Important Specs Overview
|Model||Motion 20||Motion 40||Motion 60XT|
|Speaker Type||passive, 3 way, back ported||(<-- same)||(<-- same)|
|Continuous Power Handling||60 W*||90 W*||120 W*|
|Peak Power Handling||200 W||300 W||400 W|
|Impedance||4 ohms||4 ohms||4 ohms|
|Response Range (+/- 3dB)||46 - 25k Hz||40 - 25k Hz||35 - 25k Hz|
|Unit Dimensions (w x d x h)||7 x 12 x 37 in||8 x 13 x 43 in||12 x 15 x 48 in|
|Unit Weight||37 lb||49 lb||66 lb|
|Warranty||5 years||(<-- same)||(<-- same)|
*When nominal/RMS power isn’t specified by manufacturer, we use an approximation of ~30% of the specified peak/dynamic power for comparison purposes.
Review And Discussion
MartinLogan is one of many boutique high-end speaker manufacturers. Some of their products have price tags that come close to six figures, to give you an idea. And yes – premium speakers, like premium cars, can and do reach that level of expensive.
But MartinLogan also produces a variety of premium but value-tier speakers that aren’t exorbitantly expensive for the vast majority. This includes their least expensive Motion series, which has three variants of tower speakers, reviewed herein.
The three models vary in size and power, as well as a few build details, but otherwise have the same fundamental design. Each is a three way speaker with dedicated subwoofers, meaning they have the capacity to sound great independently, without an external subwoofer or other ancillary speakers. The smallest Motion 20 has a single 5.5 inch subwoofer in addition to the midrange woofer and tweeter, while the Motion 40 and 60XT have dual 6.5 and 8 in subwoofers respectively. Each’s power and range specs is excellent.
We’d consider an 8 inch driver to be the minimum for a “full sized” subwoofer, and it’s always a good sign when a tower speaker can fit one (or two in this case) at least that big within it, which is often a design challenge with the necessary concession of the speaker becoming large and heavy. The largest 60XT still manages to remain relatively light and compact though. The smaller 20 and 40 run pretty middle of the road size and weight wise.
It’s worth mentioning the relatively low 4 ohm impedance, which is something you start to see when looking at premium to elite caliber speakers. A low impedance means a speaker can handle significantly more continuous power input and generally perform better, but it will need a better receiver that can adequately supply that level of power. You’ll need to be sure your receiver can sufficiently power ~4 ohm rated speakers.
The distinctly interesting design feature of the Motion speakers is the befittingly named folded motion tweeter – it’s kind of textured like an accordion as opposed to a much more standard dome tweeter. It’s a newer design that is able to manipulate air with much less overall movement, which is kind of the holy grail of a theoretically perfect speaker: something that can produce sound without any internal resonance. The woofers are made of a plastic polymer which is a common choice for speaker drivers because it’s generally durable and easy to consistently reproduce.
The overall design is slick and minimalist. You don’t see the sheen piano finish too much anymore but these speakers make it look nice. They come with a foam-grill partial front cover or you can opt to leave the drivers exposed. The folded tweeter looks kind of funky, but whatever. MartinLogan offers 5 years of coverage on its passive speakers which is comparatively top of the line.
Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition
Reviewing and comparing higher-grade speakers always becomes tough because the marginal value isn’t something that’s always easily perceived or seen in the design or specs. More well known competitors such as Klipsch and Polk produce towers with similar design and specs at a fraction of the price, but are they the better choice? Hard to say definitively, but we think, if we’re being honest, that most people wouldn’t be able to hear a night and day difference, or if they could distinguish the two, the difference wouldn’t be worth a multiples higher price tag. Check out the links below for some lesser expensive alternative recommendations.
But for the discerning ear MartinLogan’s Motion speakers might be worth the price, and they actually are pretty competitively priced for what they bring to the table – in fact we’ve seen them now significantly discounted from the MSRP in some places, so a good deal could certainly be found.