The MartinLogan Motion 20 floor standing speakers are certainly not an inexpensive pair. Coming at $799 per speaker, the Motion 20s have the price to back up how premium they look.
However, the speakers show just how much they have to offer in their beautiful finish complimented with two perfectly tuned 5-½” aluminum cone woofers and a ribbon tweeter.
While the $499 price somewhat steep, MartinLogan shows off why the Motion range (and specifically the little brother 20s) is so excellent despite the high-end audio price.
MartinLogan Motion 20 Quick Specs
|Frequency Response||46–25,000 Hz ±3dB|
|Dispersion||80° x 80°|
|Sensitivity||90 db/2.83 volts/meter|
|Nominal Impedance||4 Ohms. Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 ohm rated amplifiers.|
|Recommended Integrated Amplifier Power||20-200 watts per channel|
|Crossover Frequency||500 & 2,600 Hz|
|Weight||37lbs. (16.8kg) each|
|36.6 x 6.8 x 11.7 (92.9cm x 17.3cm x 29.7cm)|
Construction and Appearance
The MartinLogan Motion 20 comes out of the gate proving its worth in design and construction. The three gloss options of finish and slender floor standing design make these speakers fit into any room without disrupting the decor.
The first thing that stands out (pun intended) about the Motion 20s is the option of finishes that they can be outfitted with. The speakers come in Piano Black, White, or Black Cherrywood finishes. Each of these is absolutely gorgeous, with the only contention in most rooms being the white speakers.
For my money, the piano black pair looks absolutely incredible. The glossy finish shines perfectly and stays modern, yet understated, in almost any room.
Outside of this, the speakers seem solidly built. Despite much searching, I can’t seem to find a legitimate source as to what the speakers are actually made out of. At nearly 40 pounds apiece, I’d assume the speakers are constructed with solid wood and not particle board.
Still, I can say that the speakers are feeling real. Instead of feeling like a toy, the Motion 20s feel like a loudspeaker worthy of the $499 price tag.
Overall, the Motion 20s screams quality in both build and finish. The understated aesthetic and solid construction lead to a sense that the $799 per speaker was well placed.
MartinLogan Motion 20 Sound Quality
However, what really matters at the end of it all is that these speakers sound awesome. No matter what the construction is like, or how nicely they intercept the decor in a room, for $150/pair, these speakers have to sound amazing. Thankfully, they live up to this task.
The moment you power on these speakers, you’ll notice they MartinLogan is not messing around, even with the smallest speaker of this range. The engineering is impressive with MartinLogan’s own Folded Motion tweeter and two 5.5.” aluminum bass cones.
The innovative Folded Motion tweeter is the landmark park of this setup. This exclusive design increases the surface area of the tweeter by 8 times (when compared to a 1-inch dome tweeter) which maintains a to of clarity in the highs. All of this while excelling with wicked fast transient response and clear, tight, and articulate sound.
The reason this design is so brilliant is not just due to the surface area. The folded design requires significantly less force to produce sound than a traditional dome tweeter. Sound is pushed out perpendicular to the folds on the tweeter, kind of like an accordion. This creates a transient heavy experience that maintains crystal clear quality with little to no distortion.
Outside of the tweeter is two 5.5” aluminum cone woofers. The woofer uses a non-resonant asymmetrical chamber, set inside cast polymer baskets. Basically, they’re in there pretty well, with a rigid dust cap in place to reduce cone break-in.
The speakers are rear-ported, so bass firing out the back will bounce off the cabinet a resonate out. This creates a tight and focused sound in the low-end, maintaining punch while not becoming overpowering.
Reaching down to 46Hz, the speakers do a lot in the way of filling a room with low-end, but perhaps not enough to truly satisfy. The Motion 20s seemed like they lack just a little bit of punch to seem truly full. The sound coming is more slender, still full-bodied, but not booming like a sub.
And perhaps that’s intentional. Maybe the best pairing of the Motion 20s is with a sub to extend that low-end and provide an all-around better experience. Combined in this way, the small footprint of the Motion 20s (combined with a sub) creates a huge sound, truly exceeding the sum of its parts.
Speaking of a system, the Motion 20s integrate into many different configurations outside of just casual listening. Integrating the Motion 20s with a sub and center speaker for a home theater configuration is something truly special to experience. Effects just straight out of the screen, the listening space sounding 3D despite not being truly surround sound.
Overall, the sound of the Motion 20s proves to be more than what might be expected at first. Transients are clear and defined and bass is deep and rich. While the bass response may not satisfy completely, pairing these speakers with a sub proves to be a fruitful listening experience that sells the speakers by itself.
Despite being the lowest end of the floor standing Motion line, the 20s sound amazing. The sound field is wide, the sound holds depth, and every cent feels justified when the speakers are put into a system.
Best Features of the MartinLogan Motion 20
Undoubtedly, the most attractive part of the Motion 20s is the legendary Folded Motion tweeter. This exclusive design makes the high-end of the Motion 2-s crystal clear, with the fast transient response and excellent stereo imaging.
All of this while maintaining complete clarity in a range that often gets overrun with harmonic excitement. This design limits distortion and sings beautifully.
Worst Features of the MartinLogan Motion 20
On the other end of the spectrum, the Motion 20s do feel full and rich. However, they don’t reach as far down as one may expect, satisfying, but not fully, a bass lover’s needs.
While this isn’t necessarily a con (due to it being easily fixed with a sub), the speakers do feel just slightly more slender than expected.
Conclusion: MartinLogan Motion 20 Review
MartinLogan has managed to create an incredible set of speakers with the Motion 20s. The inclusion of the Folded Motion tweeter (found only in their high-end speakers) while keeping the price relatively affordable shows just how much work was put into crafting these speakers. From the highs to the lows, the speakers sound great, look great, and perform great.
The solid construction and hefty 40-pound weight make these speakers feel like something more than the price tag would suggest. The speakers are heavy and feel solid in any room. The inclusion of MiniETC Spikes makes sure the speakers stand tall in any space they’re put in as well.
For appearance, the three different options of finish make these speakers fit into any room, looking elegant and beautiful while not sticking out too much. While not a fan of the white personally, the piano black version of the Motion 20s is slick and beautiful, shining in all the right places.
It should be noted that the piano black finish will need quite a bit of upkeep. The sleek finish looks nice but attracts dust like it’s no one’s business.
However, the real special point of the Motion 20s is in the sound. The highs are clear, tight, and defined with lightning-fast transient response due to the Folded Motion tweeter, and excellent stereo imaging.
The low-end tells a similar story, albeit to a lesser degree. The lows are full, deep, and rich but just don’t reach as low as some may want. Paired with a sub, however, the Motion 20s create an incredible system.
Bottom Line: Overall, MartinLogan has created an incredible speaker with the Motion 20s. On their own, the speakers sound and look fantastic, giving a well above par high-end speaker listening experience at $1000/pair. However, the Motion 20s truly shine when integrated with a sub and/or center speakers, creating an amazing system that exceeds expectations.
MartinLogan Motion 20 Alternatives to Consider
- Definitive Technology Mythos STS 120v Supertower – $1499/Speaker
- Klipsch R-28F Floorstanding Speaker – $449/Speaker
- Axiom M60 Floorstanding Speakers – $1499/Pair