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MartinLogan - ElectroMotion ESL 8" Floor Speaker (Each) - Black-Angle_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.9 out of 5 stars with 68 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great all-purpose speaker for a large room

    Posted
    travoisd
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    These speakers are easy to drive, have a fantastic sound and great imaging. They are easy to drive and once positioned correctly, are easy to listen to. One thing to watch out for in placement is that they produce sound from both the front and the rear of the film, so ideally you would want similar surfaces behind both of them. I didn't so getting them placed properly took a bit more time due to time effects from one speaker getting the reflection from the wall behind it while the other speaker had no wall behind it. It took some toe-in and some experimentation with distance to the wall to get around this. Once they are set up though, they sound fantastic. They sound especially great with well-recorded orchestral music - especially brass. They also sound fantastic with vocals and piano. And then they sound great with contemporary as well. There's really no music I've found that these don't reproduce well. Some reviewers have stated these to be a bit bright -- I would say it depends a lot on your amplifier. For example, at first I had them powered by a Bryston B60 (60WPC). This amplifier had plenty of power to drive them, but I found output in the mid to high range was a bit harsh, but the lower end was extremely tight and present. The harshness at the high end went away to some extent with time, but never fully relaxed. I then tried them with my Classe CAP-150 (150WPC). The result was a much smoother sound through the mids and high, but the lows were a bit too relaxed. Finally, I hooked them up to my Classe CAP-2100 and that's how it's remained. The highs are smooth, clear, and crisp -- without being fatiguing on the ears -- and the lows are punchy, precise, and accurate. Most people probably don't have those amps sitting in their closets (luckily my wife hasn't sold them on me yet), so I would suggest auditioning in person and making a decision on an amp and speaker combination together. I would definitely recommend a sizeable subwoofer for this in a large room. Since these speakers are very efficient, they put out a lot of sound with even modest amplification (even at 60W). The lows drop off at around 50Hz in my room, so the sub really helps take the sound to full range. The only real downside I see with these speakers -- and it's minor -- is that the terminals don't allow for tight attachment of spade connectors. I plan to contact the manufacturer to see if they offer a binding post upgrade.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best Imaging Around

    Posted
    HumbleAV
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    When it came time for me pull the trigger on a new theater setup, I choose the MartinLogan EM-ESL towers easily. After auditioning a parade of speakers from Def Tech, Sonas Faber, Bowers and Wilkins and Energy, nothing could match the tonal highs and imaging of the EM-ESL's. Clarity, especially vocals, are unreal. Movement, response, tonal imaging and pure rendering are everything I would want in an exceptional loudspeaker. The built-in woofers do a good job enhancing low frequency response, but these speakers are a tad bass shy. A good subwoofer (I went with two Dynamo 700s) will greatly enhance the listening experience. I was worried these speakers would lend themselves to music more than my 7.2 surround sound theater system, but I was sorely wrong. When matched with their complementing set (EM-C2 center channel and FX2 surrounds (I also went with a pair of FX2 surrounds for front highs) the movement and clarity is unmatched. As always, there is no perfect product, let alone speaker. The soundstage could be better, so the listening area is relatively small. If you don't sit dead center on the aligned towers, you will clearly miss audio from one tower and the other tower closer to you will overpower you. Imaging will be become quite distinct and directional. For a theater, this is a drawback because not every seat is going to be dead center. Additionally, your room must be able to accommodate some demanding setup, these speakers are quite fickle about placement. They need to be about 2ft minimum off the wall and as far away from a side wall as possible. They still make great use of whatever space you put them in, but they will sound 10x better once setup correctly. I also LOVE these speakers come with nice black nylon mesh covers embossed with the MartinLogan logo. While they aren't super durable, they will provide exceptional dust protection and is a nice feature. The fact I love these speakers as much as I do, despite their setup and placement compromises, shows just how truly exceptional they are. Pull the trigger, you won't be disappointed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Natural and Spacious Experience!

    Posted
    vinylguy
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I came from a pair of Polk Towers and I am blown away. The amount of detail is unbelievable. In the store I was leaning towards a pair of B&W's and a Marantz PM8005 amp in another room. The associate was kind enough to hook up the ML's next to the Bowers I was surprised how clear and natural the ML's were not to mention the imaging was amazing! The Bass is something lots of people are unsure about but when you put a little power into these guys they really come alive. I know its possible to power the stats off of anything but they really shine with some clean power. Another area of concern is placement. I sit 12 feet away and have these guys 7 feet apart. They are pulled out about 2 feet from the wall and have at least 1.5- 2 feet to each wall. They did take some time to set up and dial in but even right up against the wall they were great, I found they just kept improving the more I played with them. These fore sure have to be on everyones list to listen to!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Opens a new world of music listening

    Posted
    JJSD
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    These speakers sound like nothing else on the market. Do your research, and you will find how pure the sound is from electrostatic speakers, and why audiophiles love them. They look stunning in any room, and work great not only for music but as R-L channels in a home theater setup. I use them for both. As others have mentioned, these speakers WILL exploit any weaknesses in your system. In other words, don't hook them up to your $250 receiver and expect them to sound great. Great speakers need a great amplifier and clean source... otherwise its like throwing 6 feet of rope to someone who is 10 feet away... it's just a waste. The other thing that should be mentioned; These speakers have a very distinct (and unfortunately rather small) sweet spot. When you're sitting in your primary viewing/listening position, nothing can touch them for sound quality/clarity. However, if you stand up/walk off to the side, they get muddy. This is the downfall to this type of speaker. Of course all speakers do this to some point, due to the room, reflections, distances, positions of the drivers, etc.... but the ESLs are affected more as you move away from the "sweet spot".

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Better than expected

    Posted
    psmportland
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I was condiering the larger ones, Theos, I think? Anyway, I ended up getting the little ones and the better (800.00) center channel to match. I ran these off my Denon 4310 for the first couple weeks. As Japanese Amps go, its pretty good. Not overly thin. They sound good, a little crisp, but OK for music. They seemed to really perform well on video, the front stage came alive quite well. My Denon is fairly power rich, I had played with placement and eq settings and many other things and finally decided they needed better power. Yesterday, I put my McIntosh 4x100 amp on the (3ch) on the front stage. Music changed dramatically. Needless to say my hardware on the head end makes a huge difference, but I think the Logans like the high torque power. I can really hear the fingers on the strings, the breaths, and the off stage conversations like never before and the bottom end woke up. They sound like they can play without a subwoofer now and didn't before. They sound like the big brother version for twice the price. Video however...this is where it gets it. I would say this is bar none the finest sounding front stage I have ever heard in a house, including systems where more dollars are spent. Power up these logans, try an American amp, or something with tubes and let them go. They will amaze you.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    OUTSTANDING speakers

    Posted
    DownInFront
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I waited a couple of months to review these speakers. I had first purchased a Pioneer SC-63 receiver and wanted to upgrade my speakers. My original choice was Bose 901s but found out they were not compatible with the Pioneer receiver. WOW am I glad I waited. I went to Best Buy with my own music and had them set up the SC-63 with the ML-ESL Speakers. I had about 6 CDs but the music that really showcased the system was Chemical Brothers 'Exit Planet Dust'. I listen to Jazz, Classical and the blues but needed something that would show the true potential of these speakers. They not only blew me away but totally surprised the sales rep with the sound they produced. They were clear, distinct and surpassed anything I had previously listened to. I had decided to purchased these speakers right from the beginning of the demo. At home they truly wonderful with both music and movies. If you are considering new speakers you must listen to these. Just give them a try. They are worth the extra $$.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Awesome speakers

    Posted
    Xoom1
    • My Best Buy Premier Silver MemberElite Plus Member

    I originally looked at these and like other people,I thought they were kind of bright. I ended up going with Mirage OMD 15's 1st. Sent those back and got Def Tech 8060's. They sounded nice but I didn't like how they look and they had sort of an edgy sound. I broke all these speakers in ,but never cranked them anyhow. Went back to BB and listened to the Logan's again,I wanted to pull them out and place them a little better.Wow! What a difference that made. They had a new pair of open box,I bought those. 1 was defective,took it back and got another demo unit. They look like new. I have no idea how many hours are on them,but they sound incredible. I love when friends come over and go up to the speaker and say,where is the sound coming from. LOL Also,you might have to adjust the rake of the speaker with the screw in feet. Makes a big difference. These speakers just took music to a new level compared to my old Paradigm monitor 7's.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    High Quality Sound at Bargain Price

    Posted
    jaramill
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Though I do not have an ear of an "audiophile", I know what sounds good to me, and the precise clarity, crispness of these speakers is amazing. This is my first ever true home theater speaker system. But what really drew my attention to this speaker is how this sound could eminate from this weird design called Electro-static. The weird XStat grill really amazed me. So I have this pair of speakers paired up with their Electro-motion center channel speaker C2 which is made for these, along with the Dynamo 700 sub-woofer. To the average person they would say $2k is a lot but for high-end sound it's a great price. Playing TV, Blu-ray Discs or DVD or music streaming from my iPod, it sounds sweet. And yes I did break them all in at the required minimum of 72 hours, so now I can crank them up. And best of all, you don't really need that much power to run them. I use the Marantz SR7005 audio/video receiver to power these.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love 'em

    Posted
    abacus30
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I've had these for about 10 days now and am soooo glad I purchased them. I traveled around auditioning speakers for 3 months, including speakers costing 300% - 500% more expensive than the motion ESL's. These sounded just as good as all of them. I would say that they are a little light in the low end, but that's what subwoofers are for. My friends have come over and been blown away with the "concert in your living room". I splurged and went with the Motif center, depth i sub, and FX2's for rears. I have a Yamaha RX-A3010 receiver powering it all, with no Amp. It sounds awesome with 150 watts of clean Yamaha power... especially the SACD's I'm playing through my Oppo disc player. This surround system is one of the best investments I've ever made in my life... but I LOVE music.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Simply Amazing Clarity

    Posted
    5kiBum
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    The Martin Logan speakers are without doubt the best imaging and most clear speakers I've ever listened to. I am amazed at the clarity of femaie voices, Doobie Brothers and Eagles harmonies, and acoustical guitars. Paired with the Martin Logan 700w subwoofer, these speakers handle everything I've thrown at them from Beethoven to 5 Finger Death Punch, Patsy Cline to Lita Ford with aplomb. That said, they need a lot of amplifier horsepower. Martin Logan states 20-300 watts, but I wouldn't drive them with less than 200w. I'm using a Carver M1.0t (200w/channel), and I'd hate to use less. To get the best imaging, speaker placement is critical. One inch can change things immensely. Martin Logan's instructions in the manual are clear and spot on. I have been thoroughly enjoying working my way through my CD collection, and for many selections, it's like I heard them for the first time. Now if only my turntable would get back from the restorer...

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Chorus of Angels would be proud

    Posted
    Bluegrasscat54
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I'm a 60 yr old audio nut, have had many speakers in my life and have auditioned too many to count from 2k a pair to 10k a pair. The ESL are so different than Box Speakers. Clarity, imaginging and sound stage are all top notch. Placement of these speakers takes some trial and error, but once you get them dialed in they are incredible on any Genre you throw at them. Bass response is good but Martin Logan Dynamo 700 Sub makes the bass response perfect. Voices, keyboards, guitars, brass, and strings are life like and transparent.. Your ears will thank you! You must demo these at home to really appreciate what they can do, store demo's do not even come close to doing them justice. Best Speakers I have ever heard at this price.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best speakers at this price level!

    Posted
    ejimmason
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I can't speak highly enough of these speakers. I've listened to the $15,000 per pair version as well, and, while I can obviously tell the difference, the $2500 per pair version has all the elements of the more expensive line: Clarity, presence, soundstage, etc. I find myself not only listening to the music, but also using my eyes to 'see' where the various instruments are. Also, while sensitive to placement, they are not quite as 'directional' as the more expensive version, so if you aren't listening at the 'mid-point' you still get excellent sound (not muffled). Electrostatics are a marvel to behold. Though I understand how the sound is produced, it isn't obvious what is producing it when you look at the speakers. Many thanks to Martin Logan for making this technology available to those of us on a budget.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The Brand New Electromotion ESL!!

    Posted
    Dynesuffer

    I just got the New Electromotion ESL and man am I impressed, these thing are just unbelieveable for the price of $2000 bucks but there are draw backs. You cant bi amp and you cant use spade connectors which I love using...for now though I have hooked them up and only heard a few songs but from what I heard I can tell that the sweet spot is much bigger than the sources being that the new ESL has the Xstat panel and also it is 34 inches vs 28 inches on the source or puritys. Now my only other concern was the height as it's only one inch bigger than the sources which when I stood up there was a very big downgrade to the sound. This is not the case with these speakers.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Incredible sounding speakers

    Posted
    Romerdude
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    These are my first electrostatic speakers, but I did listen to the top end models in the show room. Simply put, the higher end models get louder with good clarity- just like with most other speakers. These speakers, pair with a Marantz 5008 amp, produce the perfect top end volume for movies and music- for my taste. There was a day when I wanted to be able to blast my stereo to live concert levels, but not so much any more. Don't get me wrong, these speaker can get loud- enough to make your ear ring if you listen too long. but the best quality sound is right in the middle. Movies a loud and full, and with the Marantz 700w subwoofer, the room rumbles and booms with low end sounds. To me it sounds like a good movie theater when it's at a good loud level.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Like being there

    Posted
    ColeR
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Beyond their obvious good looks, they are very easy to set up (the first step is done with a flashlight). The sound quality is amazing. It really is difficult to tell that the sound is coming from a speaker and not a live band. We listen to a lot of show tunes and classical and these speakers are wonderful for that. The high end is very bright and having each speaker include a sub-woofer gives excellent low notes. There seems to be a little loss around the cross-over, but you have to listen very close to notice that. I have not heard any other speakers with as good of a sound reproduction (unless you count the more expensive versions of the same speaker from the same company).

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Clear, clean and easy to listen to...

    Posted
    Sk1Bum
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    The Martin Logan ESLs are crystal clear and with surprisingly good bass for an eight inch woofer. When they are coupled with the Martin Logan 700w subwoofer, the sound is amazing. The soundstage extends far beyond the plane of the speakers. Placement is critical, and they do require a substantial amplifier. Martin Logan recommends 20-200 watt, and I would think that should be at least a 100 watt minimum. Electrostatic speakers are notoriously inefficient. The downside: it took four tries to get a working pair. One of the first pair died in three days, and the replacements came in with shipping damage twice. Both were broken in the same place. The crew at the Springfield MO store went above and beyond to get me a working pair. Kudos to them.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great speakers for $2,000

    Posted
    bandungman
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    If you love to play or hear somebody playing acoustic instruments, this speaker is definitely for you. It has amazingly fine, detailed and realistic sound with highly precise and focused sound stage. However, if you are a bass lover, the bass is only down to 40Hz. You will need a good quality subwoofer. Bottom line, this speaker really improves the overall sound quality even it can be driven by a regular receiver and I can't find better sounding speaker at this price including magnepan that also has a rave review.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Hyper-accurate

    Posted
    Spadeano
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    These are hyper-accurate speakers. They have an incredible capability to render exactly what they get from the rest of the system. That said, they will point out the weakest link in your system so they're probably not for the casual listener. I've noticed new things in recordings that I've had for years; which can be both good and bad. A good mix will sound just like it should and a bad mix will become very disappointing. So far I've found them enjoyable with Jazz, Blues, Rock, Country, Pop, you name it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Makes music simple better

    Posted
    Psycholotron
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    These speakers have great sound. I'm hearing things in songs I've never heard before when listening to them in the past. There is a sweet spot for these speakers and as multiple people have said, the sound will change slightly when moving out of it. although the sweet spot is much larger than I anticipated so you shouldn't be concerned about it being to small. Room size plays a factor as well. Also be prepared to spend more time than normal setting up placement of these speakers. It's so worth it once you get it right. Best speakers I've ever owned.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent!

    Posted
    AHRZPS
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I've had many speakers through the years. Anywhere from the college dorm Cerwin Vega w/ 15" woofers to M&K S150s that were used to mix the Star Wars movies. I purchased the ESLs after moving to NYC. I have a small apartment in a huge complex, so knew I wanted speakers that were crystal clear even at low volumes. I must say, I am impressed! The ESLs brought out details I've never heard before in music, and they're excellent for movies as well. Excellent purchase all the way around!

    I would recommend this to a friend