Martin Logan vs Magnepan Sound (The Truth)

Norvan Martin

Choosing between Martin Logan and Magnepan is like trying to differentiate between apples and oranges. Both brands are outstanding in terms of quality and functionality. They’ve been designed with a modern touch that brings music, movies, and games live wherever you may be. Unfortunately, it may take you time before spotting the differences. So let’s dive and demystify the brand difference.

The main difference between Martin Logan and Magnepan Sound is that Martin Logan is electrostatic while Magnepan Sound is planar. This means Magnepan Sound offers excellent highs and mids, but the lows are not great. Magnepan Sound speakers are affordable but you will need to spend some time tweaking and setting them up properly.

Martin Logan vs Magnepan Sound Comparison Table

CriteriaMartin LoganMagnepan
Brand ReputationMartin Logan is known for its high-performance electrostatic speakers.Magnepan is recognized for its planar magnetic speakers and unique sound technology.
Sound QualityMartin Logan speakers offer detailed and transparent sound reproduction.Magnepan speakers are praised for their natural and open soundstage.
Build Quality/DesignMartin Logan products feature a combination of sleek design and quality build.Magnepan speakers are known for their distinctive planar magnetic panel design.
Product RangeMartin Logan offers a range of electrostatic and conventional speakers.Magnepan specializes in planar magnetic speakers with different size options.
PricingMartin Logan speakers are often positioned in the mid to high price range.Magnepan speakers are priced competitively, providing value for planar magnetic technology.
FeaturesMartin Logan speakers often feature advanced technologies for precise audio reproduction.Magnepan speakers are known for their unique planar magnetic technology and natural sound characteristics.

You can also check out the following comparisons:                                                   

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History – Martin Logan vs Magnepan Sound

Both Martin Logan (ML) and Magnepan Sound (Maggies) have a rich history behind them.

Martin Morgan: The speaker idea was started by two gentlemen Gayle Martin Sanders and Ron Logan Sutherland. They birthed the Martin Morgan idea despite their different background. Ron was trained in electronic engineering while Gayle was in architecture and advertising.

Martin Logan

They started working together in the ’70s, and after one decade, they had a ready prototype. But the real breakthrough started in 1985 and kept soaring towards 1990 until Inc.

Magazine recognized ML as the fastest-growing privately owned company in the U.S. In 2005, the company was acquired by a subsidiary of Shoreview Industries and continued to rock the United States and the world at large.

Magnepan Sound: Magnepan Sound was established in 1969 by Jim Winey. He started with an electrostatic loudspeaker and later designed an improved electrostatic speaker.

Magnepan Sound

For 47 years, the Maggies have been producing innovative and world-class stereo speakers consistently. The company is located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Today Maggies has sold over 200,000 speakers worldwide, and all parts are American-made.

Features Comparison

These two brands appear in many homes of audio enthusiasts for a good reason. For Martin Logan, you’ll find some of its modern products fully powered with a built-in amplifier which helps to reduce wire clutter. Internally it is powered with a high-resolution 150-watt switching amplifier.

Martin Logan Features

The feature allows ML an unmatched level of system connection flexibility. You will find ML system using a standard RCA line-level input lessens too much wire connection by connecting directly to a TV (and other gadgets) without using external amplifiers.

Martin Logan’s mission is to utilize astonishing and unique technology to offer the most complex musical channels to the source.

Magnepan Sound Features

On the other hand, Magnepan uses a unique style in the creation of its products. The design of woofers and speakers varies from conventional speakers, especially in sound projection in a room setup.

The panels are designed to radiate from both front and rear surfaces. Experienced audio enthusiasts will tell you Magnepan speakers are better placed at least a distance of 3 feet from the wall for better sound.

It was designed with audiophiles in mind. Most speakers in the market have woofer drivers, dome tweeters, and cone midrange, but a Maggie type like LRS has a thin film ribbon diagram that produces treble, midrange, and bass frequencies.

Is Magnepan electrostatic?

The Magnenpan speaker has an interesting design, the voice coils are constructed with conductive conduits and cables, or strips of foil placed on Mylar film strips.
The speakers are Electrostatic, they hold a charged piece of conductive film between two stators, which makes the film move. They are generally known as magnetic-planar speakers.

Sound Quality

Choosing sound quality, you need to spend quality time with both brands to draw a line. Before you criticize any brand or pick your best bet, you need to ensure the amp you’re using is powerful enough for quality sound.

Magnepan Sound Quality

If you take Magnepan, LRS is preferred for high-definition and transparent sound. But the Magnepan .7 speaker can provide you with a more natural midrange, bass power, and superior dynamics.

Also, paying much attention, you will hear the Magnepan speakers produce a more natural and smoother sound.

The frequency reproduction is awesome, but for outstanding bass, consider proper room placement. So you need to play with room setup until you identify the right sweet spot.

Martin Logan Sound Quality

For Martin Logan, treble may work purer without experiencing timbral errors. Most audiophiles vouch for a pure electrostatic CLS model without a cone sub-woofer as ML is fully incorporated from top to bottom part.

However, sometimes Martin Logan is finicky and can sound horrible if improper room placement is used or faulty equipment.

So, which one sounds better? Both sound good separately, but you can easily expose ML’s weakness.

You’ll find electrostatic and bass modules fail to work in unison. For Magnepan, the sound is not 100 percent perfect, but the audio enthusiast prefers the sound balance and delivery more than ML.

Martin Logan Ascent speakers

The Martin Logan ascent speaker is a new unique innovation in speaker and audio technology, it features an unusual blend of aesthetics and ability that Martin Logan should be lauded for.

Proudly showing off a new style and design pattern, the ascent speaker is outfitted with the latest Martin Logan innovation; CLS (curvilinear line surface) electrostatic technology boosted with a hybrid speaker system pattern.

It also exhibits the style and breakthrough technology of its sister speaker (Prodigy Speaker) in a crafted cabinet that is compact and carefully worked. Martin Logan Ascent speakers maintain controlled sound dispersal to ensure little or no interaction with the room.

Martin Logan ESL Classic

The Martin Logan ESL classic 9 is a bit different from the other speakers in the classic series, this is because the classic ESL 9 is designed with a passive woofer. All the other speakers in the series have active subwoofers, they are also built with the Anthem Room Correction (ARC) system.

Even though it’s the smallest speaker in its line, the Classic ESL 9 is nevertheless 59.8” H and weighs 78 pounds. The speaker is the widest and deepest at the bottom: the woofer enclosure measures 10.4” W x 25.4” D.


Bottom Line

Both speakers are great for any room setup. Their pricing differs slightly, but the quality and design match.

You require a good amp for proper sound, whether using it for music, games, or movies. If you choose Martin Logan, try to balance the highs as they produce ear-piercing sound, while the lows require a decent sub to make it mellow.

For Magnepan, the sound is not troublesome in any way but sometimes may sound more diffuse. Separating the two is not easy, but what counts is the audiophile’s preference for each brand and what they want to achieve. Some choose ML or Maggies either for sound or features.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of 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