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MartinLogan Motion XT Speakers 4th Gen Boast BIG Performance Upgrades!

MartinLogan Motion XT

MartinLogan Motion XT


  • Product Name: Motion F20, Motion F10, Motion C10, Motion B10, Motion MP10, Motion XT F200 Motion XT F100 , Motion XT C100, Motion XT B100
  • Manufacturer: MartinLogan
  • Review Date: February 09, 2023 15:00
  • MSRP: $1,750/each - Motion F20; $1,250/each - Motion F10; $1,000/each - Motion C10; $600/each - Motion B10; $500/each - Motion MP10; $2,750/each - Motion XT F200; $2,250/each - Motion XT F100; $1,500/each Motion XT C100; $800/each Motion XT B100
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
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    *For your convenience, we've included a link to Audio Advice to buy this product. As an Audio Advice associate, Audioholics.com benefits from qualifying purchases.

Executive Overview

The name MartinLogan is synonymous with electrostatic speakers, but for the last dozen years or so, one of the company’s most popular offerings has been the Motion Series loudspeakers (and later, the Motion XT Series), which ditch the panels for a more traditional cones-in-a-box design. Key to the success of these speakers is the Folded Motion tweeter, MartinLogan’s version of an Air Motion Transformer (AMT). The AMT is nothing new, of course, having first been used in the 1970s by ESS. But in the intervening decades, a number of brands have adopted the AMT and put their own twists on the technology. Elac embraced the AMT in the early 1990s with the company’s now-famous JET tweeters, and Legacy Audio uses AMTs not only for tweeters, but also for midrange drivers. The patents for the original design — developed by physicist Oskar Heil — expired in 2004, and the floodgates opened. Soon AMTs started showing up in everything from Emotiva’s inexpensive home theater speakers to Monitor Audio’s five-figure Platinum Series flagships. In 2010, Sandy Gross launched Goldenear Technology to take advatanage of what he described as “the second-best tweeter” ever made (with the top spot going to the impressive but impractical plasma tweeter used by Lansche Audio). And it was also in 2009 that MartinLogan launched the original Motion Series, which succeeded largely because the Folded Motion tweeter delivered much of the speed and transparency that MartinLogan’s electrostatic designs are famous for, but in smaller, less expensive packages that appealed to a whole new demographic of music-lovers.

MartinLogan Motion XT 5.2.6 Home Theater Tour

MartinLogan Motion Evolution

And it’s not hard to see why the Motion Series took off. Unlike MartinLogan’s hybrid electrostats (which combine curved electrostatic panels with powered cone woofers), these new speakers didn’t need to be placed several feet out from the wall behind them, and they didn’t have to be plugged into an electrical outlet. They were also much easier to drive. The ever-popular “bookshelf” speaker form-factor was pretty much impossible to pull off as an electrostat, but the Motion Series offered both small stand-mounts and slim towers that could easily blend into a room. And crucially, they were more affordable by a significant margin than most of MartinLogan’s electrostats. Now the company has announced the thoroughly-updated 4th-generation Motion Series and Motion XT Series — two distinct lineups that share a lot of common DNA. MartinLogan says that this “premium collection of loudspeakers has been completely reimagined with a fresh attitude, sleek design, and advanced audio technology for the ultimate listening experience,” and that the rigorous development process included a combination of anechoic chamber measurements, blind listening tests, and in-room measurements. There are nine new models in total — five in the entry-level Motion Series, and four in the step-up Motion XT Series.

The Motion Series includes two floorstanders, one center-channel speaker, one bookshelf speaker, and a highly versatile “multi-purpose” speaker perfect for home theater surround channels and/or height channels:

  • Motion F20 - $1,750 each
  • Motion F10 - $1,250 each
  • Motion C10 - $1,000 each
  • Motion B10 - $600 each
  • Motion MP10 - $500 each

The Motion XT Series includes two floorstanders, one center-channel speaker, and one bookshelf speaker:

  • Motion XT F200 - $2,750 each
  • Motion XT F100 - $2,250 each
  • Motion XT C100 - $1,500 each
  • Motion XT B100 - $800 each

* Note that MartinLogan lists prices per speaker, not per pair.

We wanted to provide the team at ML the opportunity to define the future direction of the brand with a truly clean slate design. The result is a collection of loudspeakers that are not just an upgrade of its predecessor, but a whole new level of quality and excellence.

— John Bagby, Managing Director, MartinLogan

When the Motion Series launched in 2010, we had no idea how much of a following the technology would generate. This 4th-generation product is truly a game-changer for our brand. Our team has truly outdone themselves with the performance, craftsmanship, and level of attention that went into creating these new models.

— Allan Tarrant, Senior Vice President, MartinLogan

Motion Technology

Folded Motion Waveguide

MartinLogan made several technological advancements during the ambitious R&D process, and many of these have come to fruition in both the Motion Series and Motion XT Series. Chief among these are newly-developed tweeter waveguides, which help every new speaker discussed here to achieve a sensitivity rating of either 92 or 93 dB. We expect these speakers to really deliver on dynamics — something that electrostats can struggle with. MartinLogan’s Gen2 Obsidian Folded Motion Tweeter, found in the Motion Series, has been upgraded with new larger magnet structures, improving performance with lower distortion and higher output, according to the company. MartinLogan says the result is “effortless performance that brings your favorite content to life with the highest levels of detail and accuracy.” The Motion XT series employs the Gen2 Obsidian Folded Motion XT Tweeter, which offers a roughly 40% increase in surface area over the standard version. MartinLogan says that this highest-performance variant offers “the most effortless and detailed sound in the Motion range.” Both versions now enjoy waveguide-enhanced tweeter dispersion, thanks to the proprietary Folded Motion Waveguides. MartinLogan says that the geometries of these guides were selected “after reviewing nearly 50 design iterations to enhance the consistency, dispersion, and output” of their tweeters. The waveguides reportedly ensure consistent performance across a wide range of listening positions, while minimizing unwanted room reflections. The Motion Series waveguide is a 90° x 90° design, while the Motion XT waveguide is a 45° x 90° (vertical x horizontal) design.

(Folded Motion Tweeters) use a folded diaphragm to compress and expand air, creating a large surface area that delivers fast, accurate, and detailed high-frequency reproduction. With Folded Motion Tweeters, you'll experience high efficiency, low distortion, and wide, yet controlled dispersion, ensuring that every note and every detail is captured in stunning clarity. Plus, the wide frequency response of our Folded Motion Tweeters means you'll hear a greater range of sound than ever before. …The Folded Motion Waveguide profile was meticulously chosen to harmoniously align the tweeters output with the dispersion of the midrange drivers, enhancing the performance of our already incredible Gen2 Folded Motion Tweeters. The Folded Motion Waveguide helps blanket the listening area with evenly distributed detail and precision, ensuring an optimal experience for everyone. The waveguide also enhances the Controlled Dispersion output of the tweeter, offering generous coverage while minimizing unwanted room reflections.

— MartinLogan

Both the Motion Series and Motion XT Series also benefit from all new cone materials for their midrange/mid-woofer drivers. The Motion Series uses “lightweight and robust” woven fiberglass cones, which offer seamless timbre matching with MartinLogan’s Motion range of in-wall/in-ceiling custom installation speakers. This woven fiberglass is “perfectly suited for keeping pace with Motion’s Gen2 FMT, providing crystal clear dialogue, vocals, and lifelike instrumentals,” according to the company. Meanwhile, the Motion XT series employs Nomex Reinforced Kevlar cones in its midrange and mid-woofer drivers, offering a “perfect balance of light weight, strength, anti-resonance, and anti-ringing properties for unparalleled sound quality,” according to MartinLogan. The floorstanders add revised aluminum woofers for the low frequencies. They also benefit from MartinLogan’s new F.A.S.T. Foot, a fully adjustable, tool-free anti-vibration foot that reportedly offers fast height adjustments on any type of flooring without having to lift the speaker. Another feature common to all of the new models is MartinLogan’s Secure Lock Grilles, which use “stealth” mounting tabs that allow the user to cover the cone drivers with individual fabric grilles (or leave them bare) without sacrificing aesthetics. All Motion and Motion XT speakers employ MartinLogan’s McCracken-Vojtko Crossovers, which represent “the culmination of combining extensive anechoic measurements, in-room measurements, and blind listening tests with the low distortion philosophy of MartinLogan's signature Vojtko Crossover. Through this process, each speaker was refined to achieve the best performance for its application.”

MartinLogan Motion XT Series Loudspeakers Interview & Design Details

The Motion Series

Motion Cannon Bass Port

Every model in the Motion Series uses a 1-inch by 1.4-inch Gen2 Obsidian Folded Motion Tweeter, with a total diaphragm area of 9.2 square inches. The midrange and/or mid-woofer drivers use 5.5-inch woven fiberglass cones featuring “unibody cone construction” and cast polymer baskets. The 3-way floorstanders add a pair of 5.5-inch or 6.5-inch (depending on the model) unibody aluminum cones with cast polymer baskets and non-resonant, asymmetrical chambers within the cabinet. The tower speakers are bottom-ported via MartinLogan’s “Cannon Bass Ports,” which are said to improve placement flexibility and allow the towers to be positioned fairly close to the wall behind them. The remaining speakers are rear-ported.

Motion Center flip cabinet

The B10 bookshelf speaker ($600 each) and the wall-mountable MP10 “multi-purpose” speaker ($500 each) use a single 5.5-inch mid-woofer. The compact F10 floorstander ($1,250 each) stands just over 38 inches tall, weighs 50.5 pounds, and uses one 5.5-inch midrange driver and two 5.5-inch woofers. The larger F20 floorstander ($1,750 each) uses one 5.5-inch midrange driver and a pair of 6.5-inch woofers. It stands nearly 45 inches tall, weighs 60 pounds, and promises bass extension down to the mid-30s. The C10 center-channel speaker ($1,000) uses a pair of 5.5-inch mid-woofers flanking the tweeter, each in a non-resonant sealed chamber. The C10 features a unique “flippable” cabinet that allows the user to choose whether the drivers fire straight forward or up at an angle. The latter is preferable when the speaker is mounted below ear level (underneath a TV, for example) and the sound needs to be directed upwards for better sound clarity and immersion. Either way, the speaker takes advantage of an “anti-lobing” 2.5-way crossover design. Two-way center-channel speakers with a horizontal MTM (mid tweeter mid) layout can suffer from lobing — interference of the sound waves leading to an irregular off-axis response with peaks at some frequencies and troughs at others, depending on the angles involved. MartinLogan says that the C10’s 2.5-way crossover design “minimizes these harmful effects, resulting in clearer dialogue and higher accuracy for a more immersive experience.” The MP10 multi-purpose speaker seems be destined for surround-channel duty, though MartinLogan says it’s just as comfortable playing the lead in a discreet 2-channel system.

 Motion MP10 Stealth Bass Port

Either way, it has an interesting trick up its sleeve: the Stealth Bass Port. This design “allows it to achieve comparable bass output to that of traditional bookshelf speakers… at half the depth,” according to MartinLogan. The unique shape of the MP10’s cabinet allows the speaker to be mounted parallel to the wall surface or angled downwards into the room. The included bracket doesn’t interfere with the Stealth Bass Port in either orientation.

The Motion XT Series

The Motion XT Series uses a larger 1.25-inch by 2.4-inch Gen2 Obsidian Folded Motion XT Tweeter with a diaphragm area of 12.4 square inches. The midrange and mid-woofer drivers have 6.5-inch Nomex Reinforced Kevlar cones with unibody cone construction, stronger cast aluminum baskets, and non-resonant sealed chambers within the speaker cabinets. The three-way towers add a trio of 6.5-inch or 8-inch (depending on the model) unibody aluminum woofers with cast aluminum baskets, non-resonant asymmetrical chambers, and downward-firing Cannon Bass Ports. Again, the bookshelf and center-channel models are rear-ported.

Motion XT B100 black

The B100 bookshelf speaker ($800 each) is a 2-way design featuring a single 6.5-inch mid-woofer. At 14.5 inches tall, it’s 2 inches taller than the Motion B10, and promises bass down to 45 Hz. The F100 floorstander ($2,250 each) uses one 6.5-inch midrange driver and three 6.5-inch woofers. Standing just under 48 inches tall, it weighs 76 pounds and promises to dig down to 31 Hz. The top-dog F200 floorstander ($2,750 each) uses 8-inch woofers in a larger cabinet that stands a statuesque 51 inches tall and weighs 86 pounds.

Motion XT F200

The F200 goes down to 27 Hz, according to MartinLogan. (Unfortunately, the company does not specify whether these specs are ± 3dB, ±6dB, etc.)

Motion XT Center

Finally, the C100 center speaker ($1,500 each) uses a pair of 6.5-inch mid-woofers in non-resonant sealed chambers. It also features a flippable cabinet and an anti-lobing 2.5-way crossover design, as seen on the smaller C10.

Motion Finishes 2

All of the speakers in both the Motion Series and Motion XT Series are available in three finishes: Piano Black, Walnut, and Satin White. All are rated at either 4 or 5 ohms nominal impedance, but MartinLogan promises that they are “compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers.” Considering their high efficiency, they should be driven nicely by most better-than-average AVRs. MartinLogan offers a dedicated stand called the STAND25, which costs $200 each and works with both bookshelf models. In a nice touch, the stand includes three interchangeable accent pieces to coordinate with the trim colors of the Motion and Motion XT speakers.

MartinLogan Motion XT F100 Floorstanding Speakers Listening Impressions

Audioholics at the Launch Party!

MartinLogan launched the new Motion Series and Motion XT Series speakers at an exclusive event hosted by our friends at Audio Advice in Raleigh, NC. The event took place on Saturday, February 11th, 2023 from noon to 4pm EST and we were happy to cover it!

Audio Advice is one of the longest-running family members with the MartinLogan brand. Their passion, beautiful showrooms, and expert staff make it the perfect location for the world premiere of this new Motion range.

— Allan Tarrant, Senior Vice President of MartinLogan

We are honored to partner with MartinLogan for the new Motion series launch. MartinLogan has taken their already outstanding Motion series speakers to a new level for 2023. New drivers, crossovers, and cabinets all contribute to more transparency and lower distortion than the previous series bringing these even closer in sound to their electrostatic panel models. We're confident that our customers will love using the updated line in their home theater setups and listening rooms.

— Leon Shaw, Founder of Audio Advice

Those who attended the event were able to see and hear these exciting new speakers and learn about them directly from members of the MartinLogan team. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet Audioholics founder Gene DellaSala, who was there in person to celebrate the launch and conduct a livestream, giving Audioholics fans the inside scoop on everything he learns about the Motion Series and Motion XT Series speakers.

Motion Specs Chart

More information: MartinLogan Motion

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

everettT posts on March 11, 2023 14:44
Hobbit, post: 1593932, member: 62671
A question I have is why don't we see much love for electrostatics?

I friend of mine used to have an Audiophile store here in town -one of the last of the ma and pops. He carried the ML's. I always loved the way they sounded. Same when I was on business trips and would stop in stores that carried Magnepans.

The ones I listened to were way out of my price range. However, ML and Maggy make some electrostatics that appear reasonably priced.
Primary reasons: expensive for good panels, can't just be placed in any room (including WAF), and very narrow sweet spot. I've owned and enjoyed 2 pairs many years ago, but for HT, not really a first choice except with vocals.
Hobbit posts on March 11, 2023 14:31
A question I have is why don't we see much love for electrostatics?

I friend of mine used to have an Audiophile store here in town -one of the last of the ma and pops. He carried the ML's. I always loved the way they sounded. Same when I was on business trips and would stop in stores that carried Magnepans.

The ones I listened to were way out of my price range. However, ML and Maggy make some electrostatics that appear reasonably priced.
gene posts on March 11, 2023 13:59
Goliath, post: 1593919, member: 60330
Gene, if you reading this, will you be reviewing the XT B100 model at all? I ask because I'm looking to upgrade from my Paradigm Studio 20 v5 bookshelves and these speakers could be a great option.
We requested them but review samples are challenging right now due to low supply and high demand.
Goliath posts on March 11, 2023 12:16
Gene, if you reading this, will you be reviewing the XT B100 model at all? I ask because I'm looking to upgrade from my Paradigm Studio 20 v5 bookshelves and these speakers could be a great option.
mtrot posts on March 03, 2023 16:20
xrqp, post: 1592976, member: 100352
Thanks for the info.
Since spacing them wider may be difficult, I wonder if toeing them inward a little would help. They are so big, maybe the listening position needs to be 8' or more away from the speakers.
The clearance from the front wall looks OK. Are the room acoustics decent (not too many strong reflections at the listening)?

When you went backwards in the room for more bass, were you within two feet of the rear wall? If yes, it may have been a bass peak (the opposite of a null).
Yeah, it was close to the back wall where the bass had more extension. As to the room acoustics, I don't remember if, or how much, treatment was in there, but there were about 20 or more other speakers in there.
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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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