MartinLogan Motion 6i Center Channel Speaker Review


MSRP $300
(H × W × D)
5.20” × 17.50” × 4.00”
132mm × 445mm × 102mm
Power Type Passive
Frequency Response 120-23,000 Hz
MartinLogan Motion 6i Center Channel Speaker

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The MartinLogan Motion 6i is a refined center channel that shines with clear, articulate dialogue and a broad soundstage. Its Folded Motion tweeter delivers pristine highs, while the compact design allows for seamless integration into most setups. However, for rooms with substantial square footage, its low-end might feel underwhelming without a supporting subwoofer. As a premium offering, it may stretch some budgets, but for discerning ears, it's a worthy investment to anchor a high-fidelity home theater experience.

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MartinLogan Motion 6i: Our Take

The MartinLogan Motion 6i is a premium center channel speaker that is part of MartinLogan's revered Motion Series. Designed to anchor the dialogue and action to the screen with precision, this speaker is an excellent choice for home theater enthusiasts who crave a high-fidelity audio experience. Its sleek and modern design allows it to blend seamlessly with a range of home décor styles, making it not only an auditory asset but also a visual complement to any home entertainment setup.

One of the unique features of the Motion 6i is the use of MartinLogan's signature Folded Motion tweeter. This technology employs a large surface area (much larger than typical tweeters) which allows for a faster response time and reduced distortion. The result is incredibly detailed, nuanced highs that bring dialogue and high-frequency sound effects to life with exceptional clarity. This proprietary technology is one of the reasons the Motion 6i stands out in its class.

The build quality of the Motion 6i is solid, reflecting MartinLogan's commitment to durability and quality materials. The cabinet is acoustically inert and rigid, which minimizes internal resonances that could color the sound. This ensures that audio from the speaker is delivered with precision and purity. The premium finish on the speaker gives it a sophisticated look that is indicative of its high-end status.

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Sound Performance and Integration

When it comes to sound performance, the MartinLogan Motion 6i does not disappoint. It offers a balanced sound profile that excels in midrange clarity. This is particularly important for a center channel speaker as it handles most of the dialogue in movies and television shows. The Motion 6i ensures that voices are rendered with natural timbre, making for an engaging listening experience.

The integration of the MartinLogan Motion 6i with other speakers in a surround system is typically seamless. It pairs well with other speakers from the Motion Series, creating a cohesive soundstage that can greatly enhance the immersive experience of movies and music alike. However, it's worth noting that pairing it with non-MartinLogan speakers may require careful matching to ensure the tonal balance remains consistent across the front channels.

Comparisons and Alternatives

Prospective buyers considering the MartinLogan Motion 6i might also look at similar products from brands like KEF, Definitive Technology, and Bowers & Wilkins. For instance, KEF's Q650c Center Channel Speaker is another option in a comparable price range, known for its Uni-Q driver array that aims to create a detailed and natural soundstage. Meanwhile, Definitive Technology's ProCenter 1000 Compact Center Speaker is often praised for its powerful output relative to its size.

In terms of drawbacks, the MartinLogan Motion 6i, like any high-fidelity audio equipment, comes at a relatively high price point. This may put it out of reach for budget-conscious consumers or those just starting to build their home theater systems. Additionally, its precise audio reproduction means it will perform best in rooms with good acoustics and paired with high-quality amplification, which could entail additional investment.

Finally, while the Motion 6i offers excellent performance for home theaters, its sound characteristics may not be to everyone's taste for music listening. Some users may prefer a speaker with a different sound signature for their musical enjoyment. As always, personal preference plays a significant role in selecting the right center channel speaker for one's system.

In conclusion, the MartinLogan Motion 6i Center Channel Speaker is a standout choice for those seeking superior dialogue clarity and detailed high frequencies in their home theater experience. Its combination of aesthetic appeal, build quality, and advanced technology like the Folded Motion tweeter makes it a worthy contender in its class. However, potential buyers should consider their budget, existing equipment compatibility, and personal sound preferences when evaluating this product against other alternatives in the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the MartinLogan Motion 6i Center Channel Speaker integrate with other speakers in a home theater setup?

The MartinLogan Motion 6i center channel speaker is designed to anchor the dialogue and action to your screen while providing an immersive soundstage that blends seamlessly with other speakers in your home theater arrangement. It's crucial to match the center channel to the main left and right speakers for a cohesive sound, and the Motion 6i, with its Folded Motion tweeter technology, pairs exceptionally well with MartinLogan's Motion series or other high-resolution speakers. If you're incorporating it into a non-MartinLogan system, you should ensure that the speaker's sonic characteristics don't clash with your existing setup. The goal is to achieve a balanced and tonally consistent sound field across all channels.

What are the placement options for the MartinLogan Motion 6i, and how do they affect sound quality?

Center channel placement is key to achieving a clear and focused dialogue in your home theater. The MartinLogan Motion 6i is relatively versatile in placement but performs best when aligned with the tweeter of your main speakers, typically at ear level when seated. It can be placed directly above or below your TV, but make sure it's angled towards the listener for optimal performance. Proper placement ensures that the sound is directed towards the listening area, minimizing reflections and ensuring that the Motion 6i's exemplary detail and clarity shine through. Wall-mounting is another option, provided that the speaker is securely fastened and positioned correctly in relation to the screen and main listening position.

Can the MartinLogan Motion 6i Center Channel Speaker be used for music in a stereo system, or is it strictly for home theater dialogue?

While the MartinLogan Motion 6i is designed as a center channel speaker and excels in delivering crisp, clear dialogue for movies and television, it is also capable of reproducing music with high fidelity. Its Folded Motion tweeter and well-designed driver array allow it to present a wide range of frequencies with detail and accuracy, which is beneficial for vocal performances and instrumental clarity. However, for a stereo system, you would typically use a pair of identical speakers for a balanced soundstage. The Motion 6i can serve as an excellent addition to a multi-channel audio system where it can complement the front left and right speakers, providing a fuller and more enveloping sound when listening to music in a surround setup.

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MartinLogan Motion 6i

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