face of the BR03 but don't care much for the imitation white oak enclosure:

Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker Review.jpg


The dual ports and distance above woofer, push up the tweeter higher than other speakers I have tested, landing it above my ear height. I had to sit up during my listening tests to compensate.

Binding posts on the back were comfortable to use since they were not recessed:
Triangle Borea BR03 Bookshelf French Speaker Review.jpg


One online blogger raved about this speaker back in 2019 causing it to become quite popular. It will be interesting to see how it does in our testing.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I performed over 1000 measurement which resulted in error rate below 1% for most of the except around 2 kHz where it crept up to 2% error. Sound field got quite complex there suggesting multiple sources than just the two drivers (diffraction, etc.).

Testing temperature was around 59 degrees F. Speaker was kept indoor however at normal living room temperature (72 degrees).

Reference axis for measurements was the center of the tweeter. Grill was not used in either measurements or listening tests.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

Triangle Borea BR03 Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker frequency response Measurement.png


That's an interesting frequency response. A bit boosted around 100 Hz, then down and then boosted again between 500 and 1000 Hz. Then a few more resonances, ending with some peaking from the tweeter. Some kind of discontinuity exists around 1190 Hz and then again near 20 kHz. Not worried about the latter but the rest needs investigation so let's look at the near-field response of the driver:

Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker Measurement driver response.png


Focusing on woofer curve in red, it starts to slope down but then goes right back up??? The port is pushing it that way but I can't help but think that they are using a first order electrical filter for the woofer so letting it play for much longer than it should. That in turn hypes up the resonances from the port. Together they screw up the response in the mid-range and lower treble. The tweeter lacks even response by itself.

Early window response is not too bad:

Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker early window frequency response Measurement.png


Floor bounce seems to accentuate the highs (!) and the 600 to 900 Hz so best to use a thick carpet as indicated.

Predicted in-room response shows a mellowing of the aberrations we have seen:
Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker Predicted In-room frequency response Measurement.png


Would the slightly boosted upper bass help offset the accentuated highs? Hard to say.

Distortion data points to woofer playing for longer than it should:

Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker Measurement relative THD Distortion 86 dBSPL.png


But overall, the levels are under control at 86 dBSPL:

Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker Measurement THD Distortion 86 dBSPL.png


Horizontal beamwidth is good:

Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker Measurement Horizontal beamwidth.png


Resonances make the contour more choppy however:
Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker Measurement Horizontal Directivity.png


Typical of 2-way non-coaxial speakers, you need to keep the tweeter more or less at ear level:
Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker Measurement Vertical Directivity.png


As usual, actual impedance is lower than advertised:

Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker Measurement impedance and phase.png


Finally, here is the waterfall:

Triangle Borea BR03 Speaker Measurement CSD waterfall.png


Triangle Borea BR03 Listening Tests
First impression was warm sound and "this is not bad." Whether influenced by measurements or actual sound, I just was not a fan of the midrange. It sounded more and more grungy as I listened. And the highs started to stand out. A bit of boominess was there as well. Equalization was not effective. In blind testing, I could not tell if I always liked the post EQ version.

In truth, I cannot tell you by listening that this speaker is bad or good. It really frustrated me. Usually I am pretty comfortable teasing out whether the fidelity of the speaker is good or not. But with EQ experiments failing, I just could not get there. I changed speakers to Revel M106 and as usual, that speaker delighted with a far more clean sound and balanced tonality. It had deeper, cleaner bass compared to the slightly boomy one on the Triangle.

I should point out that the BR03 was rather efficient and could play very loud without bottoming out.

Conclusions
I don't have any for you! This speaker busted my chops. I think it is a flawed design by it is broken in a way that creates a more pleasing sound than one would expect. Not sure if this is by design or what. Or whether it is my failing in characterizing it. You have the data. You chime in as to what you think.

Overall, I am not going to recommend the Triangle Borea BR03. It just didn't sound satisfying to me. But I could be wrong enough that other praise for it could very well be correct. Once in a while, this speaker reviewing business can get hard and this is one of those rare occasions!

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Guess what? Gardening season is starting! Have to plant my peppers and tomatoes indoor so that by the time the weather is warm, the can be large and busy and ready to go. Otherwise, the season will be way too short. No, you don't need to fund the seeds. Already horded a bunch in the fall, worrying there would be a shortage! Have some planting soil left from last year as well. What you need to fund is me quitting my second job at McDonald's so that I have time to plant! At $15/hour, that is a big hit to my income! So please, please reach deep in your electronic wallet and dump as much money as you can into mine using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Attachments

Pdxwayne

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 15, 2020
Messages
1,912
Likes
628
#2
The waterfall chart, are you checking 4 ms or 400 ms? The numbers on the right are in single digit and using such low number seems odd.

Also, it is for a drop of only 15 dB?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
17
Likes
26
Location
Japan
#3
It's 500 bucks/pair cheapies, I can not expect a lot.
Port resonance is a shame but it's a common problem in cheep 2way loudspeakers.
I think the crossover could be an intentional design trying to keep good horizontal directivity and overall DI performance.
Slower roll-off increases the directivity up to 4kHz but not too much, so that a rather modestly sized tweeter waveguide can just handle the directivity.
 

fredoamigo

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
345
Likes
511
Location
South East France
#4
To put a first foot in the audio, I think it is not a bad deal (399 EUROS IN FRANCE) do not forget that it is the price of a Chinese dac.
It is so easy to make a casting error when starting in the audio ... here I do not think .
 

pierre

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
581
Likes
1,204
Location
Switzerland
#6
Pref Score 4.2 which is not bad for a cheap 2 way.
With an EQ score jump to 6.1.

You can use as many filters as you want in order. I would keep the first 8.

Code:
EQ for Triangle Borea BR03 computed from ASR data
Preference Score 4.3 with EQ 6.1
Generated from http://github.com/pierreaubert/spinorama/generate_peqs.py v0.6
Dated: 2021-03-25-05:30:35

Preamp: -2.5 dB

Filter  1: ON PK Fc 12089 Hz Gain -3.55 dB Q 0.35
Filter  2: ON PK Fc   782 Hz Gain -2.84 dB Q 2.75
Filter  3: ON PK Fc  1200 Hz Gain +2.60 dB Q 12.00
Filter  4: ON PK Fc  1428 Hz Gain -2.19 dB Q 10.15
Filter  5: ON PK Fc 11690 Hz Gain -0.83 dB Q 4.82
Filter  6: ON PK Fc  7971 Hz Gain +1.30 dB Q 7.69
Filter  7: ON PK Fc  2046 Hz Gain -1.70 dB Q 9.78
Filter  8: ON PK Fc  3203 Hz Gain +1.12 dB Q 8.12
Filter  9: ON PK Fc  2489 Hz Gain -1.60 dB Q 12.00
Filter 10: ON PK Fc   995 Hz Gain -0.92 dB Q 12.00
Filter 11: ON PK Fc   378 Hz Gain +0.93 dB Q 2.64
Filter 12: ON PK Fc   645 Hz Gain -1.30 dB Q 12.00
Filter 13: ON PK Fc  2762 Hz Gain +0.96 dB Q 12.00
Filter 14: ON PK Fc  2523 Hz Gain -0.47 dB Q 12.00
Filter 15: ON PK Fc  2270 Hz Gain +0.88 dB Q 12.00
Filter 16: ON PK Fc  3736 Hz Gain -1.18 dB Q 12.00
Filter 17: ON PK Fc  4489 Hz Gain +1.03 dB Q 8.12
Filter 18: ON PK Fc  9621 Hz Gain -0.40 dB Q 6.08
Filter 19: ON PK Fc   769 Hz Gain +0.58 dB Q 12.00
Filter 20: ON PK Fc  1241 Hz Gain +0.77 dB Q 12.00
The various components from the pref score improve with EQ as expected:

Code:
         SPK FLT
-----------------
NBD  ON 0.55 0.28
NBD  LW 0.48 0.21
NBD PIR 0.38 0.29
SM  PIR 0.60 0.93
SM   SP 0.82 0.93
LFX       48   45
LFQ     0.87 0.85
-----------------
Score    4.3  6.1
-----------------
Visually the peq filter looks like: (ignore the second title)

filters0.png

You can compare spins with / without EQ:

filters1.png




Full graphs without EQ first:

spin.jpg


Then same graphs with EQs:
spin_eq.jpg
 
Last edited:

Haint

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
227
Likes
260
#7
Adorama routinely sells these for $350/pr, but even at that price, the Stage A130 appears to be better and cheaper. With the JBL on sale and/or with EQ for the high bass hump, I don't think there's much of a contest. Meanwhile at the $500 MSRP, you're within spitting distance of the Debut Reference or dealer discounted M16, both of which also appear to be better speakers.
 

boselover61

Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
281
Likes
261
#8
Adorama routinely sells these for $350/pr, but even at that price, the Stage A130 appears to be better and cheaper. With the JBL on sale and/or with EQ for the high bass hump, I don't think there's much of a contest. Meanwhile at the $500 MSRP, you're within spitting distance of the Debut Reference or dealer discounted M16, both of which also appear to be better speakers.
JBL Studio 530 too
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
17
Likes
26
Location
Japan
#10
Yep, if you had talent, you can design a samely good or even better loudspeaker than large companies such as JBL, but it's virtually impossible to make them cheaper.
 

renaudrenaud

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
835
Likes
1,544
Location
Paris
#11
To put a first foot in the audio, I think it is not a bad deal (399 EUROS IN FRANCE) do not forget that it is the price of a Chinese dac.
It is so easy to make a casting error when starting in the audio ... here I do not think .
400€ for a pair of ELAC DBR62 with much better measurements...

And if you go the route of active speakers, the Focal Alpha 50 are available for 320€. In France.
 

fredoamigo

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
345
Likes
511
Location
South East France
#12
400€ for a pair of ELAC DBR62 with much better measurements...

And if you go the route of active speakers, the Focal Alpha 50 are available for 320€. In France.
I did not say that it was the best deal of the moment, I said that for the price it was not a bad deal.;)
 

YSC

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
1,252
Likes
850
#14
it measures better than I expect from such cheap yet good looking speakers!

for your fail in listening test I think that might be due to the high distortion? yes the absolute deviation in FR isn't great and distortion % isn't great, but as it's a lot more uneven in the all important mid rage and the higher distortion there might combine and get the "it sounds ok but something just not right" feel?
 

voodooless

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
1,493
Likes
2,112
Location
Netherlands
#15
I really don’t understand why companies keep having us listen into the woofer resonance and breakup range.. these are paper woofers? They should not have such severe breakup modes. This one is especially bad since the woofers seems only usable up to 1 KHz. In general crossover point of most speakers should be way lower. Below 2 kHz at least for a 6.5” woofer. There is also more than enough room for a waveguide that would help in this endeavor. So indeed the conclusion is correct: flawed design.
 

whazzup

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
469
Likes
337
#16
How do the 2 ports work in this case? Are they working in tandem, and treated as if it's a larger port hole?
 

VintageFlanker

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
2,224
Likes
5,382
Location
Paris
#18
At last, the first Triangle measured!

Glad this doesn't have the typical brand signature = way more boosted treble above 5Khz.

The way I look at it, the Spin and in-room response seemed OK to me.

Like Focal, there will be some HUGE price variations depending of where you live. For around the same cost, some still may get a deal on the better Aria 906s, which are made local... These ones aren't, for those who are wondering. (In fact, all Triangle up the Signature range are made in China).

400€ for a pair of ELAC DBR62
That's the price you can get for it. I've never seen any public deal/sale to be close...;)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
17
Likes
26
Location
Japan
#19
If you can design a loudspeaker, you will not think this was designed by a bloke who has no idea what acoustics is.
I don't say it's a flawless design, but as a novice loudspeaker designer, and for that street price, I can't mock this design or product itself.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom