Introduction: Martin Logan is well-known for its well-engineered, and very expensive, electrostatic speakers. They are definitely popular amongst audiophiles and I must say, when I go to trade shows, I definitely take the time to stop buy their booth and listen.
However, the loudspeaker market is changing, and mixed into the loudspeaker jungle are a whole host of floorstanding, bookshelf, in-wall, and even outdoor speakers. However, the one speaker option that has really taken off the past couple of years is the Sound Bar.
Sound Bars are easy to install and use, and they don't take up a lot of space. As the demand for sound bars continues to increase, higher-end speaker makers need to adapt. With that in mind, Martin Logan has decided to bring forth its own sound bar loudspeaker, the Motion Vision that it hopes will bring its brand name to a wider consumer market, while still living up to Martin Logan standards.
General Description: Amplified Sound Bar with provisions for external subwoofer connectivity (wired or wireless). Unit can be placed on a shelf or wall mounted above or below a TV.
Core Technology: Sound Bar form factor with five channel audio decoding/processing, combined with Martin Logan speaker design technologies, which includes the use of Folded Motion Tweeters. These tweeters employ ridges, rather than traditional speaker cones to produce sound. The ridge structure does not have to physically move as much as a cone, so it can respond faster, thus reproducing more precise high frequency sounds. The speakers used for the mid-range/bass are of a traditional cone design. Dual ports are provided on the rear of the sound bar for additional low frequency extension.
Power Output: Entire system total, 100 watts continuous, up to 200 watts peak (each speaker has its own dedicated amplifier for a total of seven amplifiers).
Tweeters: Three 1-inch x 1.4-inch Folded Motion Transducers with 5.25-inch x 1.75-inch diaphragms.
Midrange/Woofers: Four 4-inch fiber cone, extended throw drivers.
Crossover Frequency: 3 kHz
Audio Processing: Dolby Virtual Speaker
Additional Features: Top mounted onboard controls and front LED status display.
Accessories Provided: Wireless credit card sized remote control.
Dimensions (H x W x D): 5-inches x 39.9 inches x 5.85 inches (12.7 cm x 101.3 cm x 14.8 cm)
Weight: 20.5 lbs. (9.3kg)
Additional Perspective: Martin Logan's entry into the sound bar market is very interesting, in that it further reveals a trend by several higher-end speaker manufacturers to widen their customer base with a more affordable, and easier solution for getting better sound for small spaces or when a multi-channel speaker system is not desired.
The Motion Vision has its own built-in amplification, audio decoding, processing, and features both analog and digital audio inputs, but it does not have any HDMI connections or video pass-through capabilities. This means that for audio/video devices, such as Blu-ray or DVD players, you will have to make a separate audio connection to the Motion Vision Sound Bar, in addition to the HDMI or other video connection you need to make to the TV.
The lack of built-in HDMI connectivity also means that for Blu-ray Disc content, you will not be able to access Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks, however will be able to access standard Dolby Digital and/or DTS. On the other hand, within a sound bar structure, the difference between the lossless audio feeds from TrueHD/DTS-Master Audio and their lossy Dolby/DTS cousins may not be noticeable. In other words, the audio should still sound great, given the engineering and design of the Motion Vision.
Another factor to note is that the Motion Vision does not come with a subwoofer (although its built-in woofers can produce pretty good low frequencies for a sound bar), so you might consider adding an external sub if you want a more impactfull home theater experience. Any powered subwoofer can be connected to the Motion Vision via its built-in subwoofer preamp output. However, if you use a compatible Martin Logan wireless subwoofer, you don't have deal with the long subwoofer cable that would ordinarily be required.
The Martin Logan Motion Vision Sound Bar carries a suggested price of $1,499.