But GoldenEar’s model-naming scheme presented a bit of a problem: typically, the lower its number, the higher in the line that model is in terms of price and, typically, cabinet size, driver count, and parts quality. Logically, the next model up would be named the Triton Zero or 0.5 -- but neither sounded good for a flagship speaker priced at $8499.98/pair. They called it the Triton Reference.
I’d thought the 54”-high Triton One was big when I set up a pair of them in my room, but the Triton Reference’s main cabinet is 4” taller, 1.25” wider, 2” deeper, and a lot heavier: 108 pounds vs. the One’s 73 pounds. The increase in weight has to do with a larger, beefier, better-braced cabinet; bigger drivers with more robust motors; and a sturdier plinth that measures 13.63”W x 22.25”D. Like the plinth of the One and other Triton models, this one is made of Medite, a medium-density fiberboard, but for the Reference a 0.094”-thick steel plate has been added. Rubber feet and floor spikes are included. I have carpet, so I used the spikes.
The Triton Reference also boasts a touch of elegance not found on previous GoldenEar towers: instead of a “sock” of black fabric covering all but the small top panel, the Reference’s sides, rear, and top are finished in a polished, piano-black lacquer. Cloth is used only on the front, to cover the metal grille that protects the drivers, and on the lower part of the side panels, to cover the passive radiators. Although I got used to the look of the One and other Tritons, the Reference’s high-gloss lacquer looks a lot nicer to me, and befits a speaker at this higher price. I also like the way the side and rear panels form one seamless piece with the top; on the lower-priced towers, the sock is topped off with a shiny snap-on cap.
The One and the Reference are both three-way designs with the same general driver configuration: four passive radiators, three woofers, two midranges, and one tweeter. However, the drivers themselves are different. GoldenEar doesn’t specify their speakers’ crossover frequencies, but Gross told me that the Reference’s woofers hand off to its midranges at 90Hz, and the mids to the tweeter at 3kHz.
Read the full review here.