When I saw there was a GoldenEar room at AXPONA 2022, I knew I had to make a special trip. I’ve had the GoldenEar BRXs in for review for way too long–I never thought I’d have such a tough time with a pair of $1598 two-way monitors. The problem with the BRXs is this: they’re chameleons. They’ve sounded completely different in each configuration I’ve had. They’re a reviewer’s nightmare, but they’re also a stunning pair of affordable bookshelf speakers. I hoped that the GoldenEar folks would offer some insight so I can finally finish the review.
The GoldenEar BRX monitors, along with a pair of GoldenEar subwoofers (around $4K for the complete system), were being compared to the GoldenEar Triton Reference flagships (around $11K/pair USD), using Parasound components and, of course, AudioQuest cables. (AQ bought GoldenEar a few years ago.) The two speaker systems sound very different–the Triton References sounded big, forward and framed within a panoramic soundstage. The GoldenEar BRXs, along with the GoldenEar subs, sounded far more laid back, relaxed, and smaller. Yet I still enjoyed the sound of the BRXs–even though they still sounded different from the three or four systems I’ve assembled. Of course they sounded different.
I tried to sneak out of the room undetected, but I was followed by a group of the exhibitors (from room sponsor Saturday Audio Exchange, Parasound and GoldenEar). “What did you think, Marc?” I told them my plight with the BRX, and after a few minutes I think I had enough info to finally finish the review. It’s common to find an amplifier, cables or even a source that is chameleonic, but a speaker?
Usually transducers stamp their sonic traits across the board, but the GoldenEar BRX is different. Intriguingly so. I’ll figure it all out soon, but until now I didn’t have a clue what I was going to write. Thanks to the folks at Saturday Audio Exchange for giving the push in the right direction!
If you would like to hear even more coverage from AXPONA 2022, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.