MartinLogan Motion Series (20-40-60XT) Floorstanding Speakers Review

Last updated on: 12-2-18
Bottom Line: on the expensive side, but a great build, design, and look at a price that’s still competitive. Will require a good receiver that can supply sufficient power. Less expensive alternatives with comparable specs do exist – see the end for some such alternative recommendations.

The larger 60XTs, shown with and without the included partial foam-grill cover

Important Specs Overview

ModelMotion 20Motion 40Motion 60XT
Speaker Typepassive, 3 way, back ported(<-- same)(<-- same)
Continuous Power Handling60 W*90 W*120 W*
Peak Power Handling200 W300 W400 W
Impedance4 ohms4 ohms4 ohms
Sensitivity (db/W/m)909294
Response Range (+/- 3dB)46 - 25k Hz40 - 25k Hz35 - 25k Hz
Unit Dimensions (w x d x h)7 x 12 x 37 in8 x 13 x 43 in12 x 15 x 48 in
Unit Weight37 lb49 lb66 lb
Warranty5 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.

Get the Martin Logan Motion speakers on Amazon

See our current picks for the overall best budget tower speakers