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MartinLogan Motion SLM X3

Passive 3-channel home theater sound bar

1 Review | 2 questions

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Item # 839MOSLMX3

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Overview

Our take on the MartinLogan Motion SLM X3

Most sound bars that we offer are completely self-contained, self-powered speaker systems. The MartinLogan SLM X3 sound bar is a different animal. Sure, it sports a slim, low-profile look that fits neatly into a TV setup. But it relies on the power (and TV connections) of a separate home theater receiver

MartinLogan Motion SLM X3

The slim MartinLogan Motion SLM X3 offers a clean design for your front three channels.

Space-saving way to create a front soundstage for your TV setup

Most sound bars that we offer are completely self-contained, self-powered speaker systems. The MartinLogan SLM X3 sound bar is a different animal. Sure, it sports a slim, low-profile look that fits neatly into a TV setup. But it relies on the power (and TV connections) of a separate home theater receiver

This passive loudspeaker takes the place of the front three speakers in a traditional home theater setup. The cabinet is under 2" thick, so you can wall-mount it below a flat-panel TV and maintain a sleek, elegant look. And since MartinLogan didn't have to pack amplification and extra circuitry inside, they've turned all their attention to the high-performance drivers. 

Surprisingly full sound from a super-thin design

MartinLogan includes some of their most innovative drivers to make the most of the space they have. The headliners are the three Folded Motion™ tweeters — thin, accordion-like pleated diaphragms "squeeze" air to create sound. These tweeters are favorites here at Crutchfield for their focused and natural sound.

But you could argue that the heavy-lifters are the six 4" ultra-slim mid/woofers. Somehow within the SLM X3's thin cabinet, these drivers manage to deliver some serious midrange and bass. The result is full, dynamic sound that makes movies and music more enjoyable and engaging. 

Will this work in a true home theater situation?

I asked Steve Kindig — our TV expert and proud owner of an epic home theater projector system — if this sound bar could work behind an acoustically transparent projection screen. He told me that since this sound bar takes care of the left, right, and center channel, he could see using it in a relatively smaller setup. "It would work best with a smallish screen, like the 84" screen I use," he told me.  

But while this speaker is powerful for a sound bar, Steve cautions against using it in a super-large projection situation. "A projector system is at its most immersive when the size of the picture and sound are in sync," he said. "Since the bar is only 48" wide, the sound might not match up quite right with a screen 120" or larger."

(But you could use some MartinLogan Motion SLM XL multipurpose on-wall speakers for the center, left, and right channels.)

Create a full MartinLogan surround system

One advantage to using a passive sound bar versus a powered one? It's pretty easy to build onto it later. You can add MartinLogan's Motion FX on-wall speakers as complementary, voice-matched surrounds. And you should definitely consider a MartinLogan powered subwoofer for theater-worthy bass.

Product Highlights:

  • 3-channel passive home theater sound bar
    • includes separate left, right, and center channels in a single speaker design
    • non-powered — connects to your home theater receiver's front three channels
  • low-profile design for wall-mounting or TV stand placement
    • mounting gear included
Drivers:
  • three 1" x 1-1/2" high-resolution Folded Motion tweeters for precise, realistic high-frequency detail
    • one per channel
  • six 4" ultra-slim fiber cone bass/midrange drivers
    • two per channel
Specs:
  • frequency response: 120-23,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • recommended amplifier power: 20-140 watts
  • sensitivity: 93 dB
  • impedance: compatible with 4, 6, and 8-ohm receivers
General Info:
  • three sets of binding post speaker terminals (one set per channel)
  • acoustic suspension (sealed) cabinet design
  • wall-mount brackets and hardware included
    • four-way keyhole slots allow for low-profile wall mounting
  • includes "kick-stand" base for tabletop placement
  • glossy black painted finish
  • 48"W x 6-1/4"H x 2"D
  • weight: 13 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Passive 3-channel soundbar loudspeaker
  • Grille
  • MartinLogan magnetic logo
  • 2 Feet
  • Wall-bracket
  • 2 Screws
  • User's Manual
  • Wall-Mount Template
  • Warranty/Registration Card
Reviews

MartinLogan Motion SLM X3 Reviews

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(1 Review)
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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
Enclosure Sealed
Design Bar
Pieces in System 1
Color Gloss Black
Tweeter 1x1.4 Folded Motion Tweet
Midrange None
Woofer 4" Cone (6)
Separate Subwoofer No
Subwoofer Driver None
Features
Surround Sound Decoding No
Dolby Atmos No
DTS:X No
Dialogue Enhancement No
Auto Volume No
4K Video Compatible No
HDR Video Compatible No
Audio Return Channel No
Remote IR Passthrough No
Works with TV Remote (IR) No
Control by App N
Bluetooth Connectivity No
Wi-Fi No
Wall-mountable Yes
Mounting Bracket Included Yes
Surface Mount Stand Included No
Speaker Parts Warranty 5 Years
Speaker Labor Warranty 5 Years
Amplifier Parts Warranty N/A
Amplifier Labor Warranty N/A
Specifications
System Frequency Response 120-25k Hz
Powered System No
Sound Bar RMS Power 0
Subwoofer RMS Power N/A
Inputs and Outputs
Mini Stereo Audio Inputs None
RCA Stereo Audio Inputs None
Optical Digital Audio Inputs None
Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs None
HDMI Inputs None
HDMI Outputs None
USB Port No
Subwoofer Output 0
Dimensions
Sound Bar (inches) 6-7/16H x 48W x 2D
Sound Bar Weight 13 lbs
Subwoofer (inches) No Subwoofer
Subwoofer Weight N/A

Product Research

Features

3-Channel Passive Soundbar: The slender MartinLogan Motion SLM X3 soundbar features three advanced resolution Folded Motion tweeters and six 4" high-excursion paper cone woofers for maximum controlled low-end bass extension; all in an ultra-slim, 3-channel soundbar design for flat-panel TVs, giving you a complete stereo and center soundstage. Each channel (Left/Center/Right) features one Folded Motion tweeter and two 4" high-excursion paper cone woofers. The Motion SLM X3 provides a clean, easy to install solution for elevating the audio experience that has been sacrificed with flat-panel TV technology.

Innovative Driver Design: The secret to the Motion SLM X3's outstanding performance is three 1" x 1.4" Folded Motion tweeters paired with six innovative 4" ultra-slim paper cone woofers to create a stunning 3-channel soundstage.

  • 3 Folded Motion Tweeters: Three of MartinLogan's Folded Motion tweeters help give the Motion SLM X3 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 tweeters work 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.
  • Six High-Excursion Paper Woofers: Six 4" high-excursion paper cone woofers provide rich, detailed midrange and midbass that complement MartinLogan's Folded Motion tweeters perfectly.

Precision Crossovers: To seamlessly blend the audio output from the high frequency driver (tweeter) and the midbass drivers (woofers), the Motion SLM X3 features a precision 3000Hz crossover utilizing custom air core coil and low DCR steel laminate inductors, polyester film capacitors in series, and low DF electrolytic capacitors in parallel.

Ultra-Slim Sealed Cabinet: The Motion SLM X3 features an ultra-slim sealed cabinet with a high-gloss black finish and comes with a magnetic black cloth grille. Hidden discretely underneath the magnetic grille, the drivers are held securely in place by a solid, black-anodized brushed aluminum baffle.

3 Pair Of Spring-Post Terminals: The SLM X3 is equipped with a set of spring-post terminals for each channel to connect to your AV receiver's Front Left, Front Right, and Center speaker output terminals. These spring-post terminals will accept bare speaker wire from 16AWG to 12AWG. Due to the position of the spring-post terminals they will not accept banana plugs or pin-connectors. The SLM X3 is compatible with 4, 6, and 8 ohm compatible receivers and amplifiers.

Mounting Options: With keyhole slots on the passive soundbar speaker's back panel that attach easily to the included wall bracket, the SLM X3 can be wall-mounted under or above your flat-panel TV. While MartinLogan created the Motion SLM X3 soundbar to wall mount next to flat-panel TVs, that's not its only application. Included with the passive soundbar speaker are feet that allow it to sit on a shelf or equipment cabinet.

  • Speaker Only Dimensions: 48" (w) x 6.4375" (h) x 2.0" (d)
  • Speaker w/ Wall-Bracket Dimensions: 48" (w) 6.4375" (h) x 2.0625" (d)
  • Speaker w/ Feet Dimensions: 48" (w) x 6.4375" (h) x 3.875" (d)

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.

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