Like many audio brands – especially, it seems, audio loudspeaker brands – French loudspeaker manufacturer Triangle is up for a spot of diversifying. The new AIO system is the result. There are two AIO products in the line-up. The AIO C, a small Bluetooth streaming portal to open the 21st Century to an existing system, and the AIO 3, which takes that core technology and builds a small loudspeaker system around it. We went for the AIO 3.
The AIO 3 competes almost head on with devices from Bose and Sonos, which are priced above and below the AIO 3. These two brands dominate this market to the extent where there are only two ways to compete; go for a different approach, or go out of business. Triangle went for the different approach, and it’s one I think will work well.
The way Triangle has tried to compete is to push the ‘elegant’ angle, and push it hard. This is a product designed to be sold both in audio stores where people appreciate the finer things in sound, or in elegant department stores where people appreciate the finer things in life. Basically it sells to people because it looks good or sounds good, and occasionally because it both looks good and sounds good.
The AIO 3 itself is elegant and understated. It has a range of four different colour grilles surrounding the loudspeaker system itself, and contrasting metal finish along the top and base of the AIO 3. Two grilles – black and grey – come with brushed aluminium contrasts, while lime green and ‘Arctic blue’ are finished with a nice shade of champagne gold aluminium.
Operationally, the AIO 3 tells the world its status through the medium of a range of little LEDs. There are seven hidden behind the left-hand front of the grille; five denoting volume level, remote activity, and power/standby status. The light next to the bank of four little buttons denotes source selected by colour, although because it sits next to the power button, it is almost universally mistaken for some kind of power status indicator. The other three buttons control source selection and volume up and down. These controls are replicated and extended by the remote control (it also controls tracks and can adjust bass level), which has something of the Apple remote about it.
Under the grilles are two 25.4mm tweeters and a two 9.9cm mid-woofers, and the cabinet itself is rear ported, although the racetrack-shaped port is very small. The AIO 3 is powered by 2x 45W Class D amplifiers.
While the AIO 3 can work through Wi-Fi, the best and easiest way to set it up is to connect it to a wireless router through Ethernet, making sure your phone or tablet is running on the same network, and can access the Triangle AIO app (Android or iDevice). The app works by taking over control of your Spotify Connect, Tidal, Qobuz, or Deezer accounts. You can also access internet radio through TuneIn. The app is vital to the AIO 3 but fortunately it is extremely flexible. The AIO 3 defaults to L-R stereo mode as standard, but two AIO 3s can be allocated as left and right channel loudspeakers in their own right in a stereo setting. Or, they can be used in multiroom mode, grouped together in party mode (five AIO units per Wi-Fi network, or as many as ten if used with wired Ethernet), and you can rename the individual AIO 3 models to suit purpose, colour, sense of humour, and so on. Add in UPnP network streaming capabiities, a USB input for flash drives or charging smartphones, a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, optical, and automated NFC Bluetooth pairing, and the AIO 3 ticks all of today’s music boxes.