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MartinLogan Ups Its Style Game With Redesigned Motion Series Speakers

Martin Logan Motion Series

Martin Logan Motion Series


  • Product Name: Motion Series Speakers
  • Manufacturer: MartinLogan
  • Review Date: September 20, 2019 11:00
  • MSRP: $800/pr - $3,200/pr
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

MartinLogan has reimagined its popular Motion Series loudspeakers with a more contemporary and designer-friendly aesthetic. The Motion Series is the company’s (rather successful) attempt at marrying a traditional cone-in-box dynamic speaker with the fast and airy sound of its high-end electrostatic designs.

MartinLogan Folded Motion XT Tweeter.jpg

This is achieved largely by the use of what MartinLogan calls its “cutting edge Folded Motion tweeter,” which is a variant of the air motion transformer (AMT) originally designed by Oskar Heil in the 1970s. This type of tweeter has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, and is currently used to great effect by GoldenEar Technology, Monitor Audio, Elac, and Legacy, among others. For this new iteration of the Motion Series, which comprises seven speaker models intended for both stereo and home theater use, MartinLogan focused on delivering a modern and stylish look while leaving the underlying core technologies in tact. If it ain’t broke, dress it up real pretty.

MartinLogan Revamps Motion Series Loudspeakers @ CEDIA 2019 YouTube Video Overview

The speakers are available in three luxurious finishes with coordinating metallic trims: gloss black with black grilles and gunmetal grey trim, matte white with silver grilles and silver trim, and red walnut with black grilles and champagne-colored trim. The Motion Series now features fabric-wrapped magnetic grilles instead of the perforated metal found on previous generations. Fabric may not be as resistant to curious kids and scratching cats, but the new grilles lend the speakers a softer and more inviting look. Under the grilles you’ll find a matte black baffle cover that hides the tweeter and woofer mounting hardware, making for a tidy appearance for audiophiles who prefer their speakers grille-free and au naturel. The sturdy cabinets are built from 18mm (0.7-inch) MDF, with chunky 31mm (1.2-inch) front baffles designed to minimize cabinet colorations. Make no mistake, those are some very beefy cabinets and uncommon at these price points. In order to more closely approach the box-less sound of MartinLogan’s electrostats, the Motion 60XTi and 50XTi feature additional internal bracing designed to further reduce unwanted resonance within the cabinets. Other key features of the Motion Series include aluminum cone midrange drivers and woofers, hand-built crossover networks, and custom 5-way binding posts.

Under The Hood

Folded Motion TweeterMartinLogan describes its Folded Motion tweeter as “a miracle of audio engineering that’s able to deliver much of the high-frequency detail and speed of a large, dynamic electrostatic panel in a small space.” The low-mass ribbon diaphragm is folded like the bellows of an accordion, so it squeezes air, rather than pushing it. This design offers a much larger surface area than a similarly-sized dome tweeter, so significantly less excursion is required. The result is fast, extended high frequency performance with vanishingly low distortion and controlled dispersion characteristics. Three speakers in the new Motion Series (the Motion 60XTi, 50XTi, and 35XTi) feature upgraded Folded Motion XT tweeters, which boast a 40% larger radiating surface than the standard model. The XT tweeter delivers higher efficiency, higher bandwidth, even lower distortion, and 80x30-degree controlled dispersion. MartinLogan says the upgraded tweeter delivers “lightning-fast response time… superior realism, and alarming specificity.”

The aluminum cone midrange drivers and woofers, which are custom-built for the Motion Series, feature high-power magnet structures and unique concave dust caps which are designed to reinforce the strength and rigidity of the cone while reducing break-up modes. MartinLogan claims that these drivers “deliver massive excursion and sound output, preserve minute bass details, and maximize power handling capability, all without a hint of distortion.” The midrange drivers feature a stiffened suspension that raises the drivers’ resonant frequency, helping them achieve a natural roll-off so that they operate within the ideal frequency range to deliver accuracy in the critical midrange. The woofers in the floor-standing models are deliberately positioned close to the floor; by positioning the woofers low in the cabinet, and by making some tweaks to the crossover, MartinLogan claims to have eliminated floor-bounce interference. The result is “a flat, balanced response through the bass and midrange regions,” with “accurate reproduction of vocals and instruments such as kick drums.” The proprietary “Vojtko” crossover networks (named for MartinLogan's chief audio technologist, Joe Vojtko) use polypropylene and low-DF electrolytic capacitors, and custom-wound air core coil and low-DCR steel laminate inductors. 

The Lineup

There are seven new models in the MotiMartinLogan Motion Series 2.jpgon Series. The flagship Motion 60XTi floor-stander ($3,200/pair) features dual 8-inch woofers with rear-firing ports, a 6.5-inch midrange driver, and the upgraded Folded Motion XT tweeter. The Motion 40i floor-stander ($2,700/pair) has dual 6.5-inch woofers with a shared port, a 5.5-inch midrange, and the standard Folded Motion tweeter. The smallest floor-stander is the Motion 20i ($1,700/pair), which features dual 5.5-inch woofers with a shared port and the Folded Motion tweeter. There are two stand-mount speakers in the range. The larger Motion 35XTi ($1,300/pair) features the upgraded Folded Motion XT tweeter and a 6.5-inch woofer with a rear-firing port. The smaller Motion 15i ($800/pair) has the standard Folded Motion tweeter and a 5.25-inch ported woofer. Finally, there are two center channel speakers in the Motion Series. The Motion 50XTi ($1,000 each) features the Folded Motion XT tweeter and a pair of 6.5-inch woofers. The smaller Motion 30i ($750 each) has the standard Folded Motion tweeter and dual 5.5-inch woofers. Both center channel speakers are rear ported. The whole lineup is expected to ship in October 2019. We got a chance to view these speakers at CEDIA 2019 and were quite impressed with their build quality. We have a review of their new 60XTi towers coming in a couple of weeks so stay tuned for that. Are you into the new MartinLogan Motion Series? Share your thoughts in the related forum thread below. 


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About the author:
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Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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