The crescent-shaped Crescendo, with its extremely tasteful aesthetic design and top-notch audio components, is one of the best Bluetooth speakers we’ve seen this year under the $1,000 price-point. First revealed in a press release leading up to CES 2014, we encountered MartinLogan‘s new speaker at the Las Vegas convention back in January, and our first impression was glowing.
Best put by the company itself in the Crescendo manual, the speaker “produces an enveloping field of richly detailed audio incorporating two tweeters (featuring MartinLogan’s award-winning Folded Motion technology), a high-performance woofer, and three channels of dedicated class-D amplification representing 100 watts of total system power.” Simply put, this speaker is a $900 ass-kicker.
The Folded Motion technology referred to in the manual is one of Martin Logan’s hallmarks. Like accordions, the tweeters compress and expand to effectively squeeze air, creating super-articulate treble. We gave the Folded Motion feature an in-depth look a couple years back in our review of MartinLogan’s Motion Vision sound bar. Tackling the low end, the Crescendo’s woofer is a “custom-designed front-firing 5×7-inch matte black polypropylene cone … with extended throw drive assembly in a non-resonant asymmetrical chamber format.” In other words, it’s capable of some big movement, generating big air, hence: big bass.
Though the Crescendo boasts some bravado in the bass already, the speaker can be paired with a dedicated sub (via analog RCA connection) for even deeper low end. MartinLogan offers this up as a potential solution for someone wanting even more “oomph,” but the company goes out of its way to explain that the Crescendo is meant to be a standalone solution that replaces an extensive multi-speaker setup — a function made possible by the 24-bit 48kHz digital signal processing-based pre-amplifier. The device is also Wi-Fi-compatible for AirPlay connections, Bluetooth-enabled (with aptX, AAC, SBC and MP3 codec support), and equipped with a wired Ethernet port for AirPlay and DLNA protocols. It can act as a audio and charging dock for USB-connectable devices and includes 3.5-mm analog and optical digital inputs (mini-Toslink optical adapter included).
MartinLogan’s Crescendo speaker is available now through authorized dealers in high-gloss piano black or real-wood walnut veneer.