MartinLogan Depth i Subwoofer Reviewed

By |

MartinLogan Depth i Subwoofer Reviewed

Page 1 Page 2


The subwoofer is the unsung hero of any home theater or multi-channel music system.  Sure, we are aware of the subwoofer and often feel its presence, but all too often, once purchased, it sits there in the corner, never to be thought about again.  I would argue that the subwoofer is the heart of any speaker system, for without the bottom octave(s), our music and movie soundtracks would float away.  While we can all agree a subwoofer is important, many subs are built around old principles: get a large driver or two, place them in a large (often square) ported enclosure and tell consumers you can hide them from view.  This often results in boomy, one-note bass that gives subwoofers a bad name or, worse, pushes them out of the mainstream consciousness.  

Additional Resources
Read more MartinLogan Reviews at
ยช Read more subwoofer reviews from the likes of Sunfire, Velodyne, PSB, Paradigm and many others...

MartinLogan, better known for their visually stunning hybrid electrostatic loudspeakers, is out to change all that with their new lineup of subwoofers, which not only don't look the part, but don't act it, either.  You see, MartinLogan has approached their subs the same way they have approached their speakers, as musical devices rather than one-trick ponies, which is why their subs have been heralded as agile, multi-functional and, of course, musical.  The Depth i looks much like MartinLogan's flagship sub, the Descent i.  However it is a touch smaller in both scale and weight.  The Depth i features three eight-inch-high excursion aluminum drivers in a sealed, non-resonant asymmetrical enclosure.  The drivers are aligned by what MartinLogan calls BalancedForce, so that the three drivers are positioned  in opposition to one another, allowing their negative forces/vibrations inside the cabinet to effectively cancel each other out, creating less boom and vibration and instead possessing a richer, deeper, more natural bass sound.  The alignment of the drivers is further enhanced by the non-ported nature of the Depth i itself.  Porting can allow for a sub (or speaker) to plunge deeper in the musical range, though it comes at the cost of accuracy, speed, musicality and room interference.  Speaking of room interference or anomalies, the Depth i has many tools at its disposal to combat the issue.  The most noticeable of these is its 25Hz level control.  At the extremes, usually between 20-30Hz, all rooms produce a boost in bass energy.  The Depth i employs a level control that allows the user to effectively reduce these effects by cutting the sub's output in the problem range.

Beyond the 25Hz control, the Depth i has all of the standard subwoofer controls, such as phase switch, crossover frequency, volume, etc.  However, unlike most subs, the Depth i's controls are located on the top of the unit itself (under a stylish cover), making them accessible and easy to tune at a moment's notice.  While most subs have the controls previously mentioned, few have the level and/or options the Depth i has.  For example, the Depth i has four phase settings, as opposed to the usual two you'll find on most subs.  The Depth i is aptly named, for it truly can plumb the depths of the musical spectrum in all but the largest of rooms, which is where the Descent i may prove more useful.  The Depth i has a frequency response of 20-120Hz, made possible by its internal 350-watt switching power amplifier, which subsequently has a peak power rating of 900 watts.  The Depth i can be connected to your system via line level, LFE and speaker level inputs.  The Depth i has outputs as well, allowing you to effectively chain multiple subs together for better bass output and response if you have only a single LFE or subwoofer output on your processor.

The Depth i comes in four basic finishes, light cherry, dark cherry, black ash and maple, to accentuate and add a touch of style to its slight triangular frame.  Bird's Eye Maple, Bubinga and Wenge, as well as a number of custom finishes, are optional extras.  The Depth i retails for $1,800 and is available through dealers nationwide, as well as Magnolia Hi-fi stores (many located inside Best Buy stores) and online via

Read the High Points, The Low Points and The Conclusion on Page 2

  • Comment on this article

Post a Comment
comments powered by Disqus

HTR Product Rating for MartinLogan Depth i Subwoofer

Criteria Rating







Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.

Latest Subwoofer Reviews

Jun 05
Definitive Technology SuperCube 6000 Subwoofer Reviewed Scott Schumer says it at if you don't have too big a room, DefTech's little SuperCube 6000 deliver a lot of bang (and kaboom) for the buck.
Definitive Technology SuperCube 6000 Subwoofer Reviewed

May 27
SVS SB-3000 Subwoofer Reviewed Greg Handy gives SVS's new mid-priced, mid-sized sealed subwoofer a spin.
SVS SB-3000 Subwoofer Reviewed

Feb 25
Paradigm Defiance X15 Subwoofer Reviewed Take a look at Paradigm's new Defiance X15 subwoofer--at least with its grille on--and nothing special really catches your eye....
Paradigm Defiance X15 Subwoofer Reviewed

Jan 23
SVS SB-2000 Subwoofer Reviewed SVS may have solidified a name for itself with its Prime and Ultra speakers, wireless audio products, and accessories, but...
SVS SB-2000 Subwoofer Reviewed

Dec 10
Home Theater Review's Best of 2018 Awards Here at the end of 2018, we at look back at all the products we reviewed this year and pick the best of the bunch, from budget favorites to aspirational flagship products.
Home Theater Review's Best of 2018 Awards