MartinLogan Motion Vision Soundbar


The Motion Vision Soundbar In Use

Once the Vision was in place and setup on my table top beneath my PDP, I sat back and began my evaluation of the sound quality. Usually, a sound bar system has to make some compromises in sound due to the limited real estate inside the “box”. I’m glad to report that the Vision gives up very little in overall sound quality or output.

The treble was articulate, without being fatiguing. The mid range (perhaps the most important component because that is the range of the human voice) sounded firm, without excessive blooming. Male voices had weight and authority and the ladies sounded feminine; not like Barry White in heels. The bass had significant power which I had to tame a bit. I can not imagine the average listener needing a sub with this unit, but it’s nice to have the ability to add one. I have no doubt the excessive bass I was experiencing was from a near corner placement of the Vision in my room and after some decreasing, I found a spot where the bass was tight, but still punchy. This is where selecting "wall mount" vs. "shelf mount" comes in handy for tailoring the bass to suit your personal taste.

My wife immediately noticed a sound quality difference from the afore mentioned ZVOX that she had been listening to (and enjoying up to this point, I might add). We were both pleasantly astonished at how well the overall sound from the Vision filled the room, even at low volume. When the volume was cranked, it only sounded better with more authority and musicality.

If I had not known better, I would have guessed the sound was coming from a nice quality pair of bookshelf speakers. It was a pleasure to watch movies over the Vision, but music listening was also very enjoyable, too.

Of movies and dialog: I had a few movies available for review that I tested on the Vision. The Raid: Redemption was an Asian film that had dubbed English and a plot that involved a SWAT team going through a high rise, floor by floor, with the residence all out to kill them. Hand-to-hand combat, guns, knives and grenades were presented with clarity and deep, thudding impact. Voices remained distinct, even when the action started to get way over the top.

Shell casings had a distinct “tinkle” as they rattled onto the floor.

Punches to face actually made me wince due to their realistic sound that the Vision easily reproduced. Zoinks! My wife and I sat and watched Downton Abbey via Hulu, and the dialog (there is plenty of that) was always clear and precise. Let’s face it: If the sound bar you have does not reproduce human dialog in a convincing manner, then you have not invested your hard earned dollars wisely.

Even though the Vision has seven different drivers, they all blended seamlessly into a wide soundstage that did not seem too exaggerated or pinched. It all just sounded “right”. I expected nothing less from a speaker made by Martin Logan.

Of music and dancing: I was equally satisfied with the Vision when I used it to play music. Bridge Over Troubled Water: by Simon and Garfunkle, perhaps the most harmonious rock/ballad duo of all time, allowed me to evaluate the sound of acoustical instruments as well as to distinct voices side by side.

Simon dominated the center on most of these tracks, but Artie's angelic tenor blended smoothly and complimented his partner. Instruments had both depth and width on the soundstage and none of the music seemed cramped coming from a sound bar. A favorite instrument of mine is the pipe organ. This is always a "go to" instrument when I evaluate the mettle of a speaker.

Mozart called the organ the “King of Instruments” due to its ability to become an orchestra in the hands of a single virtuoso. The frequency range of a typical organ can be quite large. My test was to sit quietly and listen to some recordings that I have listened to since my college days. E. Powers Biggs playing Bach on the Flentrop organ at the Germanic Museum in Harvard provided a fine test. The acoustics of the venue allow for a 5 second decay at the end of each note, and the classic voicing of the pipes (un-nicked) provided a very distinct and fine overall tonal quality of the tracker action organ.

The Vision gave the organ “air” and the pedal notes were strong and tight. The distinctive sound I had grown up on was all there. If the Vision was not a sound bar designed to hang under a TV, I would have considered it just for music reproduction alone. I guess I should listen to the Motion 20s or 40s, which are the towers in the Motion series. (Mental note: audition the Motion 40s, ASAP). In anycase, the sound quality speaks well for the whole Motion series design.