Triangle Borea active loudspeaker test: a strong and well-controlled sound character

Triangle Borea active loudspeaker test: a strong and well-controlled sound character

Each generation of “traditional” bookshelf speakers has its own active and wireless equivalent in Triangle: after Elara, the Borea are available in Borea BR02BT and BR03BT. The first model, subject of this test, aims to satisfy music lovers who want to discover the world of the famous “high fidelity”, while taking advantage of the simplicity of configuration and use of an active and wireless system.

Triangle Borea BR02BT

To achieve this, each loudspeaker is based on a very conventional two-way system, consisting of a tweeter with a 25mm fabric dome and a 13cm paper speaker, supported by a bass reflex port. There is no connected option for this line of speakers, but a wide variety of wired connections are available, as well as the unbreakable Bluetooth connection.

The Borea BR02BT speaker pair was launched in May 2022 at a price of €500.

Editor rating: 4 out of 5

Manufacturing

We notice it as soon as they come out of the box, the Borea BR02BT won’t change the design codes of a bookshelf speaker. They have a parallelepiped shape with very right angles; there is no roundness or fancy here. The MDF cabinet is quite thick and the speaker is relatively solid as a whole. Very thin wood veneer, on the other hand, can fall apart pretty quickly if the speaker takes a hit. It will therefore be necessary to pay a minimum of attention and care to preserve its appearance over time.

Triangle Borea BR02BT

Luckily, our model of the day was very cleverly combined with the “oak/green” finish of our test copy. Four other finishes are available: light/blue oak, light oak, cream or black ash.

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Speaking of appearance, the small decorations that surround the tweeter and the bass speaker just as certain finishes have the merit of affirming the visual identity of the enclosure a little better; some will appreciate the attention. On a more down-to-earth note, each speaker comes with a well-made fabric grille that attaches in the simplest way in the world thanks to magnets. They also come with 4 large rubber pads to keep them in place.

Triangle Borea BR02BT

The mounting marks on the wood veneer are quite visible; they are a little less so in painted wood.

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The size of the Borea BR02BT is also very classic for a speaker of this type (31 x 17.6 x 27.4 cm). It will find its place in small spaces, but it should not be seen as an example of pure compactness at all. It will take a well-dedicated spot on a piece of furniture, or even small speaker stands to place it on either side of a TV.

Editor rating: 4 out of 5

connectors

Triangle didn’t look far to imagine the Borea BR02BT’s connectivity; it is a perfect copy and paste of its distant cousins, the Elara LN01A. It’s not all bad, as we’ve got a nice variety of wired media: for analog, an RCA phono/line input, a mini-jack input, and an RCA subwoofer output; for digital signals, one RCA coaxial optical input and one Toslink optical input. We can be selective in noting the absence of a USB port or HDMI port, but the models offered on the market are not very widespread and often point to a completely different price range.

Triangle Borea BR02BT

The push potentiometer on the back of the master speaker also allows you to adjust the listening volume (digital and not analog control) and switch between the different sources.

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The connection and operation system between the two speakers, on the other hand, is a little older. In fact, the right speaker is subservient to the left speaker, which therefore rules the pair, all being connected by good old-fashioned speaker cable, to be fixed to the terminal blocks of each speaker. While not strictly about connectivity, wireless connectivity also boils down to a no-frills solution, although a little more modernity might be expected. Only one Bluetooth receiver with support for aptX HD, Low Latency, AAC and SBC codecs is integrated. No multipoint elsewhere.

Triangle Borea BR02BT

Editor Rating: 3 out of 5

user experience

Repeat again in the use of the speakers, very close to that of the LN01A once again. Getting started with the BR02BT is very simple, often too simple. Interaction with the loudspeakers is mainly via the supplied remote control, complete and easy to operate; only a multi-colored diode serves as a marker. It takes a bit of learning time to memorize the color that corresponds to the chosen source, then we will navigate quite often by sight (and ear) to handle certain settings such as volume and bass and treble adjustment.

Triangle Borea BR02BT

Fortunately, the diode indicates the minimum, that is, the state of the Bluetooth pairing, whose connection is punctuated by the only sound indication of the system, and when the minimum / maximum level is reached, simply by stopping flashing. A button also lets you return to the default setting if you ever got confused adjusting the frequency response. A little attention: the diode can be completely disabled with the dedicated remote control button. The system also automatically goes to sleep after a certain period of inactivity.

Triangle Borea BR02BT

The remote control of the Borea active speakers has gained in size, but above all in legibility, compared to that of the Elara active speakers.

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It should be noted that the volume setting of the speakers is uncorrelated to that of the Bluetooth source. Speaking of Bluetooth, the latency is acceptable here and allows you to watch a video from a mobile phone and a streaming service without too much hassle; in this case, automatic source compensation is activated. In other cases, it’s better to go through a device that supports the aptX LL codec, which is appropriately named, or directly wired if you want to enjoy your content properly.

Triangle Borea BR02BT

Impulse response measurement: Bluetooth communication latency, here extremely low through the aptX LL codec.

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Editor rating: 4 out of 5

Audio

Unsurprisingly, Triangle’s little Borea BR02BT aren’t the most neutral and impressive speakers on the market. That said, they are renowned for a consistent, homogeneous and, above all, well-detailed sound reproduction.

Frequency response measurement: default (black), bass set to -3 (orange), treble set to -3 (blue)

Frequency response measurement: default (black), bass set to -3 (orange), treble set to -3 (blue)

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The sonic character of the BR02BT revolves around two points, the main one being the obvious kickback in the high/high mids, which is subtly supported by a slight emphasis on the low/low mid edge. We thus end up with a warm and particularly smooth signature, which may certainly lack a bit of bite and sharpness, but which is not so cartoonish to the point of being radically dull, even cavernous, and thus clearly altering the timbres of the instrument. . In addition, the good precision and excellent handling of distortion allow a clean sound to be distilled, with few masking effects. Therefore, the ear takes a while to pick up certain information and certain subtleties, but they are always detectable and identifiable.

If the softness and sometimes forceful aspect of certain elements (violin, flutes, guitars, cymbals, etc.) annoys you a bit, it is always possible to reduce the default behavior (black curve) of the speakers by playing with the built-in equalizer ( 0 or -1 on the bass and +1 on the...

If the softness and sometimes forceful aspect of certain elements (violin, flutes, guitars, cymbals, etc.) annoys you a bit, it is always possible to reduce the default behavior (black curve) of the speakers by playing with the built-in equalizer ( 0 or -1 in the bass and +1 in the treble, green curve). However, given its extremely wide action, it is necessary to have a light hand in order not to bring another imbalance, in particular favoring the extreme highs too much.

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The particularly musical behavior of the BR02BT reveals other interesting points. The little emphasis evoked in the bass/mid-bass generates a nice enhancement of the sensation of closeness, of the roundness, of the seat in the voices, certain percussions (toms, snare, etc.) and the acoustic guitar, for example. . Although we would have liked a smoother transition with the treble. The very extended response in the higher frequencies is also very significant. Participates in good stereo reproduction and allows to maintain a sufficiently open, wide and natural scene. The stability of the latter is also quite good and we take advantage of a very present ghost center that allows us to correctly identify the position of each protagonist.

Frequency response measurement: the front grille is not acoustically neutral (pink dotted);  its presence reinforces the withdrawal of the treble-mids a little more, and causes a

Frequency response measurement: the front grille is not acoustically neutral (pink dotted); its presence further reinforces the removal of the treble-high mids and causes an additional “softening” of the sound reproduction.

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Aware of their physical and acoustic limitations, the BR02BTs don’t go overboard when it comes to power and bass extension. At this first point, the speakers are quite timid in the lower frequencies, with a fairly clear dropout above 90 Hz and sometimes a bit “dry” bass. We always prefer a bass that’s a bit shy but still controlled, but you’ll need to invest in a subwoofer if you want your audio system to be able to bring back all the energy and depth of the bass, and that’s a good thing since speakers have an output dedicated. Note also that the speakers’ bass-reflex vent is located at the rear: be careful not to be too close to adjacent walls, otherwise you’ll create somewhat unsightly resonances.

Harmonic distortion rate measurement (standardized to 85 dB SPL, 1 kHz, 1 m)

Harmonic distortion rate measurement (standardized to 85 dB SPL, 1 kHz, 1 m)

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Finally, in terms of power, the BT02BT respect their commitment and are, as the manufacturer indicates, perfectly at ease to enjoy a generous sound level in rooms of about 20 to 25 m². They will be more limited in larger rooms, but we can’t really blame them, especially as the distortion is handled so well.

Strengths

  • Homogeneous, precise and musical reproduction of sound.

  • Consistent and beautifully reproduced stereo scene.

  • Very good distortion handling.

  • Particularly varied connectors (including a subwoofer output).

  • Full remote control, easy to operate.

Weak points

  • Lack of sharpness and quite marked sound presence.

  • Interaction and usage too simplistic in some respects.

  • Wireless use reduced to its simplest expression: a Bluetooth connection.

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