GoldenEar Triton Reference: A real reference speaker for under $10K a pair? Yes, please!

As I walked out of the GoldenEar Technology suite at CES 2014 three and a half years ago after hearing the company’s Triton One speaker, I thought to myself, “Wow! Those speakers are amazing. Too bad Sandy Gross left almost no room for improvement. What in the world will he do next?” Indeed, the legendary speaker designer and engineer, whose past handiwork lives on to this day through Polk and Definitive Technology, seemed to have backed himself into a corner. But if the new Triton Reference speakers I heard at CES 2017 are any indication, Sandy Gross and his partners in these creations, Don Givogue and Bob Johnston, don’t shy away from a good fight. The new top-flight speakers impressed everyone who heard them at the big trade show in Las Vegas, and now you can hear for yourself what all the buzz is about, as the GoldenEar Triton Reference loudspeakers are finally available at Hi-Fi stores nationwide.

Between the GoldenEar Triton One introduced in 2014 and the Triton Reference’s first appearance three years later, Sandy Gross and his team developed the insanely high-value Triton Five, followed by the potent and poignant SuperSub X and SuperSub XXL. But during this time, the gurus at GoldenEar Technology were quietly tinkering with what would ultimately come to be the company’s flagship speaker, the Triton Reference.

The name is no accident, and neither is the price. The Triton Reference aims to be a standard against which other speakers are judged. These speakers are meant to be a model for sound quality, accuracy, transparency, realism. And they are. But if there’s one problem with the Triton Reference, it’s that the price is somewhere between 2-3 times less than the speakers they compete against. At $8,500 per pair, the Triton Reference are resetting a standard previously established by speakers costing over $20,000. Will anyone take them seriously as a “reference” speaker at that price? If the media speaking to the audiophile crowd has anything to do with it, the yes. Good luck finding a negative review of the Triton Reference from any respected author and/or publication.

Digital Trends and I would like to add to the chorus of voices singing the praises of the GoldenEar Triton Reference speakers. They are flat-out incredible, knock-you-damn-socks-off, jaw-droppingly realistic, enrapturing speakers. They must be heard to be believed, and we know this because we heard, and we believe.

In our video above we have a chat with Sandy Gross after having witnessed the Triton Reference speakers work their magic, and ask the wizard himself to explain how he improved upon the un-improvable. New parts, redesigned drivers, a new, gorgeous cabinet. These are all signs that the GoldenEar Triton Reference loudspeakers aren’t an evolution or a revolution. They’re both.