MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test even the little brother can!

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test even the little brother can!

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test: even the little brother can!

In February, I first got acquainted with a rather large model of the Dynamo 1600X subwoofer from MartinLogan. Frankly, this test was a pleasant discovery for me. Since I “measure everything on myself”, it was interesting for me to evaluate a more compact (and therefore better fit into an average home theater) sub with an index of 1100X. And so the meeting took place.

Dynamo Concept

The younger brother repeats the concept of the older model 1600X: here you have a completely closed case only in black (hello Henry Ford!), And control via Bluetooth, as well as an optional wireless audio signal transmitter and a class D digital amplifier that delivers up to 1.3 kW in peak.

I will not repeat the description ( it is better to read the previous test ). Just once again I note a very interesting feature of the transformation of the subwoofer. It can be converted from down-firing (speaker to the floor) to front-firing (speaker to the viewer), which expands the possibilities of its installation in a particular room.

Personally, I did not use this transformation (I used the first one - the standard option), but those who wish can unscrew the legs and screw them to another place - this is not for long.

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test

By the way, last time I didn’t notice the cool feature of the legs - integrated spikes that can be opened by removing part of the leg. Very cool: if you want - and use ordinary rubberized legs, but if you want - spikes. All this is easy and fast - you do not need to twist anything.

I will not list the inputs and outputs: there is not only the necessary minimum but it should be noted that it is from the 1100th model that the use of a balanced low-level XLR input begins, which implies a connection to a high-level AV processor.

The second time I used the branded smartphone application, I concluded for myself that it is simply perfect, except for one thing - every time you start, you need to select the device with which you want to connect. Even if you have only one device, it is inconvenient. But not very important, especially since it can be fixed in the next versions of the application. Well, we must not forget that the switch responsible for the “master” on the back of the subwoofer must be in the App position.

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test

Let me remind you that to set up the ARC auto-correction system, you will also need the ARC Mobile application and some free time in complete silence for calibration.

This time I played around a lot with the Cinema and Music presets. I did not notice any cardinal difference (except that in the "Music" mode the subwoofer became a little more delicate), choosing the first mode for myself for any material. But the inclusion of ARC gave a much more tangible effect - the bass became noticeably denser, clearer, and more dynamic - the overtones disappeared.

Next time it will be interesting to try out a branded set with a high-quality microphone, because. I did both reviews using the phone's built-in microphone. I suspect that a precise microphone can make the bass even more articulate and detailed, depending on the room and the source material.

Shall we beat?

Testing this time took place in two stages and in two places - thanks to quarantine and coronavirus. At first, I traditionally listened to the Nazarov salon with a Denon receiver and Zappiti as a source. And then, anticipating a long stay at home, I took the 1100X to my house so that I could compare it at home and at the same time try to evaluate its musical abilities.

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test

Unbroken and Hurt Locker were chosen as test materials. The bombardment scene at the very beginning of Unbroken is a good demonstration of the different bass levels and thrusts.

The subwoofer is actively used here even in seemingly calm scenes - but listen to the sensations. The hum of the big B-24 Liberator bomber engines fills the whole room and even presses on the chest a little - just play with the subwoofer volume control in the application to understand that the weight and volume of this scene just lie on the shoulders of Dynamo.

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test

The subwoofer is in a closed cabinet, and the speaker in my system was pointing downwards. The combination of these design features, as well as the level of performance, made it possible to state that the 1100X does not have any parasitic overtones, no hum or other artifacts were noticed - on the contrary, it perfectly fits into the system and expanded its frequency range.

The explosion of buildings far below is exactly what it feels like: very far away, but at the same time, it feels like it exploded powerfully - extremely realistic. Then a shootout with fighters begins, where the subwoofer is also not superfluous at all. It demonstrates a biting elastic bass, which adds spectacularity to the soundtrack, but at the same time, I note once again that the subwoofer does not betray its presence in any way, only supporting the sound picture from below, as it should.

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test

I turn on the "Lord" - the famous scene in the desert. Here, of course, the subwoofer in all its glory shows its capabilities when voicing a 50-caliber machine gun. And on this track, too, everything is known in comparison: just turn off the subwoofer or turn down the volume. The sound picture loses weight, scale, and even automatic machines sound somehow unconvincing and weightless. Individual shots of a sniper duel sound bitingly, sharply - and this is also the merit of the MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X.

Now about the musical abilities of the subject. Dynamo does not have my favorite high-level input on the Speakon connector, the MartinLogan developers went the other way - they implemented a high-level input but on banana connectors! I had to specially make a cable connecting the outputs of my Hegel H300 and the subwoofer. Moreover, the input to the Dynamo 1100X is completely separate for the left and right channels. It works simultaneously with the low-level LFE (but not with the stereo input), only there is no separate adjustment of the "low" and "high" inputs. I connect everything, set the level to a well-known track, and start listening to FLACs.

The black Metallica album is good: there is depth, there is attack, but still, something is missing. I listened to different things - and Tony Joe White, AC / DC, and Volbeat - played around with the "Cinema" and "Music" modes in the subwoofer application. And you know - Dynamo did not blunder on music either. Of course, it is not as textured and transparent as the one I am used to, but it does not stand out in the system either, expanding the frequency range of my floor standers. You can very well hear the difference by changing the sub-level to zero in the application, plus you can play around with the cutoff frequencies and filter slope. In general - I liked it, for my money - a very, very pleasant result on different musical material.

Yes, I wanted to be sharper, harder, deeper - but these maxims do not detract from the merits of the subwoofer, which is the real king in its price range!

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test

It is important here not to harm, many subs start playing their own part, upsetting the sound stage and the owner. At the cinema, it may be imperceptible, but in music, it is quiet. So, Dynamo 1100X was not noticed in this.


In the bottom line - with all responsibility I admit once again that in the cinema the Dynamo series is simply a win-win option, select a model according to the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe room (in any case, I would start watching from the 1100th, in my opinion, it will not harm a small room). The above Dynamo 1100X can be freely used up to 30 meters, or even more. or  It's neat, precise, and amazingly empowering, while being unobtrusive either visually or acoustically. The auto-tuning system will minimize the influence of the room, which is also very valuable for subwoofers. This sub must add bass to the musical material, and more importantly, will not spoil the sound picture with its interference.

MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X subwoofer test

If for you the main topic is cinema, and you listen to music occasionally, then the choice is obvious. If music is the first place for you, I recommend paying attention to models of a higher level, unfortunately, this means a higher price. And finally, the Dynamo 1100X is a very compact subwoofer for its capabilities, which makes it easy to place it in a room.


Outstanding cinematic ability, auto-correction system, app control.


Black only, no separate high-level input adjustment.


MartinLogan Dynamo 1100X


Acoustic Design: Closed Enclosure

Speaker: 12" (305mm)

Frequency range: 22-200 Hz

Amplifier: 650W (1.3kWp) Class D

Adjustments: level, phase, the cutoff frequency

Inputs: LFE, 2 x RCA, 1 x XLR, high level banana

Features: Three Presets, ARC Room Correction, Optional Wireless Receiver/Transmitter

Dimensions: 435x380x396 mm

Weight: 20.9 kg

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