Triangle BOREA ACTIVE BR03 BT Review: The Best Powered Bookshelf Speakers?

Triangle BOREA ACTIVE BR03 BT Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Triangle BOREA ACTIVE BR03 BT Powered Bookshelf Speakers







What We Dig

  • Great Build Quality
  • Warm, Natural, Detailed Sound
  • Easy To Use

What To Think About

  • No USB DAC Input

Looking for the best powered bookshelf speakers? Check out our Triangle BOREA BR03 BT review and see why they might be the ones for you.

The $799 Triangle BOREA ACTIVE BR03 BT powered bookshelf speakers offer an all-in-one hi-fi system with a range of features and functions that make it the perfect addition to any home entertainment setup. These “active” speakers are designed to be versatile, offering HD Bluetooth aptX music streaming, a phono input for connecting a vinyl turntable, an optical input for your television, and a Sub output for connecting a subwoofer.

This speaker is the powered version of one of our all-time favorite bookshelf speakers, the Triangle BOREA BR03. It’s a speaker that tops many best speaker lists, including ours. That’s why we were very excited to try out their version with a built-in amplifier to see if it has the same engaging quality as the passive version.

In this BOREA BR03 BT review, we will discuss the features, build, and sound and see if it’s worth your investment. So, please sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of affordable all-in-one speaker systems!

What’s In The Box

Triangle BOREA BR03 BT Review

The speakers come with an RF remote that can control them even if obstacles, such as walls and furniture, are in the way. In addition, there is a 3-meter-long white OFC copper speaker cable, a 220V power cord, and eight anti-slip feet that are adhesive and can be used for decoupling.

Triangle BOREA BR03 BT Review: Build/Features

The BOREA BR03 BT speakers have a Class-D amplifier, providing an output of 2×60 Watts RMS. It’s a two-way bass-reflex system with a 6.5-inch midrange/bass driver from the highly-rated passive BOREA range and a 1-inch EFS fabric dome tweeter from the same series. This combination is designed to create a rich and precise sound image with plenty of detail. According to the company, they’re ideal for rooms up to 270 square feet approximately.

Regarding build quality, the construction is comparable to the passive BOREA speakers, which is a good thing. A quick rap test reveals a pretty quiet cabinet; the veneer cabinet wrap is of good quality.

They also have the identical beautiful heavy-duty binding posts as the passive BOREA speakers, showing they haven’t cut any corners on the powered version. Overall the speakers seem to be well put together, with no gaps in the construction or rough edges, as you see on some inexpensive models.

Triangle BOREA BR03 BT Review

On the rear panel, the BOREA BR03 BT is equipped with a variety of analog and digital inputs, including Bluetooth 5.0 (w/ aptX, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, SBC, and AAC audio codecs), a combination RCA Line-In/Phono input, a mini-jack 3.5mm aux input, Optical S/PDIF, and Coaxial, to cater to the requirements of all users. You also get an RCA subwoofer output if you need additional bass. Of course, a USB DAC input like you see on some of the competition would be nice, but it’s not the end of the world.

On the front panel, the BR03 BT looks much like its passive brethren, besides a small LED on the top of the right speaker. The multicolor LED indicates the source in use and the speaker’s standby mode, with a blue light indicating Bluetooth, green indicating RCA, etc. In addition, the BR03 BT has a smaller magnetic grill than the passive BR03 BT, so you can view the LED with the grills on.

Like most powered speaker pairs, the BOREA BR03 BT offers ease of use and setup, making them a good choice for a powerful yet compact system. In addition, they are relatively easy to position, working best with a bit of toe-in and 2-3 feet of space from the rear wall.

The powered unit must be set up on the right side; then, you run the included speaker cable over to the passive speaker on the left. This contrasts with some systems that let you use the powered speaker on either the left or right side. I actually prefer that type of setup since it (usually) allows you to reach your power outlet no matter what side of the room it’s on.

I suggest they be used with speaker stands, but they can work on console furniture if you use the included rubber isolation feet. An RF remote control with a claimed range of more than 15 meters (about 50ft.) is included with the speakers, giving you complete control over your music from across the room or even from the next room as it works through walls.

The remote controls every function of the speakers; most of the time, it’s the only way. First, you have the usual power, volume, track control, and source selection options. Then, you have more novel options like treble/bass tone controls and a dimmer function for the front LED. You can also control volume and source selection with the knob on the back of the speakers.

Triangle BOREA BR03 BT Review: Sound Quality

Triangle BOREA BR03 BT Review

The Triangle BOREA BR03 BT powered bookshelf speakers are impressive in terms of sound quality. Like the passive versions, the sound is clear, warm, and detailed, with plenty of deep, punchy bass and an immersive, well-focused soundstage. The soundstage could be a little wider, but its separation and placement are so good, that it can be forgiven. The highs are sweet without a hint of harshness, and the mids are smooth as well, providing a laid-back, organic listening experience.

Just like the original BOREA BR03, the sound is well-balanced and easily fills the room. The bass dynamics are good for a bookshelf speaker, but you’ll probably want to connect a sub if you want to shake the room with seismic sub-bass. However, what really makes the BR03 BT remarkable, is the fact that all the hard work is done for you. You don’t have to worry about picking an amp that brings out the best aspects of the BOREA’s sound; it’s already neatly packaged inside the enclosure.

I listened initially using a Fiio M11 Plus digital audio player, set to output aptX HD Bluetooth. The BR03 sounded remarkably good via this method, sounding relatively transparent and detailed. That said, when I connected a $149 WiiM Pro music streamer via the RCA input, it raised the sound quality another notch, increasing the clarity substantially.

Listening to “Fingerprints (Live – Montreux Jazz Festival 2001)” from Chick Corea: The Montreux Years, I was astonished at the transparency and the quietness of the amp section on this inexpensive set of powered speakers. As I said earlier, the soundstage on these speakers isn’t the widest (as I also noted in my review of the passive BOREA speakers), but I was amazed at the amount of depth and focus there was. The piano, drums, and bass sat nicely in their little pockets, and the presentation just put me in the middle of the performance.

Next, when listening to Quavo’s new hip-hop track “Honey Bun,” I was pleased with how well it handled the deep bass that punctuated this song. They could go pretty low without losing composure or introducing port chuff, which really demonstrated the range of these affordable powered speakers.

Vs. The Q Acoustics M20

Compared to another one of my favorite powered bookshelf speakers (around the same price), the $499 Q Acoustics M20, the BOREA BR03 BT has a similar level of detail and focus. Still, the M20 plays “bigger” in terms of scale, with a broader and taller soundstage.

That said, the BR03 BT is larger, so it can play lower in terms of bass, and it also plays louder than the M20 without getting distorted. As a result, the BOREA BT has a slightly richer/warmer sound than the M20 in general. However, at the end of the day, they are both great speakers, and I would probably recommend the M20 (with its USB Input) for desktops and smaller rooms. Then I would recommend the BOREA BT (and its Phono Input) for larger rooms.

Triangle BOREA BR03 BT Review: Conclusion

Overall, the Triangle BOREA ACTIVE BR03 BT powered bookshelf speakers are an excellent choice for those looking for a powerful, compact, and versatile all-in-one hi-fi system (especially for less than $1000). The sound quality is excellent, and the speakers are easy to position and use.

The remote control is also a great addition, allowing you to control your music from across the room. The only thing to think about is its lack of a USB input, which isn’t a dealbreaker by any means. That said, if you’re looking for a powerful and affordable hi-fi system that can fill up a larger room with rich, clean sound, the Triangle BOREA ACTIVE BR03 BT powered bookshelf speakers are a perfect choice. Highly Recommended!

This Review Utilizes Our New Product Review Rating System:

We recently launched a new rating system that allows our readers to quickly identify how highly each product is rated.

Our rating system consists of four categories: weak, not bad, good, and very good. A weak rating is anything below 2.5, meaning the product is not recommended and should be avoided, while a not bad rating is anything between 2.5 and 5 and may signify a limited recommendation. A good rating is anything between 5 and 7.5, which means the product is recommended, and a very good rating is anything above 7.5, meaning the product is highly recommended.

We understand that our readers rely on our ratings and reviews to make informed decisions about the products they purchase. That’s why we take great care in providing accurate and helpful reviews and ratings for each product we review. We hope this new rating system will make it easier for our readers to determine which products are worth their time and money.

Thank you for reading, and happy shopping!

Hifitrends is reader-supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through links on our site. Prices are subject to change at any time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *