I'm starting to think that GoldenEar Technology may be playing a bit of a long prank on tech journalists. I say that in all jest, of course, but look--the reality is this: the company keeps dropping incredibly high-performance, high-value speakers on the market. Speakers that we in the specialty AV press absolutely slobber over. Speakers on which we hang any and every superlative known to man. And then a few years later, GoldenEar follows up with a souped-up version of said speakers, leaving we who write about such things scrambling for our thesauri to find even more superlative superlatives.
The latest speaker in GoldenEar's repertoire to transmogrify into something wholly new with nearly the same name is the company's former flagship, the Triton One, which stood atop the Triton mountain until the beastly Triton Reference crashed the party back in 2017. On the one hand, you can think of the new Triton One.R as an evolved Triton One, borrowing as it has many of the Reference's design and performance innovations by way of lateral gene transfer. You more magically minded folk in the audience might choose to think of the One.R instead as a Triton Reference that's been subjected to a Permanent Potion of Diminution.
Whichever way you choose to look at it, the One.R is a decidedly different beast from its forebear, which you'll notice at a glance thanks to its new gloss multi-density medite monocoque cabinet. Gone is the big black sock of yore. The One.R looks instead like a more traditional speaker, which my wife noticed at a glance as soon as she walked into the room soon after I installed a pair of One.Rs in place of my old Triton Ones. "Can we leave them like that?!" she exclaimed, not realizing that I hadn't simply undressed my old speakers.
The numerous other enhancements that separate Triton One from Triton One.R aren't quite so obvious, though. They include the newer, Reference version of GoldenEar's High Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeter, with fifty percent more neodymium than that of the Triton One; a redesigned baffle; newly designed active bass drivers; new 5.25-inch upper bass/mid drivers; a completely redesigned crossover network; upgraded capacitors; all new internal wiring; and a new focused-field magnet structure borrowed from the Triton Reference.
Aside from that, the Triton One.R's reported specifications are largely similar to that of the One. It weighs a little more at 80 pounds apiece, and boasts rated low-frequency extension down to 13Hz as opposed to 14Hz (although, I mean, come on), but still stands at 54 inches high and eight inches wide in the rear.
Unsurprisingly, the Triton One.R's connectivity remains virtually unchanged from its predecessor. Each cabinet features a pair of speaker-level binding posts, an optional LFE input, a subwoofer level control that works whether you're using the LFE input or relying on the One.R's internal crossovers, and a power connection for delivering juice to the bass section's 1600-Watt DSP amplifier.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, setting up the GoldenEar Triton One.R is a bit of a different experience from setting up the original Triton One. Anytime I set up the old Triton Ones as the front main speakers in my media room system--usually after moving them to vacuum or install new gear in my AV cabinet--I begin with them pointed straight out into the room and tweak their toe-in by ear to taste before running room correction. That generally involves cueing up some Hendrix or Björk or some other music with which I'm intimately familiar and jogging back and forth between the speakers and my seat until the I'm happy with the tonal balance and soundstage.
When I dropped the Triton One.Rs into the position left by my Triton Ones, though, and began this process, I noticed something nearly immediately. They didn't need any toeing in. Not a bit. Any experimentation I did with toe-in resulted in no significant improvements to the speakers' tonal balance. And as such--mostly to provide better coverage to a wider variety of seats in the media room--I left them un-toed.
This isn't to say that zero toe-in would be the right approach for your room. If your first reflections aren't well treated (either with dedicated treatments or judicious application of things like draperies or bookshelves), by all means--angle those puppies inward. You might also want to experiment with toe-in if you're prefer to listen to the Triton One.R as its creator intended. When I spoke with designer Sandy Gross about my initial impressions of the speakers, he was pretty adamant that he prefers them toed in. In his experience, toeing in results in a wider sweet spot. So it may be worth experimenting yourself to see which you prefer. In any case, there's no doubt that the improved off-axis response of the Triton One will give you greater flexibility in terms of placement and orientation.
As mentioned above, the Triton One.Rs replaced my Triton Ones in my media room for the bulk of this review--a setup that also included a pair of Triton Sevens in the rear of the room, a SuperCenter XXL (at first, at least), and a pair of SVS PB-4000 subs. The subs came into and out of the equation at times. For the most part I ran the system in a 5.2-channel configuration (except when listening to two-channel music, of course), relying on Anthem amplification, a Marantz AV8805 for processing, and Straight Wire speaker cables and interconnects. I also dragged the Triton One.Rs into my dedicated two-channel listening room for a couple days to compare them with the Triton Ones directly.
Room correction, when employed, came in the form of Audyssey via the Marantz, with filters limited a little more strictly than I would normally limit them in this room. I set a max filter cap at around 200Hz for the bulk of my listening, just to deal with the most egregious standing waves in my listening space.
Click over to Page Two for Performance, The Downside, Comparison & Competition, and Conclusion...