Klipsch vs MartinLogan – Which Brand Is Better? (The Truth)

Norvan Martin
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Klipsch and MartinLogan are visionary speaker designers and manufacturers known worldwide for their audio products’ unmatched sound clarity and efficiency.Klipsch vs MartinLogan - Which Brand Is Better
In this article, we compare these brands, including their legacy products, to give you a more accurate understanding of how their products match up before making a buying decision. So, here we go, Klipsch vs MartinLogan:

Klipsch vs MartinLogan Comparison Table

Brand ReputationWell-known for high-performance audio systems.Renowned for electrostatic speaker technology.
Sound QualitySignature dynamic and powerful sound.Exceptional clarity and detail, especially in the midrange.
Build Quality/DesignSturdy construction with iconic designs.High-quality build with a focus on sleek, modern design.
Product RangeDiverse range, including home theater systems.Specializes in electrostatic and hybrid electrostatic speakers.
PricingVaries, with options in different price ranges.Tends to be positioned in the mid to high-end price range.
FeaturesFocus on delivering powerful, immersive experiences.Advanced electrostatic technology for detailed sound.

You can also check out the following comparisons:                                                   

  1. Klipsch vs KEF Speakers   
  2. Klipsch vs Definitive Technology
  3. Klipsch vs Polk
  4. Klipsch vs SVS
  5. Martin Logan vs Magnepan Sound
  6. Definitive Technology vs. Martin Logan

Sound Quality: Which One Sounds Better?

Klipsch Sound Quality

Klipsch and MartinLogan are both known for producing high-quality audio devices. In general, Klipsch speakers are known for producing clear, rocking sounds. This is why Klipsch is one of the best-selling speaker brands of all time.

One of the main reasons for their sound quality is that many of these speakers use aluminum compression dome tweeters with horn tweeters.

On the other hand, some highly sensitive listeners think that this makes the speakers feel cold and overwhelming.

For others, they produce a quality open ambiance that can force out recording imperfections that often make listening experiences undesirable.

MartinLogan Sound Quality

Since MartinLogan’s tweeters are based on the folded motion XT (similar to ribbon tweeters), the speakers produce more casual sound spectrums without compromising the highly detailed image quality.

As such, they are best for crowds that want a warmer yet spacious acoustic-based experience.

Which of these speaker brands sounds better? If you want extreme detail and a brighter sound, Klipsch is the better choice. However, if you are an average, discerning music listener and you want a mellower sound, MartinLogan will serve your needs well.


Features Comparison

Klipsch and MartinLogan speakers come with a wide variety of features that define their sound quality and prices.

klipsch vs martin logan features

Before making a buying decision, be sure you compare the specific features such as max volume, impendence, frequency response, efficiency, and more to determine which one suits you best.

We have used Klipsch Reference RF-7 III and MartinLogan Motion 60XT to illustrate what one needs to do. Keep in mind that the Klipsch reference RF-7 III is a reference speaker that is supposed to produce natural sound.  

It is necessary since all speakers are unique, and you should only compare the comparable features.

However, for the general features of Klipsch and MartinLogan Speakers, let’s see them below:

Klipsch General Features

Since Paul Klipsch founded the speaker manufacturing company in 1946, it has been widely known for promoting horn-loaded speakers.

klipsch speakers

Based on the same principle, the company currency takes advantage of advanced technology to manufacture speakers that suit individuals who are looking for the following qualities:

1. High sensitivity: The manufacturer uses horn-loaded speakers since they are suitable for producing incredibly high-efficiency speakers. In other words, relatively low-powered amps can drive these speakers and deliver the quality of sound you desire.

2. Low modulation distortion: The speakers reduce the probability of users experiencing errors when modifying carrier waves in response to various types of information-bearing signals.

3. Wide dynamic range: Horn-loaded speakers are designed to generate low and high frequencies accurately.

4. Controlled directivity: The speakers produce directional radiation patterns.

5. Flat frequency response: With Klipsch speakers, users are guaranteed to get flat frequency responses. This means they are suitable for people who want speakers with a natural emphasis on the treble, mid-range, and bass. For example, many Klipsch enclosures are bifurcated which helps to minimize standing wave problems inside the cabinet that can cause frequency anomalies, especially in the sensitive midrange frequencies.

While Klipsch promoted horn-loaded speakers to produce speakers with the above features, horns are responsible for sound coloring. 

Some of the causes of this are vibration, acoustic resonances, and reflections.

In 1989, the company introduced Tractrix Flare to address the issues related to sound coloring.

The present Klipsch speakers are designed with the same goal of delivering efficiency.

MartinLogan General Features

Gayle Martin Sanders and Ron Logan founded the speaker designer in 1989 based on an electrostatic transducer technology. 

martin logan speakers

As you will see in the example below, MartinLogan Motion 60XT uses a Folded Motion transducer.

When considering buying MartinLogan speakers, you need to consider the unique features of the electrostatic transducer.  It is the force in a membrane in an electrostatic field that produces sound.

Here are the reasons many people are opting for these speakers:

1. High directionality: The high concentration of acoustic energy in narrow beams ensures that room reflection has no adverse impact on sound quality.

2. No cabinet resonance: Since typical electrostatic speakers have no cabinet, the problems associated with internal vibrations and reflections do not exist. 

3. Music transparency: The radiating surface has less mass than the drivers, so listeners are assured of accurate reproduction of the natural human voices.

4. Minimal distortion: Designers can execute electrostatics as full-range designs. Crossover filters and enclosures that often color sound or distort the sound quality are missing. This is the main advantage over Klipsch.

5. You’ll Hear Everything: Whether there is a wall of sound or not, the details will remain discernible.

6. Extreme Lightweight: The diaphragm is exceptionally lightweight, and that makes these speakers portable and efficient

MartinLogan Electrostatic Speakers

Over the years, Martin Logan has remained faithful to their belief that electrostatic speakers will deliver that kind of quality that you deserve.

MartinLogan Electrostatic Speakers

But please note that these speakers, like everything else, have their drawbacks.

Lack of bass response is a primary concern, but using a dynamic loudspeaker like a subwoofer can solve that problem.

We mentioned the directionality of electrostatics as a benefit to users of Martin Logan speakers.

But for people who need a large ‘sweet spot’ where they can hear a proper stereo imagining, this feature limits that to one spot in your home theater and so limits the number of people who can enjoy the great features of their speakers at a given time.

Unique Features of Klipsch and MartinLogan Flagship Speakers

Certain features really define these two speaker brands and make them diametrically different from each other.

Here are the main features of Klipsch and MartinLogan flagship speakers that separate them:

The Klipsch Klipschorn

The K-Horn or Klipschorn is the manufacturer’s flagship, three-way, fully horn-loaded loudspeaker.  Paul Klipsch patented it in 1940 and since then, the company has been producing loudspeakers based on this technology.

Klipsch Klipschorn

Klipsch speakers have been receiving minor periodic modifications over the years.  Its 51” x 31” x 28” enclosure houses the woofer, the tweeter, and the squawker, suitable for handling the bass, the signal’s treble portions, and the midrange.

The flagship speaker also features two rectangular horn lenses that the designer has deliberately coupled to compression drivers. It effectively handles treble and midrange. In the folded bin compartment is a 15” cone woofer.

Sixty years after Klipschorn’s inception, in 2006, the manufacturer unveiled a new model of this speaker. In 2016, it released another model with a fully enclosed horn.

MartinLogan Monolith

This is Martin Logan’s flagship product. The prototype was ready by 1980, but it was not until the 1983 Consumer Electronics Show that the company unveiled the full-range hybrid electrostatic speaker. 

MartinLogan Monolith

Dealers who heard the sound at the show were happy to sell the speaker. It was at this time that Sanders and Sutherland put their middle names together and came up with the venture’s logo.

They manufactured and shipped the speaker’s first ten pairs, and sales began to surge in 1985.


Klipsch Reference RF-7 III vs MartinLogan Motion 60XT

To better understand the differences and similarities between Klipsch and MartinLogan, let us compare Klipsch Reference RF-7 III vs. MartinLogan Motion 60XT.

These two speakers share many things in common, and they will help us see if there is something that sets the two speaker designers and manufacturers apart.

Design and Enclosures 

Klipsch Reference RF-7 III and MartinLogan 60XT use bass reflect enclosures. These speakers have tuned ports that pick up the vibrations that come from the driver’s back.

Klipsch Reference RF-7 III

Due to this, all these two speakers can resonate and amplify low frequencies. But some MartinLogan speakers do not have enclosures.

The Klipsch Reference RF-7 III enclosure is bifurcated and allows each 10” driver and port to work independently from the other to improve frequency response.

MartinLogan Motion 60XT

The MartinLogan 60XT enclosure sports a reinforced baffle and a fabric grille. It is available in three stylish finishes – gloss black, matte white, and red walnut.


Klipsch Reference RF-7 III features a tractrix horn, while MartinLogan Motion 60XT uses a Folded Motion transducer.

As such, the speakers can produce detailed sound images throughout the spectrum. Some people, however, think that the rocking, brutal sound makes the speakers overwhelming. However, most people will find Klipsch more overwhelming because they are brighter.  

MartinLogan’s tweeter uses folded motion XT, making the speakers produce more casual sound spectrums.

The speakers create sound by moving air perpendicularly to the diaphragm’s folded ridges. Besides, they can operate at a lower frequency.

Sound Sensitivity

MartinLogan and Klipsch are 98dB and 100 dB sensitive, respectively. Remember, the higher the figure, the louder a speaker will play.

To measure sensitivity, one needs to drive a speaker with a single watt and determine the loudness using a microphone placed 1 meter away.


Klipsch and MartinLogan’s Other Products

These speaker designers and manufacturers are best known for their legacy speakers, such as Klipsch Reference RF-7 III, Heresy, Belle Klipsch, Cornwall, legend, MartinLogan Motion 10 speakers, and MartinLogan 60XT.

However, each of them produces other products as well:

Klipsch produces these additional products:

  • The Statement e2 generation: Klipsch invented the Statement e2 generation in 1999. The innovation behind it inspired MartinLogon’s next-generation speakers, including the manufacturer’s first non-electrostatic product that we shall look at next. The Prodigy electrostatic speakers that the designer and manufacturer released in 1999 have continued to inspire the present generation of ML loudspeakers

klipsch products

  • Multi-media speakers: It produces ProMedia computer speakers and iPod-marketed speakers such as the iGroove.
  • Klipsch theatre system: Cinemas used Klipsch custom speakers. On a large scale, Hollywood’s BM Theater house and others use the system to meet their large audiences’ needs.
  • Headphones: Klipsch launched earphones and headphones that use a balanced armature technology in November 2007. Mark Blanchard of Klipsch Group invented these devices that fit accurately inside the ear canal and minimize ear fatigue.

MartinLogan produces these additional products:

  • Subwoofers: In 2001, MartinLogan launched a subwoofer, which is its first non-electrostatic product. The sub featured servo-control and BalancedForce technologies that helped establish the company’s growing sub’s global marketplace.  The original Descent subwoofer was the first sub, but the company has designed and manufactured many others. Some of these are:
  1. The Descent i
  2. Depth i
  3. Grotto
  4. Dynamo
  5. Abyss
  • The Design Series: The Design series is Martin Logan’s program of producing a smaller and more affordable line of speakers. Some of these speakers are Mosaic, Fresco, Clarity, Abyss, and Dynamo subs.

martin logan speaker products

  • The ELS Series: The company released the Submit Electrostat in 2005, which signaled a departure from electrostatics.  The products produced under this program are made up of dual independently powered woofers with up-to-date electrostatic transducers – the XStat. 

These are a few examples that Martin Logan has been producing. The subs and others are compatible with the speakers.

Is Martin Logan A Good Speaker?

Martin Logan is an excellent-sounding and impartially inexpensive entry-level audiophile speaker. Its sophisticated design, precise and punchy bass, clear and dynamic mids, and glistening treble make it one of the most incredible floor-standing speakers.

Where are Martin Logan Speakers Made?

Martin Logan’s North American industrial facility is situated in Mississauga, Ontario, where our electrostatic speakers are hand-built by a highly proficient lineup of engineering specialists.

Does Paradigm Own Martin Logan?

Venerable Canadian audio brands Paradigm, Anthem, and Martin Logan have been sold back to a familiar name. Founders Scott Bagby and John Bagby have announced the acquisition of Paradigm Electronics, Anthem Electronics, and Marin Logan loudspeakers effective in May 2019.

Which Klipsch Is The Best?

Like all great speakers, the best Klipsch speakers combine form and function. Klipsch has a reputation for delivering highly engineered speakers focusing on sound quality and an intelligent feature set.

Are Martin Logan Speakers Easy to Drive?

The impedance of the motion 40 speakers is at 4ohms, and the suggested amplifier power is from 20-3000 Watts per channel. This specifies that the Martin Logan Motion 40 floor standers are not that easy to drive, and we should probably look for higher output receivers.



Klipsch and MartinLogan are two traditionally well-respected audio device manufacturers. There are many factors that make these brands similar and different. For example, Klipsch speakers are generally brighter.

We have compared Klipsch Reference RF-7 III and MartinLogan Motion 60XT speakers to give you a better example of which sounds better and is more reliable. we hope we have helped you in figuring out which brand has products that are more compatible with your needs.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin