Since discovering France’s Triangle HiFi a few years back, I have gained a serious appreciation for their speakers. They’re typically lively with an organic midrange which is the type of sound I go for.
Careful pairing is needed, but Triangle speakers can provide a highly engrossing presentation once you find synergy. Besides that, they come up with some exquisite designs you will be proud to have in your living space.
Even their lower-priced offerings like the relatively new BOREA line offer a beautiful design and natural, rich sound so that you can engage with their high-end audio expertise at a wide variety of price points. (check out our reviews of the BOREA BR08 floorstander and BR03 standmount speakers)
Today I’m are checking out the $1400 pair Trio speaker from their GENÈSE line, positioned a couple of lines above the BOREA. It’s pretty much in the middle of Triangle’s product offerings. GENÈSE pulls a lot of technology from the top two lines positioned above it, the flagship Magellan line and the Signature line.
As a matter of fact, the GENÈSE speakers look a lot like the more expensive Signature models, except with a variance in drivers, plus a less lavish fit and finish. That said, the GENÈSE line is still striking, and if you squint, you will find it hard to differentiate between the two.
Disclaimer: The GENÈSE Trio was sent to us by the manufacturer to provide an honest, unbiased review. We will return the speakers once the review is complete.
The Trio is the sole standmount speaker of the GENÈSE line. It follows Triangle’s tradition of large-format standmount speakers designed to provide performance closer to a floorstanding model in terms of loudness and dynamics.
It’s a front-ported two-way design, with a 16cm (6.29 inch) cellulose midbass driver paired with a 25mm (around an inch) Titanium dome tweeter. The tweeter is partially raised above the main cabinet in a “pod” mount for enhanced transparency and openness. By the way, I love paper cones, which Triangle uses to good effect in several of their speakers.
As usual for Triangle, the design is eye-catching, utilizing a curved enclosure with a gloss finish. It also has a magnetic grille for a clean baffle. There’s an elegant set of gold-plated dual binding posts in the rear, which adds to the Trio’s status symbol appeal.
This is a bookshelf speaker that’s a little on the large side, measuring a hair over 18 inches tall and almost 15 inches deep. That’s by design, as these speakers are meant to provide energy similar to a floorstanding model.
A quick rap test reveals an enclosure that’s a little bit noisier than its size and weight (about 20lbs) would have you think, but it’s not readily evident when listening. Of course, some speaker designers design around the cabinets’ resonance, so the rap test doesn’t tell all.
Listening to the Triangle GENÈSE Trio Bookshelf Speaker
I set up the Trio’s on stands about four and a half feet out from the rear wall and about four feet from the sidewalls for my sound tests. My chair was about 6 feet from the front of the speakers.
As the Trio is quite sensitive at 90dB (1w/1m), I first tried them with my little Cayin MT-12N tube amp ($500) to see how they did with 10w per channel of tube power. Then I moved them over to the $1699 Denon PMA-1600NE Integrated (140w x 2) and the $2999 PS Audio Stellar Strata Integrated (200w x 2) for a little more juice.
All of these amps provide the high current needed to handle the Trio’s 4-ohm load.
For my test tracks, I listened to a variety of hi-res (24 bit) music on Qobuz (free trial here), plus a few CDs spun on a $350 Cambridge Audio AXC35 CD player (our pick for best budget CD player, BTW).
To get the best out of these speakers, I would recommend a relatively laid-back amp that plays slightly on the warm side of neutral. I really liked them with the Cayin MT-12 integrated tube amp since it really opened up the mids and gave them a nice warm organic quality. I wouldn’t worry about the 10w per channel, as the Trio’s high sensitivity allowed them to play quite loud in my roughly 12’ x 15’ space.
If you have a larger room, then the DENON PMA-1600NE would be a good choice, as it has a lot of the same sound characteristics as the Cayin amp. However, it has just a little bit more gusto to shine in bigger spaces.
As I said earlier, I also tried the PS Audio Strata integrated with these speakers, but I didn’t find it to be a good match. I found the Strata to be a little bit too tipped up, making the highs just a little too hard, even though it provided just a little more depth than the other amps.
If I had to use one word to describe the Trio’s sound, it would be Natural. It’s a well-known saying in the audiophile world that if the midrange isn’t right, nothing else matters, and these speakers absolutely get that right.
The mids on the Trio’s are expansive and liquid, which gives instruments and vocals a very organic texture, especially percussion.
Like I said earlier, the treble can get a little edgy with the wrong amp or source, especially on songs with prominent horns. That said, with the right gear, horns can be a thing of beauty, as the horn-mounted tweeters can provide some good texture on instruments.
Bass is done quite well, with a fast, punchy delivery reminiscent of floor-standing speakers. It’s well-integrated and not boomy even on bass-heavy tracks, which is excellent for a bass reflex speaker.
The soundstage is pretty wide and tall, and the depth is pretty good as well. Overall, transparency and layering are good but not the absolute best I’ve heard at this price. Center imaging is nicely focused, but things soften slightly as you go out to the left and right.
Listening to “Tears In Heaven” from the Eric Clapton “Unplugged” CD, I was enamored with how the Trio’s presented his guitar and vocals with such a lifelike texture. That carried over to the guitars playing on either side of him and the percussion in the rear. They also played with nice rhythm and pace, which added to the musicality.
If I had any issues with the sound, it would be the layering of the song. It was ok, but the presentation was flatter than when I listened to this song on the Polk Legend L200 bookshelf ($1499). The background singers were also more defined on the Polk, which made the music more vivid.
That said, the Polk’s didn’t have the same bass depth, and they didn’t sound quite as natural, so I personally preferred the Triangle’s warmer, more laid-back sound overall. But if you prioritize sharper focus and layering over warmth and natural texture, then you may like the Polks better.
The Wrap Up:
As long as your not looking for the ultimate in Microdynamics, the Triangle GENÈSE Trio is a musical speaker that draws you into a song. Macrodynamics are done very well. The soundstage is big, the midrange natural, plus the Bass is well-integrated and articulate.
It’s the type of speaker that plays “music” instead of “things,” which I love. If you’re looking for a standmount speaker that will give you a huge, tantalizing performance, you need to check this one out. Just make sure not to pair it with an amp that’s too tipped up.
I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My hunger for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.