GoldenEar’s lineup of speakers have been receiving rave reviews for many years now, with just about every model winning multiple speaker of the year awards.

Sandy Gross and his team at GoldenEar have committed their research, development, and manufacturing to creating models that set the benchmark for their price points and beyond, so we decided to assemble an all-star lineup from them to create a complete 5.4.4 Dolby Atmos speaker system.

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While I was attending the AXPONA 2017 show this year in Chicago, I spent some time in the GoldenEar room speaking with Jack Shafton, GoldenEar’s VP-Sales and Marketing. At that time the Triton Reference had been shown at CES, but it hadn’t been released yet. Knowing that the Triton Reference review had already been secured by SECRETS’ Co-Editor Piero Gabucci, I brought up the idea of doing a complete theater system review, including the Reference. We talked about doing some kind of “Super-System”, and the idea stuck. With the blessing of Sandy Gross, the GoldenEar Dolby Atmos Speaker System arrived at my house!

Triton Reference Speakers

Headlining our test system in the front channels will be their brand new Triton Reference Speakers at $8,500/pair. These beauties are not just bigger versions of their award-winning Triton Ones, but rather a completely new design from the ground up. They feature three, 6” x 10” long-throw quadratic subwoofers, four, 9 ½” x 10 ½” quadratic planar infrasonic radiators, two, 6” high-definition reference mid / bass drivers, and a reference High-Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeter. And driving the bottom end in each tower you will find an 1800 watt digital 56/bit DSP subwoofer amplifier!

Bringing up the rear channels in our 5.4.4 Dolby Atmos speaker system will be the GoldenEar Triton Ones. Before the new Triton Reference came alone, the Triton Ones were the top offering from GoldenEar, and they completely redefined what it meant to have audiophile performance at a relatively low price. At $5,000/pair, the Ones were considered true reference-grade speakers, and worked equally well in either 2-channel systems or a home theater environment. With the Triton One, you also get built-in subwoofers featuring a 1600 watt digital 56/bit DSP subwoofer amplifier. So just imagine taking a pair of reference-level speakers with built-in 1600 watt subwoofers, and using them in the back of your theater as your surrounds. Yes, that’s like bringing a 12-guage shotgun to a BB-gun fight!

GoldenEar Triton Ones

For the center channel, we are using the SuperCenter XXL, which sits at the top of the center channel offerings from GoldenEar at $1,250. The XXL feature 4, 5 ¼” drivers, 3, planar passive radiators, and GoldenEar’s High-Velocity Folded Ribbon Tweeter.

SuperCenter XXL

And finally for our Atmos (height) channels, we are using 4 of GoldenEar’s HTR (Home Theater Reference) 7000 ceiling speakers. At $500/ea, the HTR 7000 has a 7” high-definition cast basket driver, a High Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeter, a complex crossover network, and a high-frequency equalization switch.

HTR 7000 ceiling speakers

For my review process, I will be putting this over-the-top GoldenEar Dolby Atmos Speaker System through its paces with a wide variety of materials both in music and movie playback. And since both the Triton Reference and Triton Ones have separate LFE inputs, I am taking advantage of that option, which gives me a true 5.4.4 configuration (5 main speakers, 4 subwoofers, and 4 height / Atmos speakers)! Without divulging too many details, I can say that my time with this system so far has brought to me an entirely new level of appreciation for both my music and my movie collection.

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Stay tuned for some serious fun!

  • Garret

    This is great. I currently have the GE Triton One and was very interested in upgrading my Ones to the new Ref. It would be interesting to hear the sound and thoughts of four full range with powered subs viewpoint. If worth it, I would purchase the Ref for the front and move the Ones to the rear. I also have the XXL center channel and four HTR-7000 at Atmos Height channels. So this really hits home, hope to hear findings soon. Thank you!

  • Donald Hensley

    Garret, I visited a goldenear dealer today. I am looking to purchase the Triton Two +s for my L & R along with the xxl center. Unfortunately I do not have the room to add floor speaker for my rear so I will have to install in-wall goldenears. Can you please tell me how you like the xxl center and the HTR -7000 Atmos Height channels.

  • Garret

    Hello Donald,

    I understand your situation given the space circumstances. As far as the XXL center, it is great. I hear dialog clear, concise and most importantly they blend with the towers well. I did however on my HT processor set the DB level to +1 to further establish the center channel dialog. As far as the HTR-7000 goes, I use four of them as Atmos height speakers. They sound great, but I should have placed them better in ceiling. I have heard demos from local dealer and I know what they are suppose to sound like. So my advice would be that placement and position is key to getting the most out of the speaker. Happy listening, sounds like a great system in the works!

  • Donald Hensley

    Garret,

    Thank you for your feedback. If I could ask one more question. Are you running external subs. If not do you feel the Triton’s produce enough bass to fill the room?

  • Garret

    I currently have one external sub which is a HSU Research VTF-15H MK2. I bought this prior to purchasing the GE Triton One. I do feel however for music the Triton One bass is more than enough to fill the room. For movies however, I like to become part of the movie and that was what sparked my interest in the GE Triton Reference. I was debating whether to go with some other external subs (GE or SVS) to fill the gaps, but I believe with four Tritons the bass should be more than enough. Lastly placement and measurements is key, and keep in mind what your bass comfort level is and what type of listening level you prefer. The reason I state this is because I tend to listen to movies pretty loud and a stand alone subwoofer from my experience will always give you better performance with less distortion which makes sense because logically the enclosure and amplification is solely for that single driver. There are alot of variables to consider, but ideally for cohesion there should be five identical speakers that produce all frequencies for the best version of surround sound.

  • Garret

    Any update on the Golden Ear Triton setup with Atmos?

  • Todd Cooperider

    Garret. Sorry for the delay on this one! We’ve gotten the video recorded and edited on the article, and now I just need to finish everything up. Stay tuned in the near future for the full report.

  • Garret

    Thanks Todd, appreciate you answering. Looking forward for the full report. Also wanted to ask your opinion. I currently have a McIntosh MC452 and I use the MX160 for a processor and preamp. I am looking to purcahse a VPI Prime turntable but wanted some advice as far as a phono preamp. Any guidance or advice you can suggest?

  • Carlo Lo Raso

    Hey Garret, Don’t mean to hijack Todd’s reply thread but I saw your question and thought I would toss a couple of phono preamp suggestions to supplement any that Todd might make. Depending on your budget, either the Parasound Halo JC3+ or the new JC3 Jr would be good choices. The Bryston BP-2 MM/MC is also a solid choice as well. All of them offer loading adjustments, low distortion and a tight tracking of the RIAA EQ curve. There is a review of the JC3+ on our website as well. All the best!

  • Garret

    Thank you soo much for replying Carlo. I will be sure to checkout the products as well as the review on the website. My thought process was to match the turntable with a VPI phono preamp but I am sure there are better options. Thank you again!

  • Todd Cooperider

    Garret. In addition to Carlo’s recommendations below, one that really comes to mind for me is the new Pass Labs XP-17 phono preamp. I have a VPI Prime Signature with Cadenza Bronze, with this new Pass Labs pre-amp (in for review), and my system has never sounded better. I’ve got some albums that I play through this setup on my GE Triton Reference speakers, and you’d like you’re listening to electrostats. The Pass Labs XP-17 review will get done after the Goldenear article, but the spoiler alert is this…highly recommended.

  • Garret

    Wow thanks Todd for the recomendation. I have always been a fan of Nelson Pass, if it was not for the sentimental value McIntosh means to my family and I, I would have probably purchased a Pass amplifier. I have alot of respect for the brand and their product line. So I will check out their phono preamp. Also the Prime Signature is the model VPI turntable I was considering. What do you think of turntable?

  • Todd Cooperider

    Up until recently I had the Pass XP-20 pre-amp, and I currently own the X350.8 amplifier. Love the Pass Labs gear! As for the Prime Signature, I can’t see how you could ever want or need more from a turntable. It’s gorgeous, built like a tank, and the sound is sublime.

  • Garret

    Wow awesome Pass gear. Yes I believe you about the Prime Signature. It is on my list of components.

  • Donald Hensley

    I cant wait to read this review also. I have not pulled the trigger on my setup yet. I am between Kef R serious and the Goldenear. I was able to listen to a Kef atmos system and it was amazing for movies. However for music I preferred Goldenear. I was not able to experience Goldenear in an atmos setup so I have been waiting to read this review before purchasing my atmos system.

  • Todd Cooperider

    Donald,
    I will be finishing up the article this weekend, and then it will just be waiting to go through the circulation of publishing (which shouldn’t take too long). Without divulging too much information, I can say that the GE in Atmos mode is ridiculously good!

  • Garret

    Hey Todd,

    Are there any stands you would recommend for the VPI Prime Signature? The footprint is not typical size, I was looking for something to hold records and a phono preamplifier. The stand I found was great but does not hold the VPI turntable, it was a stand from Phono Line. Thanks for your help!

  • Todd Cooperider

    I had my stands custom made by Massif Audio Design in Canada. I looked around at a lot of other products, and just couldn’t find one that I really liked enough. They are beautiful, meet my exact needs, and are as solid as they come. Contact Trevor Doyle up there and tell him I sent you!

  • Garret

    Great sounds awesome! Will do and thanks again as always!

  • Garret

    Sorry to bother you Todd, the place where I am looking forward to purchasing the VPI Prime Signature from has a great deal on a demo Mark Levinson no.515 turntable. Heard any news about this turntable? I know it is fairly new and they worked in conjunction with VPI but was not sure how good it was compared to the Prime Signature. Thanks as always!

  • Todd Cooperider

    They are fantastic tables indeed. While I haven’t had time with one in my house, I have heard them at my local dealer, and at shows. I would own one without hesitation!