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MartinLogan Motion® 40

Floor-standing speaker (Black Cherrywood)

12 Reviews | 2 questions - 12 answers

Item #: 839MO40BC

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Our take on the MartinLogan Motion® 40

MartinLogan may be known for their innovative electrostatic speakers. But they know a few things about more conventional designs, too. Their Motion 40 speaker is proof, offering sublime high-end detail, smooth midrange accuracy, and deep bass extension. These beautiful speakers offer wide-open sound that seems to breathe with clarity and depth. The Motion series caught our attention when MartinLogan played them for us at a recent demonstration. We're anxious to hear more from the Motion 40. A lot more.

These speakers will get your attention for the all the right reasons

MartinLogan may be known for their innovative electrostatic speakers. But they know a few things about more conventional designs, too. Their Motion 40 speaker is proof, offering sublime high-end detail, smooth midrange accuracy, and deep bass extension. These beautiful speakers offer wide-open sound that seems to breathe with clarity and depth. The Motion series caught our attention when MartinLogan played them for us at a recent demonstration. We're anxious to hear more from the Motion 40. A lot more.

Detail and precision from the Folded Motion™ tweeter

Perched above the Motion 40's midrange woofer is the source of this speaker's impressive high-frequency performance — MartinLogan's innovative Folded Motion tweeter. Its pleated diaphragm works similarly to an accordion by "squeezing" air to create sound. Because it requires almost 90% less excursion than the typical 1" dome tweeter, response time is drastically reduced along with distortion. The diaphragm's increased surface area also provides wide, yet controlled sound dispersion to create a realistic and highly accurate soundstage.

MartinLogan Motion 40 floorstanding speakers

The Motion 40 speakers excel at delivering airy high-end detail.

A solid mid- and low-frequency foundation

Glorious high-end transparency is just part of the Motion 40's story. A 5-1/2" woofer keeps those crucial midrange frequencies warm and neutral, so vocals sound almost as if the singer were in the room. What about the bass? Two 6-1/2" woofers ensure the Motion 40 goes plenty low. These oversized drivers increase low-frequency output, making sure bass response isn't an afterthought or left for a subwoofer to worry about. The rear-firing bass port helps efficiently enhance bass response without adding distortion to this speaker's clean performance.

All that and looks too

MartinLogan knows how to catch ears and eyes. The Motion 40 comes in your choice of Gloss Black or Black Cherrywood finishes. The cabinet features an angled top and soft corners, making it stand out from the typical box-shaped tower speaker. Removable spiked feet offer stability while preserving this speaker's natural sound.

The Martin Logan 40s are a excellent speakers with very clear highs, med range and a full bass . Plus the choice of cabinetry piano black and a beautiful black cherry wood that goes excellently with any decor.

EQueen, Accokeek, MD

What's in the Box:

  • Floor-standing loudspeaker
  • Magnetic grille
  • 4 Spiked feet
  • User's Manual (En/Fr)
  • Product Registration Card

Product Highlights:

  • Folded Motion™ tweeter for high output levels and low distortion
  • one 5-1/2" aluminum cone midrange woofer
  • two 6-1/2" aluminum cone low-frequency woofers
  • bass-reflex (ported) cabinet
  • rear-firing bass port for enhanced low-frequency response
  • high-performance Vojtko™ crossover network with custom air core coil, low DCR steel laminate inductors, polyester film capacitors, and low DF electrolytic capacitors
  • frequency response: 40-25,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • sensitivity: 92 dB
  • impedance: 4 ohms
  • recommended amplifier power: 20-300 watts
  • perforated magnetic grille
  • Gloss Black finish
  • includes removable floor spikes
  • five-way binding post speaker terminals (bi-amp/bi-wire capable)
  • 7-9/16"W x 41-1/2"H x 12-3/4"D
  • weight: 49 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years (with product registration)
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

MartinLogan Motion® 40 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

12 Reviews

Nice Speakers

Written by: EQueen from Accokeek, MD on May 16, 2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Martin Logan 40s are a excellent speakers with very clear highs, med range and a full bass . Plus the choice of cabinetry piano black and a beautiful black cherry wood that goes excellently with any decor.

Pros: Excellent Highs and mid range

Cons: The bass could be a little deeper

Couldn't Be Happier -

Written by: Chris B. from Marin, Ca on May 9, 2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I listened to a lot of speakers before buying these. Including - B&W CM10s, Monitor Audio Gold 200, Paradigms, Sonus Fabers, you name it - if it was 1k-2.5k I listened to it. The B&Ws were too bright - just harsh... Same with the monitors - paradigms just sounded flat - as did the Sonus Fabers. I found my goldilocks speakers in these. I listen to everything - seriously - I was a music major - gained appreciation for classical, opera, went on to work in recording studios working for Billboard 100 artists, had my own band etc. I've spent lots of time in studios, and lots of time listening to lots of different kinds of music. Outside of 10k speakers I've heard in some of the worlds best recording and mastering studios, these are right up there. They easily handle all types of music, and at any volume. I've got them hooked up to a Peachtree Nova 65 and couldn't be happier in my large open space living room. The Monitor Audios almost won - also with ribbon tweeters - but they were just too harsh - these have a similar clarity with vocals, great soundstage, but don't suffer from the harshness of the Monitor Audios.

Pros: Handle any music you throw at them. Love the ribbon tweeters, vocals are crisp and clear, bass is bigger than I expected and still nice and tight. No need for a sub for music unless you're listening to literally nothing but EDM in which case there's no hope left for you.

Cons: My girlfriend thinks they're too big.


Written by: Steven from san juan, PR on February 19, 2016

I've been doing some research on these speakers and the Klipsch RP-260's, since they're somewhat similar (not in price). On a side note, i own a pair of Klipsch rb-61 Bookshelf, so i wanted to complement my bookshelf speakers with the RP-260. So I visited a store near me, which sale high end equipment and are sourced by crutchfield. I knew about ML speakers but was not a big fan on ESL until I heard them personally. On the other hand, the Motion series is something different... To me, the motion 40's sounded more detailed and possessed a better soundstage, compared to ESL's around the same price. I was blown away by the Motion 40 and had to buy them, especially with the deal of a free ML dynamo 500 subwoofer! I now i have these speakers and sub coupled to my similar spec'ed klipsch subwoofer; the combination of the two sound awesome! What i love about the ML is that you don't need to use the subs to appreciate the music. In stereo, i have the subs off except for home theater use or bass heavy music. Now all I'm missing is a ML center channel, soon to come...

Pros: Beautifully designed speakers with a Beautiful soundstage, especially with classical music playing and other genres.

Cons: Non at all!

Martin Logan Motion 40

Written by: Cranky Old Man from Lake Forest, California on February 5, 2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Started using ESL's in 1964, Quad, Maggie's, and Martin Logan, and more. These are the first speakers to beat ESL's. These speakers are accurate, detailed, and when you close your eyes, you are There, at a live concert! Small light, gorgeous cherry wood cabinet, 4 feet tall and seamless integration with 2 Rel subwoofers, and Motion 15's

Pros: Sound, small size, cabinet, accuracy

Cons: $2000.00


Written by: Justin A from Massachusetts on January 7, 2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Amazing! Bought a pair of ML40's with an ML30 center channel, Dynamo 1000 sub and Motion 4 rears and am literally blown away. I've never been much of a real music enthusiast, nor a real moviegoer, but these speakers have completely changed my appreciation for both. The sound is so full, clear and clean that I've been completely pulled in! It seems every music track I listen to I'm hearing little dialogue or instruments I've never heard before! They're in a great room that is right off an open concept kitchen. The combined space is 38x25 with a sloped ceiling 8' to 17' so I had real concerns about sound. This setup is nothing short of spectacular in my opinion. I hiccuped with ordering the wrong color (the cherry is pretty darn red) so much, much thanks to Crutchfield for accepting the return without question.

Pros: Beautiful speakers very well crafted. Such great crisp clean sound over a full range. Bass for music is very adequately (and primarily) driven out of the 40 speakers with some supplemental sub rounding it off.


Motion 40s

Written by: Dominick T from Pennsylvania on October 24, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Beautiful speakers and great sound. Still in break-in period.

Pros: Finish and construction, sound.

Cons: none so far

MartinLogan Motion 40

Written by: Randy from Fort Worth, TX on August 31, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought these speakers to upgrade from Infinity Primus. While the Primus were a good value for the price, the Motion 40's are a definite step up. They really perform well when cranking up the volume compared to the Primus. Nice low end, really do not feel the need to have subwoofer when playing music. I like the bright and detailed sound from the tweeters. They look really nice with smaller foot print (wife friendly). I looked at the ESLs but did not appreciate enough improvement in sound for the price. I looked at the B&W CMs but liked the sound and look of the 40's better as well as the lower price tag. Wife was initially leery of the price but ended up really liking them too.

Pros: Sound great, look great

Cons: none

Very Pleased

Written by: Lymbo90 from Asheville, NC on April 8, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Stepped up from B&W bookshelf speakers and I've been extremely pleased with the Motion40's. The sound quality is dynamic and they look very nice as well. These are without a doubt the best speakers I've ever owned.

Pros: Nice, wide and detailed sound field. Best tweeters I've ever heard.

Cons: They make me want to stay in my music room too much.

Martin Logan Motion 40

Written by: td465c from Everett WA on February 9, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The appearance and sound quality of these speakers is outstanding.

Pros: Excellent appearance, Excellent sound.

Cons: 72 hr. @ 92 db break in period. However, It's a requirement one can live with

Solid and nice looking

Written by: Anonymous from Portland, or on September 5, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very nice sounding and looking speakers



Really good, but buy the ESL's

Written by: Jarcon from Texas on August 24, 2013

I'm giving these a 5 because they honestly sound really good. I originally bought the instead of the ESL's because I heard the ESL's are finicky. While the motion 40 are really good, and I would recommend them to anyone considering a traditional speaker at this price, I now recommend the ESL's.

Pros: Great sound.

Cons: None, but they have a better bigger brother

Amazing speakers

Written by: Jim from Stanardsville, VA on August 13, 2013

I have never heard speakers that sound this good. Words cannot describe how realistic they sound. I feel like I'm in the recording booth with the artists. I believe I still have a ways to go until the are completely broken in. Well worth the money.

Pros: The most amazing speakers I have ever owned.

Cons: None


Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download the MartinLogan Motion® 40 manual

  • Floor-standing loudspeaker
  • Magnetic grille
  • 4 Spiked feet
  • User's Manual (En/Fr)
  • Product Registration Card

Features and Specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Finish Wood veneer
Color Black Cherrywood
Tweeter Folded Motion Transducer
Tweeter Size (inches) 1x1.4
Midrange Size (inches) 5.5
Woofer Size (inches) 6.5
Woofer Composition Aluminum
Woofer Surround Rubber
Built-in Powered Sub No
Video-Shielded No
Connector Type Binding post
Bi-amp Inputs Yes
Parts Warranty 5 Yrs w/ Registration
Labor Warranty 5 Yrs w/ Registration
Power Range 20-300
Frequency Response 40-25k Hz
Sensitivity 92 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 4
Amplifier Power ---
Height (inches) 41-1/2
Width (inches) 7-9/16
Depth (inches) 12-3/4
Weight 49 lbs

Product Research


3-Way Tower Loudspeaker: The MartinLogan Motion 40 tower loudspeaker employs a 3-way speaker design and features MartinLogan's advanced resolution Folded Motion Tweeter, a 5.5" aluminum cone midrange driver, and two 6.5" aluminum cone bass woofers. Pairing these trio of woofers together with the Folded Motion Tweeter creates a dynamic full-range sound with an expansive soundstage.

  • Folded Motion Tweeter: MartinLogan's Folded Motion Tweeter helps give the Motion 40 tower loudspeaker its natural, realistic high frequency sound. Lightning fast transient response, combined with a large surface area (8x that of a typical 1" dome tweeter) creates clear, dynamic, and precise sound. The 1" x 1.4" Folded Motion Tweeter works by moving air (which creates sound) perpendicular to the folded ridges of the diaphragm, similar to how an accordion works. This extremely low mass diaphragm "squeezes" air and requires almost 90% less excursion than the typical 1" dome tweeter, which drastically minimizes distortion while providing a lightning fast response time. The increased surface area also provides a wide, yet controlled sound dispersion (80°x80°) to create a realistic and carefully etched sound stage.
  • 5.5" Midrange Driver: The MartinLogan Motion 40 loudspeaker features a 5.5" aluminum cone midrange driver housed in a non-resonant asymmetrical chamber. The aluminum cone driver uses a rigid structured dust cap to reduce cone break-up and distortion. This 5.5" midrange driver promotes an even more open, revealing, and authentic sound in the critical midrange/midbass.
  • Two Aluminum 6.5" Woofers w/ Rear-Firing Bass Port: The MartinLogan Motion 40 also features dual 6.5" aluminum cone bass woofers housed in a non-resonant asymmetrical chamber with a rear-firing port. The aluminum cone woofers use a rigid structured dust cap to reduce cone break-up and distortion. The two 6.5" woofers paired with the rear-firing bass port create increased cone area delivering higher output and audibly richer, deeper bass performance.

Precision Vojtko Crossovers: To seamlessly blend the audio output from the Folded Motion Tweeter, 5.5" midrange driver, and dual 6.5" bass woofers, the Motion 40 tower speaker features two precision Vojtko crossovers (500/2,600Hz) utilizing custom air core coil and low DCR steel laminate inductors, polyester film capacitors in series, and low DF electrolytic capacitors in parallel.

Bi-Wirable Binding Post: The MartinLogan Motion 40 features bi-wirable binding posts and provide the ultimate level of flexibility for connection and setup. MartinLogan's proprietary tool-less binding posts simplify cable connection and management. Two sets are supplied; one connected to the tweeter and midrange, while the other is connected to the dual woofers. You can choose to bi-wire/bi-amp the Motion 40 loudspeaker, or use jumper clips between the binding post sets for a single wire-connection. The binding posts will accept bare wire (16- to 8-gauge), pin-connectors, spade-connectors, and banana plugs (single only).

High-Gloss Cabinet: Complementing the Motion 40 loudspeaker's sonic accuracy is its elegant, yet understated styling. A high-gloss, piano black or black cherrywood finish, along with MartinLogan's signature perforated grille, give the Motion 40 speaker an elegant and timeless look that will blend into almost any decor.

Interchangeable Feet: The MartinLogan Motion 40 tower loudspeaker includes four pre-installed rubber feet for tile and hardwood floors. You can replace the pre-installed rubber feet with four metal spiked feet for carpeted flooring. Both the rubber and spiked feet are threaded so they can be adjusted to non-level floors. The spiked feed add approximately 0.875" to the height of the speaker.

Placement: Although the speakers are designed to deliver a superb sonic performance when placed close to a wall, you may notice improved imaging and detail if you are able to place the speakers (measured from the tweeter and woofers) 2' to 3' from the front wall and 2' or more from the side walls. To achieve optimum stereo imaging it is recommend that you aim the speakers toward your primary listening position.

Break-in Period: Allow approximately 72 hours of break-in at 90 dB (moderate listening levels) before any critical listening.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Love the sound of these speakers [ Michael  May 24, 2016 ]
Listen to them and they sounded great. Great reviews too... [ Keith  Dec 27, 2015 ]

2 questions already asked

I had Magneplanars before these, and I much preferred the sound of them, but it's hard for me to judge the focus of each, as it was two very different rooms. I like the Martin Logans--I'd say they are, in my opinion, less seat - sensitive. But they sound sound a little bass-y to me if you lie on the floor, and I don't hear the same degree of spatial placement in chamber music. Still, great speakers for what I could afford, and I'd recommend playing with placement from the wall, aim of the speakers(parallel, to focused on one seat ten feet away, etc. I also unfortunately have a thin wool rug so they can sound thuddy. Basically, less important with the M-L's as to where you stand or sit in the room, in my opinion. [ LORI  Feb 08, 2016 ]
I've had the Martin Logan Motion 40's for about 7 months and I spent the time breaking them in per ML recommendation. My current setup is a Marantz integrated amp 7005, Marantz CD 6005 and a Pro-Ject Carbon turntable. My listening space is in my attic, somewhat small, carpeted with a pitch ceiling. The speakers are around 9' apart and roughly the same distance to my typical listening position. I've spent a fair amount of time playing with the positioning of the speakers relative to my seating position and each speaker's relation to side and back wall. Incrementally moving them does make a difference and, yes, I think there is a sweet spot, but that is intentional on my part as I've set them up to be at their best where I typically sit. At the same time the speakers put up a big sound image in my space and I don't feel that when I'm casually listening and just want some music going while I work that there is any issue with sound. They still sound great walking around the room. I've come back to the Hi-Fi world after many years listening to bad music via surround sound. I used to have a set of Magnaplaners and understand your imaging concern. The ML's sound great and for the money and my use I think they're a great buy. [ RICHARD  Feb 02, 2016 ]
Nope. I returned the electrostats for that reason. [ BERVICK  Feb 02, 2016 ]
I think the sweet spot will always be optimal, but the Motion series seems to be more forgiving than the Electrostats. I have 3 theater recliners, the center is always the best, but the outside seats have good sound as well, just not quite as good imaging as center. [ Matthew  Feb 02, 2016 ]
No, not at all... I have mine in a tight spot about 10"-12" from the wall in a smaller room and they sound amazing. I wouldn't worry too much about placement. [ wesley  Feb 01, 2016 ]
They do not. They have a fairly wide dispersion angle, unlike the ESLs. Great speakers. [ DANIEL  Feb 01, 2016 ]
less so, I think. [ Eric  Feb 01, 2016 ]
NOt as much as electrostatics much better dispersion [ Branko  Feb 01, 2016 ]
I do not know what comparison you are making. Every 'stereo' (2 channel system) has a 'sweet spot'. so this thing does. It also depends your room structure and size since you hear reflections too. [ INTAE  Feb 01, 2016 ]
the company recommends placement and there is a sweet spot; however: I did not follow their recommendations and they still sound fantastic. [ Dominick  Feb 01, 2016 ]
With the folded motion tweeter you get a ton of highs, but it certainly isn't harsh by any means. I haven't listen to these without my ML Dynamo 700 subwoofer so I can't comment on the bass, but there doesn't seem to be any frequencies lacking. The key to good bass with these is being able to pull them 1.5-2 feet off the front wall as they are rear ported. The biggest improvement I saw with these is the soundstage. It's huge! Watching movies it sounds like things are 4 feet beyond the speaker, and the speakers really melt away. Worth the price is going to be highly subjective. I'm quite happy with them personally, but I was also able to demo them locally before purchasing here. [ Matthew  Aug 28, 2014 ]
Speakers have very sharp crisp highs. I think they sounded sharper than the more expensive electrostatic models. They also have excellent bass. If you want serious chest pounding bass that will shake the floorboards you will probably want to consider a subwoofer still. I think the speakers are well worth the price. I did quite a bit of demoing before I chose these. Hope this helps in your decision. [ Erik  Aug 28, 2014 ]

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dual 8" woofers for deeper, more powerful bass

MartinLogan's best Folded Motion XT tweeter for more expansive highs

35-25,000 Hz frequency response