MartinLogan XT B100 Bookshelf Speaker Review Roundup

If you’re in the market for a high-quality bookshelf speaker under $2000, MartinLogan’s Motion XT B100 is certainly a name that should pique your interest. Its design and stand-out features as part of the 4th generation of the XT series necessitates your attention. This article will take you through its design and construction, key features, expert insights from reviews, comparisons with other notable speakers, pricing, and buying options, and help you determine if it’s the right speaker for your audio setup. Let’s dive into the world of the MartinLogan Motion XT B100 or if you are impatient, go straight to the reviews.

Design and Aesthetics

One of the first things you’ll notice about the MartinLogan Motion XT B100 bookshelf speakers is their sleek and eye-catching design. These speakers manage to strike an ideal balance between classic elegance and modern aesthetics. Their luxurious gloss finish is not only visually appealing but also thoughtfully practical. The front baffle features a matte finish, reducing light reflections to ensure an undistracted listening experience.  If you’re a fan of wooden finishes, the real wood walnut veneer option adds a touch of classic warmth to your decor. However, there’s one design element that stands out above all – the copper accents around the woofers. They lend a unique character to these speakers, drawing a slight connection to vintage aesthetics while maintaining a modern edge. When it comes to build quality, MartinLogan has excelled with the Motion XT B100. These speakers are crafted with precision and exhibit a level of construction typically associated with much higher price tags. Their resonance-free design ensures that your audio experience remains free from unwanted vibrations or colorations. The rear of the speakers is adorned with MartinLogan’s five-way binding posts – a subtle but essential detail that demonstrates the brand’s attention to every aspect of its products. These binding posts ensure a secure and efficient connection to your audio source, contributing to the overall quality of your listening experience. MartinLogan XT B100 Rear Binding Posts The circular grills that cover the speakers may not be to everyone’s taste, but they are both functional and effective at protecting the speaker drivers. If you’re a purist who prefers to showcase the speakers’ drivers in all their glory, these grills can be removed. The grills have undergone rigorous testing before the final design was approved, assuring us that sound quality will not be impacted.

STAND 25: To further enhance the speaker’s design and performance, MartinLogan offers the STAND 25. Designed specifically for the B10 and B100 bookshelf speakers, it provides secure and stable support, threading into the bottom of the speaker for maximum stability.  With it, you have the option to fill it with your choice of dampening material, reducing resonance for peak speaker performance.  The STAND 25 also offers three interchangeable accent pieces (black, copper, or silver) to coordinate with the trim colors of your Motion series speakers. The integrated wire management channel allows you to keep your speaker wires neatly concealed. MartinLogan Stand 25 - for the XT B100 and B10 Bookshelf Speaker Now, let’s explore the main features that make these speakers a remarkable choice for your audio setup.

Main Features

The MartinLogan Motion XT B100 speakers pack a range of advanced features that contribute to their remarkable sound performance:

Gen 2 Obsidian FM XT Tweeter: The MartinLogan Motion XT B100 incorporates a second-generation Obsidian Folded Motion XT tweeter, which features a larger motor for higher output and remarkably lower distortion. This advanced tweeter provides smooth and detailed high frequencies, striking the perfect balance between clarity and harshness.  You may be asking yourself, “Exactly what is a folded motion tweeter?” For that answer, we quote directly from MartinLogan,

(Folded Motion Tweeters) use a folded diaphragm to compress and expand air, creating a large surface area that delivers fast, accurate, and detailed high-frequency reproduction. With Folded Motion Tweeters, you’ll experience high efficiency, low distortion, and wide, yet controlled dispersion, ensuring that every note and every detail is captured in stunning clarity. Plus, the wide frequency response of our Folded Motion Tweeters means you’ll hear a greater range of sound than ever before. …The Folded Motion Waveguide profile was meticulously chosen to harmoniously align the tweeters output with the dispersion of the midrange drivers, enhancing the performance of our already incredible Gen2 Folded Motion Tweeters. The Folded Motion Waveguide helps blanket the listening area with evenly distributed detail and precision, ensuring an optimal experience for everyone. The waveguide also enhances the Controlled Dispersion output of the tweeter, offering generous coverage while minimizing unwanted room reflections.

MartinLogan XT B100 Waveguide and Folded Motion Tweeter Close Up Folded Motion XT Tweeter with Waveguide: The tweeter is nestled within a new waveguide that plays a pivotal role in enhancing performance. After an extensive evaluation of nearly 50 design options, the Folded Motion Waveguide profile was meticulously chosen to harmoniously align with the dispersion of the midrange drivers, resulting in enhanced output. The waveguide guarantees consistent sound quality regardless of the listener’s position and minimizes unwanted room reflections. Proper waveguide design is crucial as it helps control the sound’s dispersion pattern, ensuring that the sound is evenly distributed across the listening area and resulting in optimal sound quality.

Nomex Reinforced Kevlar Mid-Bass Driver: The B100 features a mid-bass driver constructed with Nomex-reinforced Kevlar. This choice of material strikes a balance between being lightweight and robust, reducing resonance and ringing to provide a cleaner and more accurate midrange performance.
Nomex-reinforced kevlar midrange woofer
Frequency Response: With a frequency response ranging from 50Hz to 25kHz, these bookshelf speakers offer a broad audio spectrum. They can handle both low and high frequencies, delivering a well-rounded listening experience.

MartinLogan XT B100 Bookshelf Speaker Review Roundup

Below is the breakdown of reviews and official information on the MartinLogan XT B100 Bookshelf Speaker.

Independent Video Reviews

Highlights from Andrew Robinson’s Review

Andrew Robinson is very impressed with the MartinLogan Motion XT B100 bookshelf speakers. He praises their excellent sound quality, noting their neutral and precise soundstage, imaging, and treble. He also likes their build quality and design.

Strengths

  • Neutral and precise soundstage, imaging, and treble
  • Excellent build quality and design
  • High value for money

Weaknesses

  • Limited bass response
  • Requires a subwoofer for full range playback
  • Can be fatiguing at higher volumes on sibilant recordings

Recommendations

Andrew Robinson recommends the MartinLogan Motion XT B100 bookshelf speakers to audiophiles and music lovers who are looking for a high-quality bookshelf speaker for less than two grand a pair. He notes that the speakers require a subwoofer for full range playback, so they are not ideal for those who need a one-stop speaker solution.

Comparison to other speakers

Andrew Robinson compares the MartinLogan Motion XT B100 bookshelf speakers to the following speakers:

  • Sonos Faber Lumina 2
  • Klipsch RP600M Mark II
  • Bowers & Wilkins 705S III
  • Polk R200

He finds that the B100s are the best of the bunch, offering superior sound quality and value for money. He notes that the 705S IIIs are more expensive and offer a little more bass, but the B100s are better for those who don’t like a mild boost in the highs. He also notes that the Sonos Faber Lumina 2s are a good alternative for those on a tighter budget, but the B100s offer better overall performance.

Conclusion

Overall, Andrew Robinson is very impressed with the MartinLogan Motion XT B100 bookshelf speakers. He recommends them to audiophiles and music lovers who are looking for a high-quality bookshelf speaker for less than two grand a pair.

https://www.youtube.com/live/XXTBJbb3naU?si=Q-FuZY_qhA2emPEW https://youtu.be/1Gfx6wuKSv4?si=1dFM1ZyrWf0Cdc9w

Highlights from Michael Andrew’s Review

  • Build quality and design: Michael Andrew is very impressed with the build quality and design of the MartinLogan Motion XT B100 bookshelf speakers. He particularly likes the new matte finish on the front baffle and the copper ring around the mid-bass driver.
  • Sound quality: Andrew says that the XT B100s have a “forward” midrange that is “refreshing” and “different.” He also praises the treble, which he says is “delightfully smooth” with “spot on detail.” The bass is “super tight,” but Andrew notes that he would recommend pairing the speakers with a subwoofer for a full range frequency experience. The soundstage is “remarkable,” and Andrew says that it is “more precise than nearly any other bookshelf speaker I’ve ever encountered.”
  • Measurements: Andrew performed some measurements of the XT B100s using REW and found that they are “reasonably accurate.” He notes that the speakers have a drop off starting at 50 Hz on the lower end and around 14 kHz on the upper end, but he says that this is “quite acceptable” for a stand mount speaker. He also notes that every room is different, so these measurements should not be taken as gospel.
  • Overall: Andrew concludes that the MartinLogan Motion XT B100 bookshelf speakers are an “excellent choice” for someone who wants to enter the hobby of hi-fi at a reasonable price point. He praises their dynamic performance and says that they “truly live up to the claims made by MartinLogan.”
  • Recommendation: Andrew recommends the XT B100s to anyone who is looking for a high-quality bookshelf speaker that offers excellent value for money.

Comparisons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM7wqLYaM_o

Dealer Video Reviews

XT Series Overviews

https://youtu.be/Pj9zorJQ_3o?si=2UA9AWdI5ub5begk https://youtu.be/b60lLvNZ1Cg?si=Srx3emIqplTrQ2i7

Written Reviews

Audioholics – Jacob Green (2023)

  • The article is a review of the tech and information regarding the XT 4th gen series but not a “review” in the sense of providing opinions and listening notes

Erin’s Audio Corner – Erin (2023)

  • Provides measurements and expounds upon them in the YouTube video linked above.

MartinLogan Official Info

B100 vs. B10

The MartinLogan Motion XT series offers two exceptional bookshelf speakers, the B100 and the B10. While they share several key features, there are differences that might make one a better fit for your specific needs. Let’s compare the B100 and B10 to help you decide which one is the right choice for you. B100 Advantages:

  • Extended Frequency Range: The B100 offers a slightly extended frequency range compared to the B10, reaching as low as 45 Hz, making it a good choice if you want a more pronounced bass response.
  • Higher Sensitivity: The B100 has a higher sensitivity rating, which means it can produce more sound with the same amount of power. This can be an advantage if you have a smaller amplifier or receiver.
  • Price: While the B100 is slightly more expensive than the B10, it offers enhanced performance in terms of bass response and sensitivity.

B10 Advantages:

  • Compact Size: The B10 is a more compact bookshelf speaker, making it ideal for smaller rooms or spaces where floor space is limited.
  • Affordability: If you’re on a tighter budget, the B10 is a cost-effective choice that still delivers the quality and design associated with MartinLogan.
  • Versatile Placement: Due to its compact size, the B10 is easier to place on shelves or smaller stands, offering flexibility in positioning.

Comparison Chart

Martin Logan Motion B100 and B10 comparison chart In summary, the choice between the MartinLogan Motion XT B100 and B10 depends on your specific requirements. If you’re looking for enhanced bass response, higher sensitivity, a more refined quality mid-woofer and are willing to invest a bit more, the B100 is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you need a compact and more budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on performance and design, the B10 is worth considering. Both speakers offer the signature MartinLogan quality and style, so you can’t go wrong with either choice.

Is the MartinLogan XT B100 Bookshelf Speaker for You?

Martin Logan XT B100 Front Grill and Stand 25

To help you make an informed decision, here are the pros and cons of the MartinLogan Motion XT B100: Pros:

  • Exceptional Sound Quality: The B100 offers a forward yet non-fatiguing midrange and smooth, detailed treble, delivering a captivating listening experience.
  • Impressive Soundstage: These speakers create a precise and expansive soundstage, projecting a well-defined audio image that enhances your music and movie enjoyment.
  • Folded Motion Tweeter: The Folded Motion tweeter with a new waveguide ensures remarkable output and consistent sound quality regardless of your listening position.
  • Stylish Design: MartinLogan is renowned for its elegant speaker designs, and the B100 continues this tradition with its striking black gloss finish and optional copper accents.
  • Quality Build: The construction of the B100 is top-notch, featuring quality materials and a sturdy build that minimizes resonance, ensuring longevity and audio purity.
  • Compatibility with STAND25: The optional STAND25 is designed to pair perfectly with the B100, offering stability, performance optimization, and stylish color accents.

Cons:

  • Limited Bass Response: While the B100 provides decent bass for its size, it may not be sufficient for bass enthusiasts. A subwoofer is recommended for a full-range experience.
  • Not as Sensitive as the Specs State: From Erin’s review above, he found that the speakers measured a closer average to 87dB vs. the stated 93 dB.  Consequently, it’s important to note that these speakers may require more power to make them sing.
  • Higher Price: The B100 is priced higher than some other bookshelf speakers, which might not be suitable for buyers on a tight budget.

In conclusion, if you’re in search of a bookshelf speaker that delivers not only remarkable sound quality but also aesthetics that grace your living space, the MartinLogan Motion XT B100 should be on your shortlist. It offers an engaging audio experience, highlighted by precise midrange and a smooth treble, all wrapped in a visually striking package. As always, only you can decide if the sound and quality of the speaker are right for you.

Pricing and How to Purchase

XT B100 MSRP: $799 ea or $1598 per pair In Person MartinLogan Dealers  Online:

Matching Stand 25 – Buy Now MartinLogan Motion B10 – Buy Now

Disclaimer: The online purchasing links above are affiliate programs where Violet HIFI is an associate. This means you do not pay an extra but purchasing through our site supports our efforts in bringing you consistent, quality content on high-end audio and home theater.

Alternatives

When considering the MartinLogan Motion XT B100, it’s essential to explore how it stacks up against other notable speakers in its class. Here are some alternatives you might want to consider:

  • Monitor Audio Silver 100 7G ($1500): Renowned for their elegant design and impressive sound quality, the Monitor Audio Silver 100 speakers offer a balanced audio experience with deep bass and clear treble.
  • KEF LS50 Meta ($1600): The KEF LS50 Meta is known for its detailed sound and innovative design. These speakers incorporate the groundbreaking Metamaterial Absorption Technology for exceptional acoustic performance.
  • Sonus Faber Lumina II ($1300): A refined Italian-made bookshelf speaker known for its refined aesthetics and exquisite sound quality.

Full Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14.5″ x 8″ x 12.5″
  • Frequency response: 45 Hz – 25 kHz ± 3 dB
  • Tweeter dispersion: 90° x 45°
  • Recommended amplifier power: 20 – 250 watts
  • Sensitivity: 93 dB
  • Impedance: 4?
  • High frequency driver: 1.25” x 2.4” (3.2 x 6.1cm) Gen2 Obsidian Folded Motion XT Tweeter with 12.4 in2 (79.8 cm2) diaphragm
  • Crossover frequency: 2600 Hz (2-way)
  • Woofer: 6.5″ Nomex-Reinforced Kevlar midrange/bass driver with a rubber surround and cast aluminum basket
  • Weight: 20.5 lbs
  • Finish: Gloss Black, Walnut, and Satin White

martinlogan xtb100 all colors

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