These days, it isn’t easy trying to stand out in the subwoofer market. Performance is going up, prices are coming down, and odds are pretty good that you can find a sub that meets your price-vs.-performance preferences in any form factor you choose without looking too hard. And let’s be honest with ourselves here: subwoofers are pretty simple devices. Signal goes in, bass comes out, tummies rumble, rinse, repeat. Right? It’s not as if a subwoofer can exactly be described as “feature packed.”
Well… MartinLogan is certainly challenging that notion with its revamped Dynamo line of subs. The new models, which range in price from $400-ish to $1700-ish, come complete with a host of wireless technologies, some of which are becoming a little more standard, and some of which can only come from Anthem/MartinLogan.
In the former category, we have Bluetooth connectivity and app control. That’s nice, no doubt. In the latter, we have Anthem Room Correction via PC, iOS, or Android (sorry, Mac users), on all but the least-expensive model in the new lineup.
Other neat goodies include simultaneous two-channel and LFE connections, with separate crossover and level settings for each, as well as the flexibility to install the subs in standard down-firing configuration or optional front-firing configuration with the included grille.
MartinLogan is proud to announce their new line of subwoofers: Dynamo 400, 600X, 800X, 1100X, and 1600X. These Dynamo subwoofers represents the most advanced, high-performance, affordable subwoofer systems ever brought to market. Dramatic bass detail and attack, superb extension, and room-shaking output ensure a compelling music and home theater experience. The X in the model names designates the inclusion of advanced wireless technologies, including app based controls via Bluetooth, wireless Anthem Room Correction (ARC ), and wireless signal connection capability.
Advanced-technology inverted surround woofers pair a powerful magnet structure with a rigid, lightweight diaphragm, and powerful amplifiers to deliver huge excursion and sound output while perfectly preserving the most subtle bass details. RCA, XLR, speaker level, and wireless signal connectivity offer the most flexible array of input options available today. Putting control in the listener’s hands, iOS and Android subwoofer control apps allow precise configuration of subwoofer settings while industry leading Anthem Room Correction (ARC) guarantees an accurate bass performance custom tailored to each unique listening room.
Ranging in price from $399.95-$1699.95/each (US retail), these subwoofers will ship to customers in June of 2018. Features vary by model.
Anthem Room Correction (ARC ): Available for PC, iOS, and Android
In the lab, MartinLogan engineers strive for transparency. Outside the lab, there’s one wildcard our engineers can never account for–the listening room. The unique size and shape of a listening space (and its contents) can make bass waves do unpredictable things, greatly affecting a subwoofer’s overall performance. Anthem Room Correction measures low-frequency sound output in a room and compares it to optimal response curves that account for spatial anomalies. The advanced algorithms of Anthem Room Correction effectively remove anomalies, leaving only the ideal standard–realistically blended, natural-sounding bass. Dynamo 600X, 800X, 1100X, and 1600X utilize a Bluetooth connection with a smartphone or USB connection with a PC to run Anthem Room Correction.
MartinLogan SUB CONTROL App: Available for iOS and Android
MartinLogan’s Subwoofer Control app uses a Bluetooth connection to simplify setup and configuration of Dynamo 600X, 800X, 1100X, and 1600X. App based controls include volume level, low-pass filter (frequency and order), phase, 20-30Hz level, three preset listening modes, and control of Anthem Room Correction. A unique tone sweep feature assists users in locating areas in listening rooms where troublesome rattles or resonances may occur. A single press of a button allows listeners to initiate a tone sweep from 20-120Hz. If a rattle or resonance occurs in the room any frequency can be held, allowing the listener to investigate and identify the source of the unwanted noise.
Optional SWT-X Wireless Input
Although correct placement plays a key role in optimizing subwoofer performance, sometimes it imposes the inconvenience of running long lengths of cable through walls, along baseboards or under floors and carpets. To solve the problem, Dynamo 600X, 800X, 1100X, and 1600X include a connection port for an optional wireless system. MartinLogan’s new SWT-X Wireless Subwoofer System (sold separately) incorporates the latest in wireless audio transmission technology, including 2.4GHz dynamic frequency selection, forward error correction, and a range up to 50 feet. Easy to install in the subwoofer, the SWT-X receiver requires no external power source or audio connections.
Left and Right 2-Channel Inputs
All five new Dynamo subwoofers feature left and right input via RCA line level and speaker level connections.
LFE Home Theater Input
Dynamo 400 and 600X’s right input doubles as an LFE input for home theater applications. Dynamo 800X ups the ante by adding a discrete LFE RCA line level input. Dynamo 1100X and 1600X go one step further by adding both XLR and RCA inputs for LFE connection.
12V Trigger Inputs
Dynamo 800X, 1100X, and 1600X feature 12V Trigger Inputs, allowing an external device to turn the subwoofer on and off.
Simultaneous LFE and 2-Channel Connections
Robust connection and control systems found in the Dynamo 800X, 1100X, and 1600X allow simultaneous connection of both 2-channel stereo music and multi-channel home theater and allows each source to have individual crossover and level settings, giving listeners a perfect performance in every application. LFE inputs use no low-pass filter, leaving crossover control to the processor. Left and right inputs integrate discrete user-adjustable low-pass filters allowing different level and crossover points when playing back two channel music.
Unique Front-Firing or Down-Firing Design
When placed in a cabinet or other discreet location, Dynamo 800X, 1100X, and 1600X subwoofers can easily convert from standard down-firing to front-firing orientation, with no tools or special skills required. A grille is provided for use in front-firing applications.
Powerful, High-Excursion, Low-Turbulence, Inverted Surround Woofers
The latest generation of MartinLogan Dynamo subwoofers features advanced-design woofers with inverted surrounds and powerful magnet, motor, and suspension designs. In front-fire mode the unique inverted surround design maximizes excursion clearance behind the grill cover. When positioned in a down-firing configuration, the inverted surround significantly reduces airflow related turbulence for an articulate and detailed low-frequency experience. These advanced-technology woofers pair a high-power magnet structure (significantly more robust than previous generations) with low-mass diaphragms to provide massive excursions while perfectly preserving the tiniest bass detail. The exceptional damping properties of the cone ensure a smooth, non-resonant response necessary for truly seamless blending with high-performance loudspeakers. Every element of Dynamo subwoofers has been meticulously designed to deliver a staggering low-frequency performance–all without a hint of distortion.
Advanced Ultra-Efficient Switch Mode Power Supplies and Class-D Amplifiers
Dynamo subwoofer class-D amplifiers operate with extremely low levels of distortion and deliver dynamic impact with plenty of overhead. Low-noise, high-power switching power supplies produce clean power efficiently in a small space and effortlessly provide tremendous levels of current. Both feature high-quality MOSFET transistors, transformers, noise-suppression networks, and control circuitry. The switching power supply combined with reliable class-D technology means there’s virtually no energy lost in the subwoofer system.
Inverse Mathematical Equalization (IME) Filter
The IME filter used in the Dynamo subwoofers is derived from the inverse of the unfiltered driver response. Precision IME filtering yields extremely accurate low-frequency response–superior to that provided by the simple second-order high-Q filters typically found in subwoofers in this price range.
Sealed Cabinet with Extensive Internal Bracing
Although ports, when correctly designed, are a convenient and cost-effective way of increasing low-frequency output, when used in small cabinets their reliance on resonant energy can impair bass quality. Dynamo 800X, 1100X, and 1600X are compact, sealed subwoofer systems that minimize transient-blurring group delay while maintaining smooth, consistent response, regardless of music or movie source material. The cabinets are constructed from the finest composite material for acoustic integrity. Inside, critically placed structural cross-bracing provides a stable foundation for the woofer, while the added rigidity keeps cabinet-induced resonances and non-linearities to inaudible levels.
When properly optimized and executed, ports are a convenient, cost-effective way to increase low-frequency output. Dynamo 400 and 600X feature tuned, long low-turbulence ports designed to provide superb low-end extension while minimizing port induced distortion.
Built-in ETC (Energy Transfer Coupler) Spikes
Dynamo 800X, 1100X, and 1600X come with custom ETC spikes which can be used to enhance stability on thick carpets, or create tighter coupling between subwoofer and floor to enhance overall sound quality. The built-in spikes are conveniently and discretely hidden underneath the rubber feet.
For complete specifications, please visit:
•MartinLogan Ends Online Partnership with Amazon and Other Retailers at HomeTheaterReview.com.
•MartinLogan Cadence Three-Channel Soundbar Reviewed at HomeTheaterReview.com.