MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker Review


MSRP $2600
(H × W × D)
42.50” × 7.60” × 12.80”
1080mm × 193mm × 325mm
Power Type Passive
Frequency Response 40-25,000 Hz
MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The MartinLogan Motion 40i, with its luscious Folded Motion tweeter, delivers an expansive soundstage and intricate details. Mids are lush, while the bass is punchy yet controlled. The imaging is precise, creating an immersive experience. Aesthetically sleek, they're a visual treat. On the downside, they crave power, so pairing with a robust amp is essential. Additionally, they're finicky about placement; room acoustics can sway their performance. However, once dialed in, they sing with audiophile-grade fidelity.

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MartinLogan Motion 40i: Our Take

The MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speakers are part of the renowned audio company's Motion Series, offering a blend of aesthetic elegance and high-fidelity performance. These floor-standing speakers boast a sleek design, which can seamlessly integrate into any modern living space. MartinLogan is known for its use of advanced materials and technology to create products that appeal to both audiophiles and casual listeners alike. The Motion 40i is no exception, with its precise sound reproduction and articulate musicality, catering to the tastes of discerning listeners.

At the heart of the Motion 40i's sound delivery system is MartinLogan's signature Folded Motion Tweeter. This unique tweeter design is acclaimed for its ability to produce incredibly detailed highs without the harshness that can sometimes accompany metal dome tweeters. This translates into a more natural and lifelike presentation of vocals and instruments, particularly in the high-frequency range. The Folded Motion Tweeter is considered one of the standout features of the Motion Series and helps set the Motion 40i apart from competitors.

The Motion 40i doesn't just excel in the treble; its midrange and bass performance are also noteworthy. The speaker features a well-engineered aluminum cone midrange driver and dual woofers that work in conjunction to deliver a balanced and robust sound across all frequencies. The rigid construction of the cones helps in reducing distortion, thereby providing clear and dynamic audio quality that captures the subtleties of different music genres and soundtracks.

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Design and Build Quality

From a design perspective, the MartinLogan Motion 40i exudes sophistication. The cabinet is beautifully crafted, with real wood veneer or high-gloss finishes available to suit individual preferences. Attention to detail is evident, with premium binding posts and a stable platform base included to enhance both visual appeal and performance. The build quality is solid, which is expected from a premium brand like MartinLogan, ensuring that these speakers not only look good but are also durable for long-term use.

Integration with Home Audio Systems

Integrating the MartinLogan Motion 40i into an existing home audio system is relatively straightforward. With a nominal impedance of 4 Ohms and a recommended amplifier power range of 20-300 watts per channel, these speakers can be paired with a wide range of amplifiers and receivers. The sensitivity rating of 92 dB makes them reasonably efficient, which means they can be driven to satisfying volume levels without requiring an excessively powerful amplifier.

However, as with any high-end speaker, the Motion 40i's reveal their full potential when paired with quality components. Potential buyers should be aware that to achieve optimal sound performance, investing in good amplification and source equipment is recommended. This might entail additional costs, which should be factored into the overall budget for a home audio setup.

On the downside, some users might find the MartinLogan Motion 40i speakers to be quite large, which could be an issue for those with limited space. Each speaker stands at just over three feet tall, making them prominent in smaller rooms. Additionally, while they offer exceptional sound quality, they do come with a premium price tag, which may put them out of reach for budget-conscious consumers or those new to high-fidelity audio.

For potential buyers considering alternatives to the MartinLogan Motion 40i, there are several other notable options on the market. Comparable models like the Bowers & Wilkins 603, KEF Q750, and the ELAC Debut F5.2 provide similar high-quality audio experiences, each with their own distinct sonic characteristics and design features. Consumers should compare these models in terms of sound quality, design, compatibility with their current systems, and price before making a decision.

In conclusion, the MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speakers offer a compelling combination of high-end sound quality, elegant design, and reliable build quality. While their price point and size may not suit everyone, their performance is undeniably impressive. With thoughtful consideration of accompanying audio components and space requirements, the Motion 40i can be a significant upgrade to any home audio system and provide a satisfying listening experience for both music and home theater enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the MartinLogan Motion 40i's Folded Motion Tweeter affect high-frequency performance?

The Folded Motion Tweeter in the MartinLogan Motion 40i is a distinctive feature that significantly differentiates it from conventional dome tweeters found in many other speakers. This unique design involves a thin, lightweight diaphragm that's folded like an accordion, which allows for a larger surface area. As a result, listeners can expect an exceptionally fast, precise, and smooth high-frequency response. The Folded Motion Tweeter is known for its ability to reproduce intricate details and its low distortion, making it a favorite among audiophiles who are keen on clarity and openness in their treble range. The tweeter's dispersion characteristics also contribute to a broad and immersive soundstage, which enhances the overall listening experience.

Can the MartinLogan Motion 40i speakers be bi-wired or bi-amped, and what are the benefits?

Yes, the MartinLogan Motion 40i speakers can be bi-wired or bi-amped. These features provide audiophiles with the flexibility to optimize their system's performance. Bi-wiring involves using separate cables for the high and low frequencies from a single amplifier to the speaker, which may reduce interference and potentially improve sound clarity. Bi-amping, on the other hand, goes a step further by utilizing two separate amplifiers for the highs and lows. This can lead to even greater control over the sound, improved dynamic range, and the ability to drive each section of the speaker with more power and finesse. Both techniques are considered by many enthusiasts to be worthwhile upgrades for an enhanced listening experience.

What type of room setup is ideal for the MartinLogan Motion 40i to perform optimally?

The MartinLogan Motion 40i, like any high-fidelity speaker, benefits from thoughtful placement within a room. These speakers typically shine in a moderately sized listening space, where they can be placed away from walls to reduce early reflections and ensure a more controlled bass response. It's also important to give the speakers some breathing room, as they are designed to create a large and realistic soundstage. For optimal stereo imaging, placing the speakers apart at a distance roughly equal to the distance from the listening position can create an immersive 'sweet spot'. Moreover, the room's acoustics play a crucial role; rooms with some damping materials (like carpets, curtains, or furniture) can help manage reverberations and contribute to a more focused and nuanced audio reproduction.

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MartinLogan Motion 40i

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