MartinLogan Electromotion ESL RMS Speaker
MartinLogan is easily the best-known manufacturer of electrostatic panels, and over the years they have begun to respond to consumer demands at lower price points and more diverse listening styles. The Electromotion ESL represents their most recent effort, utilizing a slim design along with curved panels and integrated woofers on each speaker to expand the notoriously narrow sound field inherent in electrostatic tech, and appeal to a broader range of listeners by adding a bit of bass to.
The curved panels allow them a slightly wider sound field than traditional electrostatics, but the sweet spot is still noticeably smaller than that of most dynamics. Likewise their bass performance exceeds most similar models, but still cant render satisfying subbass on its own; like any speaker in this review, it could use a hand from a dedicated subwoofer, but the ESLs own smaller woofers are integrated well enough that its overall tone is noticeably fuller than most electrostats. Transients and speed are top notch, as is expected in electrostats, and the ESLs definitely put out noticeably more detail than dynamic speakers in their price range.
The Electromotion ESL makes a great first electrostat: it is still bright, fast and airy, but the fullness added by its woofers help make it a less polarizing speaker. It also excels in home theater applications compared to most similar panels due to the wider sound field. These two factors combine to make it a very safe choice as far as electrostats go, and a great way to try something new.