The MartinLogan Motion Vision is one of the best-sounding sound bars available, projecting a wide sound stage with crystal clear, totally balanced and utterly lush audio. It doesn't include very many advanced features, however.
In a word, astounding. A sound bar will never match the full surround experience of a true 5.1 home-theater system, but reviewers say that the MartinLogan Motion Vision has a wider, more expansive sound field than virtually all others, and on a par with the Best Reviewed premium sound bar, the Yamaha YSP-4100 (*Est. $1,700). The Motion Vision goes toe-to-toe with the Yamaha sound bar in the audio quality arena as well, delivering clean, clear, robust audio that makes reviewers drool. This is as good as sound bar audio gets.
Simple and classy. The digital sound processing technology and multitude of speakers, tweeters, amplifiers and woofers inside the Motion Vision make it large, but reviewers still appreciate its looks. The sound bar doesn't come with a subwoofer but includes a port for wired models or a syncing function for the company's Dynamo wireless sub. There are plenty of port options -- including a pair of digital optical ports and coaxial and analog stereo connections -- but, oddly enough in a sound bar this expensive, no HDMI ports.
Keeping it simple. The MartinLogan Motion Vision includes decoders for Dolby Digital and DTS, but not the lossless Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio decoders necessary for the best Blu-ray audio tracks. Then again, someone spending $1,500 on a sound bar likely has a TV, Blu-ray player or receiver capable of decoding those tracks anyway. There's also an alphanumeric front LED display, but little else in the way of bells and whistles.
Lots of power for lots of money. The MartinLogan Motion Vision isn't a value proposition. This sound bar sounds like -- and is priced like -- the premium offering that it is.
If you're considering spending $1,500 on the Motion Vision, you've almost certainly already decided that your sound bar's audio quality trumps any pricing concerns -- otherwise, you'd be checking out more reasonably priced yet still very good-sounding options like the Zvox Z-Base 580 (*Est. $500). The question is: Do you need more features than the Motion Vision brings to the table? If so, you should examine the Yamaha YSP-4100, which sounds just as majestic but includes a bevy of advanced options, including the advanced lossless audio decoders the MartinLogan sound bar is missing.
This lengthy, stand-alone review of the MartinLogan Motion Vision describes the technology behind the sound bar's jaw-dropping audio, then goes on to describe how amazing the audio sounds, followed up by comparison against other sound bars. Andrew Robinson gives the Motion Vision 4.5 (out of 5) ratings in the Performance and Overall categories. "I can say that the Motion Vision from MartinLogan is the first soundbar that I would personally consider buying," he writes. "At the very least, it represents my new benchmark by which all others will be judged."
Review: MartinLogan Motion Vision Soundbar Reviewed, Andrew Robinson, Aug. 6, 2012
The MartinLogan Motion Vision earns the highest rating -- 9 out of 10 -- in this comparison of four top-notch sound bars. The write-ups are only a few paragraphs long followed by lists of pros and cons, but Bryan Gardiner spends all the space raving about the sound bar's lush audio. "Throw in a satisfyingly wide sound stage and you have a truly rare thing in the soundbar world -- a speaker that sounds fantastic regardless of the source," he writes.
Review: Big Sound for Small Spaces: 4 Sound Bars Reviewed, Bryan Gardiner, July 31, 2012
This write-up of the MartinLogan Motion Vision is a profile of the sound bar's specs rather than a full hands-on review. However, Robert Silva is a longtime home-theater reviewer with a lot of experience under his belt, and his examination of the specs outshines hands-on reviews found at some other publications. The details impress Silva enough that he places the MartinLogan Motion Vision on his list of the top sound bars. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Martin Logan Motion Vision Sound Bar - Product Profile, Robert Silva, Not Dated