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MartinLogan Motion® 40

Floor-standing speaker (Black Cherrywood)

Item # 839MO40BC

MartinLogan may be known for their innovative electrostatic speakers.

MartinLogan may be known for their innovative electrostatic speakers.

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Item # 839MO40BC

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$999.99 -$300.00 Price break

$699.99 each

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About the MartinLogan Motion® 40

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.

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.


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

What's in the box:

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

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MartinLogan Motion® 40 reviews

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Crutchfield response

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More details on the MartinLogan Motion® 40

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Finish Wood veneer
Color Cherry (black)
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
Subwoofer Amp 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.

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Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked: Why did you buy this?
Needed a more compact tower for use in a high end stereo system. Replacing B&W 802's and although the B&W's are a much more refined speaker, as they should be, was impressed how close the MLs came to the B&W soundstaging,depth and silkiness. Also fit and finish is first class for the price. [ Jackson  Jan 10, 2018 ]
highly recommended [ Sandra  Dec 04, 2017 ]
After careful review of the specs and digesting as much background information that I could find, these speakers were clearly the best value. Unfortunately, size is also a factor (otherwise I'd be commenting on the 60Xts), so the 40s are a great compromise. My research showed that speakers costing about twice the price only offered minimal improvements in the specs. Seriously looking forward to hearing these babies in my house! [ Mark  Jun 29, 2017 ]
I love the details and design of the speakers [ Erwin  Mar 02, 2017 ]
I loved the look and finish of the speakers. [ Daniel D.  Dec 08, 2016 ]
sounds great and the size I needed for my space. [ Jack  Aug 29, 2019 ]
A month ago, I purchased Motion 60XT's for my main home theater/listening room. They really were an upgrade from my B&W 683 S2 speakers that I moved to my secondary listening room. I comparing the two listening experiences, I decided I wanted to try the Motion 40's in my secondary listening room. [ Robert  Aug 28, 2019 ]
excellent stereo and surround performance [ Alfonso  Dec 17, 2017 ]
Reviews [ Carlos  Nov 24, 2017 ]
Sound quality, Brand, Styling [ Otis  Apr 20, 2017 ]
Building out a my sound system... ML is awesome. [ JOHN LEE W  Mar 09, 2017 ]
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

Do these speakers, like the ML electrostatics, reqiure that you sit in the "sweet spot" for optimal listening ?
[ Jerry10062  Feb 01, 2016 ]
10 answers
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 ]
Do the speakers have sharp highs and a dynamic bass? Can you tell a noticeable difference with these speakers as compared to others you have had in the past? Do you think they are worth the price?
[ Steve  Aug 27, 2014 ]
2 answers
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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