MartinLogan Motion 5.1-7.1 Surround Speaker System
MartinLogan is best known for their electrostatic speakers, and for good reason: they produce some of the finest ultra high-end floorstanding speakers in the industry. The Motion series is not quite so close to sonic perfection as their much more expensive electrostatic offerings, but they are an entirely different product and are equally impressive for their intended purpose. Whether you opt for the more compact, budget-friendly bookshelf system or the full-on tower-based option, the Motion series of speakers delivers quality sound at a reasonable price with a very compact footprint; even the towers are considerably slimmer than most of the competition, and can work well in a smaller space like a bedroom or den. Both bookshelf and tower options feature impressively tight and impactful bass response for front speakers in their price range, but lower bass is, admittedly, better handled by their Dynamo subwoofers, which produce rich, full, and yet extremely tight bass, and each of which is a solid value for the asking price. Obviously the 1000W rules the coop, but the 700W handles bass very well and is a great deal at around $600.
The Motions overall sound is characterized by a rich tonality and smooth, sweet treble response, the kind of sound that is love-at-first-listen for those who love to use their system for both movies and music. Bass response from their dynamo subs might not be quite as thunderous as some prefer for larger rooms, in which case I definitely recommend the towers and a second sub for a fuller sound, but MLs woofers tend to err on the side of favoring quality over quantity, so if you want real wall-rattling bass, you may want to look at Klipschs Reference series instead. But if you prefer a slightly more mature bass presentation, and want a smooth, clear sound, the Motion series will not disappoint, and you can always add an extra subwoofer if youre looking to achieve room lock vibrations without opting for the more brash sound of the Klipsch Reference line. All in all, the Motion series is my top recommendation for a full-on home theater system within a reasonable budget, and comes very close to a full-on ultra high-end sound system for a fraction of the cost.