Impression ESL 11A

Astonishing Performance

Impression ESL 11A reveal the pure emotional impact of the performance, with nothing between your audio and your ears. Featuring a 11-inch (CLS™) XStat™ electrostatic transducer, dual 8-inch PoweredForce Forward™ woofers powered by dual 275-watt Class-D amplifiers, and controlled by a 24-Bit Vojtko™ DSP Engine and ARC™ (Anthem Room Correction).

$11,999.98 $10,799.98 pair
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The goal of the loudspeaker is to disappear into its audio performance. Remove the loudspeaker’s effect and you reveal the pure emotional impact of the performance, with nothing between your audio and your ears.

The Impressionist masterpieces removed the barrier between art and emotion, enhancing the potent feelings their art inspired placing emphasis on immediacy and movement. The Impression ESL 11A achieves this effect with an unprecedented level of audio transparency and realism.

The Immediacy of Exceptional Audio

The Impression ESL 11A is part of the Masterpiece Series. It features a dual 8-inch woofer system, with ARC-honed performance, for a perfectly blended low-frequency response. The groundbreaking integration of this woofer array and MartinLogan’s signature 11-inch wide XStat CLS transducer, coupled with a powerful dual amplifier section, delivers an expressive and dynamic audio experience. It's an experience of pure audio pleasure.

Look at the familiar elements of the classic MartinLogan electrostatic loudspeaker:Advanced MicroPerf stator technology, which allows for almost twice the exposed electrostatic diaphragm surface as a traditional electrostatic panel of the same size. A reinforced electrostatic panel with rigid ClearSpar™ spacers, keeping an exact level of tension on the vacuum-bonded diaphragm without obscuring the beautiful see-through design. Add to these the slender, pointed-arrow design of the new AirFrame™ Bladeconstruction and the result is a powerfully evocative composition creating a harmonious connection between the panel and its woofer cabinet.

Now notice some radical refinements:Inspired by our own breakthrough design, we have reinvented the Impression ESL 11A woofer section, powered by new dual 275-watt Class-D amplifiers, and controlled by a 24-Bit Vojtko™ DSP Engine and ARC™ (Anthem Room Correction).

Using two 8-inch laser-engineered low-distortion aluminum cone woofers in independently enclosed compact chambers, exclusive PoweredForce Forward™ bass alignment technology controls the interaction between the rear-firing woofer and the wall behind that woofer. With a smart phase-shifting design, we minimize the effect that wall has on bass information that might bounce back into the listening room. This uniform frequency response results in realistic bass effects you can feel. It’s one more way MartinLogan innovation improves your listening experience in any room.

Achieving the Laboratory Standard in Your Own Room

In the lab, MartinLogan engineers strive for transparency. Outside the lab, there’s one wildcard our engineers can never account for: Your listening room. The unique size and shape of your listening space (and the size and shape of its contents) can make bass waves do unpredictable things, greatly affecting a speaker’s overall performance.

For the first time in electrostatic speakers we are introducing the integration of exclusive Anthem Room Correction (ARC) technology. By engaging ARC to control the low-frequency curve in relation to the output of the ESL panel (as seen in this graph), you will experience performance on par with MartinLogan’s audio test lab.

ARC measures low-frequency sound output in your room and compares it to optimal response curves that account for spatial anomalies. The advanced algorithms of ARC then effectively remove the anomalies, leaving only the ideal standard: realistically blended, natural-sounding bass performance in your listening space.

By minimizing room interactions with PoweredForce Forward bass technology and the advanced room correction capabilities of ARC, along with its unique synthesis of the ESL and bass sections, the Impression ESL 11A produces perfectly-etched imaging and focus; optimum natural reproduction of sound at lifelike listening levels; and agile, full-range operation in open air.

Clearly, it is this level of ultimate performance that separates the merely excellent from a true masterpiece.

Impression  ESL 11A
Impression  ESL 11A

New Ultra-Rigid AirFrame Blade Design

Impression ESL 11A XStat panels are joined to their speaker cabinets using MartinLogan’s redesigned AirFrame Blade construction, precision manufactured from an aerospace-grade extruded aluminum alloy. This material, and this exclusive manufacturing process, makes the panels extremely rigid.

The bold, forward-moving styling of this AirFrame Blade rail system, narrow and strong in front, broad and forceful from the side, is a modern design statement. It never obstructs playable surface area or interferes with the panel’s dipole sound radiation pattern. It also provides electrical and acoustical isolation, minimizing intermodulation distortion caused by vibration and resonance. The flowing lines emphasize the groundbreaking integration of the panel itself with the compact woofer and amplifier section. The breathtaking AirFrame Blade design enhances imaging, low-level sonic detail, accuracy, and speaker efficiency.

Impression  ESL 11A
Impression  ESL 11A

Curvilinear Line Source (CLS) Electrostatic Panel

CLS technology is an essential ingredient of every electrostatic loudspeaker we produce. Through our proprietary manufacturing method, we have built-in the panel’s gentle horizontal curvature. This unique design enhances the high frequency detail produced by the large radiating surface, without compromising overall sound quality. Notice how the gentle modern curve and perforation pattern gives way to the flat grille of the woofer section.

Controlled Dispersion Sound Radiation

The sound we hear from a loudspeaker is a combination of direct radiation from it to our ears, and reflections off of room surfaces—walls, floor, and ceiling. How our brains integrate this information is far from simple. Depending on the angle of incidence to the ears and the arrival-time difference between direct and reflected sound, reflections can either blur detail and stereo imaging, or enhance the natural impression of depth and openness.

Electrostatic panels, which are true dipole speakers, produce a nearly-ideal controlled dispersion radiation pattern. They send very little sound to the sides, thereby minimizing side-wall reflections, whose short arrival times tend to interfere with the perception of the direct sound. Their strong rear radiation, however, produces a generous amount of natural, ambience-enriching later-arriving mid- and upper register information.

Impression  ESL 11A
Impression  ESL 11A

New  PoweredForce Forward™ Bass Technology

PoweredForce Forward bass technology combines two MartinLogan audio innovations: PoweredForce, which allows small enclosures to accurately produce massive amounts of bass, and ForceForward, which significantly reduces performance-robbing front-wall bass reflections.

PoweredForce Forward bass technology uses an advanced crossover topology with phase-timed woofers to minimize destructive reflected energy. By virtually eliminating front-wall bass reflections and working in tandem with the panel, PoweredForce Forward Bass Technology gives you more placement flexibility, and enhances the true audio realism of your sound source.

Impression  ESL 11A

Turning Unused Space Into Better Bass

Masterpiece Series Cabinet Cut-away

The depth of Masterpiece Series speaker cabinets was carefully chosen to maximize benefits of both PoweredForce and ForceForward technologies, providing powerful bass with extreme detail. Combined with Anthem Room Correction (ARC™), these advanced bass technologies provide a level of low-frequency precision that is truly unique.

Masterpiece Series speaker cabinet dimensions create an ideal relationship between the woofers, cabinet volume, and amplifiers in their PoweredForce woofer systems. By providing ample internal volume for the woofers (two sealed enclosures—one per woofer) along with powerful amplification, Masterpiece Series speakers with powered woofer systems are capable of reaching the lowest registers with authority while preserving bass detail.

With ForceForward bass technology, the farther apart the woofers are from each other the lower in frequency its beneficial effects extend. MartinLogan’s ForceForward technology has solved a problem (found in nearly all speakers) where low bass frequency soundwaves reflect off the wall behind the speakers and interact with the waves traveling towards the listener. These interactions create non-linearity in those frequencies as they arrive at your ears and bass information suffers from both cancelations and excessiveness that is not accurate to the original sound. By selectively adjusting phasing of output from their opposing woofers, powered Masterpiece Series speakers eliminate problematic bass energy from behind the speakers.

ForceForward also simplifies the task of speaker placement by removing bass energy from behind the speaker and creating a uniform bass launch. This allows Masterpiece Series speaker cabinets to go closer to the wall than previous generations of MartinLogan speakers. As a rule of thumb we recommend placing the rear of the speaker cabinet no closer to the wall than the diameter of its woofer (Renaissance ESL 15A: 12-inches, Expression ESL 13A: 10-inches, and Impression ESL 11A and Classic ESL 9: 8-inches). For an added level of control powered Masterpiece Series speakers incorporate two level controls (at 75Hz and 200Hz) to allow for fine tuning of bass integration.

Additionally, due to their dipole nature, electrostatic panels perform best when placed at least 2.5-feet or more from the wall—a distance that is ideal for the front of nearly any high-end speaker, regardless of driver technology. The depth of Masterpiece Series cabinets lends itself to providing electrostatic panels with adequate distance from the wall, guaranteeing a richly detailed, three-dimensional soundstage.

New More Performance, Versatility, and Safety, with WBT Binding Posts

Connect your electronics safely and securely using 5-Way audiophile WBT Binding Posts. Their pure copper connection plate is highly conductive and free from “eddy current” effects. These posts are insulated for shock protection, and fully damped against vibrations. They give you plenty of room for large-gauge professional speaker connections.

Impression  ESL 11A

New More performance, versatility, and safety, with WBT Binding Posts

Connect your electronics safely and securely using 5-Way audiophile WBT Binding Posts. Their pure copper connection plate is highly conductive and free from eddy current effects. These posts are insulated for shock protection, and fully damped against vibrations. They give you plenty of room for large-gauge professional speaker connections.

Impression  ESL 11A

MartinLogan’s dedicated in-house design and engineering team created an extremely precise 24-bit Vojtko Digital Signal Processing (DSP) engine to work in conjunction with these powerful new amplifiers. It gives these speakers the ability to deliver detailed low-frequency performance reaching down to 24Hz. Advanced DSP allows complete control and performance optimization over the low pass filters, woofer equalization and limiting functions, all of which are mapped mathematically in the digital domain.

Complete control of the signal, along with instant response, huge amounts of clean power, and efficient, integrated performance, paints an original picture of lifelike audio performance.

Impression  ESL 11A

Precision-Built Advanced-Topology Vojtko Crossover

Vojtko voiced, the advanced crossover and electronics in Impression ESL 11A add mid-range clarity to this artful composition. Carefully hand-built using only the finest polypropylene capacitors and air-core coils, the crossover employs MartinLogan’s proprietary Vojtko topology for vanishingly low distortion and seamless driver/ESL integration. This precision-tuned network preserves even the most microscopic sonic nuances while handling the full dynamics of any source.

We’ve also considered the signal you will feed your loudspeakers and have engineered Impression ESL 11A to work well with practically any type of electronics. MartinLogan’s state-of-the-art toroidal transformer and electrical interface engineering ensure an absolutely transparent link from amplifier to electrostatic panel and woofer array. This produces sound of unparalleled purity, precision, clarity, and openness — the next best thing to no speaker at all.


MartinLogan Impression ESL 11A Hybrid Electrostatic Loudspeaker

"Whether or not you decide to use the optional PBK system, the Impression ESL 11A is one of the hidden secrets in the MartinLogan line-up. Some will miss this on the way to bigger speakers, but they shouldn't. It's a powerful, dynamic, musical fun maker with the usual MartinLogan characteristics of good imagery and great detail, but adds to that a relatively small footprint, and terrific integration between cones and panel. Factor in the benefit of subtle DSP room compensation and this electrostatic hybrid design comes extremely highly recommended!"

—Alan Sircom, HiFi+
Read the full review»

MartinLogan Impression ESL 11A Hybrid Electrostatic Loudspeaker

"Let me say it up front: The Impression 11A with its built-in ARC engaged has provided the best bass response I’ve ever heard in my room in the areas of overall smoothness of response and of clarity, definition, and pitch differentiation."

—Paul Seydor, The Absolute Sound
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MartinLogan ESL-11A Impression Electrostatic Loudspeaker/Subwoofer: “My High-End Speaker Of The Year”

"The MartinLogan Impression shows how the evolution path of electrostatic speakers has improved the technology to the point where it is nearly flawless in its performance. They now have low bass that matches the speed of the panel’s immaculately, focused midrange/treble, and they can be played much louder than the original ‘stats. The big selling point, however, is that gorgeous spread of sound. That space impression and the ability to convey the finer details of music — it all helps deliver on the promise of musical realism through the speaker."

—John Gatski, Everything Audio Network
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Martin Logan Impression ESL 11A

"Martin Logan loudspeakers in general have always had unbelievable transparency and spatial rendering that has to be heard to be appreciated. However, with the Impression ESL 11A, the company has taken a significant step forward. This is not only the most coherent hybrid electrostatic loudspeaker yet, but they also produce the absolutely best bass that I have ever heard in my listening room, period!"

—Christiaan Punter,
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Ein Drucks Voll / Impressive [GERMAN]

"[Translated] All this made the MartinLogan Impression ESL 11A in the important disciplines of neutrality and detail reach sensationally with the great Renaissance. Their larger foil area, however, still gave them tiny advantages in spatial imaging. The more voluminous woofers were able to produce even richer levels with even deeper bass."

—Lothar Brandt, Audio
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MartinLogan Impression ESL 11A Electrostatic Speakers Review

"The MartinLogan ESL 11A is a world-class speaker. It is revealing, accurate and has the huge soundstage one expects of a dipole radiator. The speaker can sound good with modest source components, but to hear it at its best, use the highest-quality sources and amplifiers that you can provide."

—Glenn Young, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
Read the full review»


To run Anthem Room Correction (ARC) with your speakers you will need to purchase a PBK or ARC Kit (Please note that MartinLogan Perfect Bass Kit (PBK) microphones are fully compatible with Anthem Room Correction for MartinLogan speakers). Each kit is shipped with a unique microphone.

To download the most up-to-date version of ARC, please click the link below to go directly to Anthem's website.

Get the Latest ARC Software »

System Requirements

ARC Genesis requires an ARC or PBK Microphone, a Mac OS X (10.12+) or Windows (7/8/8.1/10) computer, and an ARC or PBK compatible audio product. One USB port is required. If you are using a laptop computer, check power settings and battery meter before starting to ensure the procedure is not interrupted.


Specifications are subject to change without notice

Frequency Response

29–23,000 Hz ±3dB

Recommended Amplifier Power

20—550 watts per channel

Horizontal Dispersion


Vertical Dispersion

44" (112cm) line source


91 dB/2.83 volts/meter


4 Ohms, 0.6 at 20kHz Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers.

Crossover Frequency


High Frequency Transducer

XStat™ CLS™ electrostatic transducer » Panel Dimensions: 44" x 11" (112 x 28cm) » Radiating Area: 484 in² (3,136 cm² )

Low Frequency Transducer

Two 8” (20.3 cm) cast basket, high excursion, rigid aluminium cone and extended throw drive assembly, non-resonance asymmetrical chamber format.


Woofer: 2 x 275 watts/channel (4 ohms), 2 x 550 watts peak

Room Correction (Bass Section)

Anthem Room Correction (ARC™) ready (Sold Separately)


Custom-wound audio transformer, air core coils, polypropylene capacitors. 24-bit DSP based preamplifier (used with woofer amplifier).

Audio Controls

Bass: ±10 dB under 75 Hz Mid-Bass: –2 dB, 0 db, +2 db ARC™ Room EQ: On, Off

Signal Inputs

WBT-0703Cu nextgen™ 5-way binding posts feature a filigree signal conductor made from gold plated, nickel free, non- ferromagnetic, pure copper for high conductivity and fully insulated. Free from eddy current effects.


AC Power, RJ45 (for ARC), mini USB (for ARC)

Power Draw

Idle: < 1W/channel Max: 500W/channel


90 lbs. (40.9 kg)


60.75" x 11.9" x 27.4 " (154.3cm x 30.2cm x 69.6cm)

Customer Reviews For Impression ESL 11A

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  • Thursday, June 18, 2020

Best speakers I have ever owned. Spectacular realism and checks all the boxes for me. Previously owned the Montis, which I love, but the 11a sound more detailed without being fatiguing. No easy feat. Paired with a Cronus Magnum III tube integrated amp, both digital and analog songs come to life !!!


  • Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Perfect speakers. I have owned ML Clarity's, Vantage's, and now 11A's. The new technology has produced an incredible advancement over the Vantage. I am running then through a Naim Uniti Nova and with a Rel S812 sub. They sound awesome. I run them in 2 channel for music and 7.1 for theater. They sound great for both applications. I replaced a set of Focal Sepora No3's with these and could not be happier. Although, the Focal's are incredible speakers, I love the stage sound from ML's. I understand everyone has their own opinion and many do not like ESL speakers, but I love the sound they produce. I have tried without the Rel sub and they poduce a great deal of base and I guess the Rel is overkill, they compliment each other wonderfully. If I hasd the space I would purchase another Rel S812 and run them in stereo. I do not have the room. I decided not to go with the 13A's because I have the Rel and I still believe the 11A's produce a great deal of bottom end without spending the extra money. I promise you will not be disappointed with these speakers.


  • Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I have avoided electrostatic speakers thinking my room was to small to do them justice but after purchasing the Impression ESL 11A about a month ago I couldn't have been more wrong. My search for speakers is over they are magical! I have not tried setting them up with the ARC system yet but they sound so good I will be amazed if they can sound better. Best purchase I have made in audio land. Thanks Everyone at Martin Logan!

Thien L.

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Impression 11A
I recently purchased these pair of Impression 11A in Maple cabinet from Magnolia Best Buy. These speakers are beautiful to look at, and the fit and finish are excellent. These speakers were shipped with black covers; however, I would prefer to see a more beautiful covers to cover these beauty. I need to cover them because of my young children playing around the house. I wish they have nice beautiful cover with big ML logo on it. These speakers sound beautifully crisp, highly detail, and very directional. I drive them with my Mcintosh pre-amp and tube amp setup. I follow the setup recommendation and set them at least 2 feet away from the wall, and their locations to my listening position form an equilateral triangle. Any deviation from this triangle, even only a few feet off, will result in unbalanced center sound stage. So let me say again, location, location, location. There is a noticeable different between before and after ARC setup. The reason I chose these Impression speakers over the Classic for their dual balance force subwoofers with their own power amp, and also the ARC feature. However, I feel their subwoofers are not powerful enough (as compared to a dedicated subwoofer box) for my liking. I am not talking about earth shattering, house shaking bass; but at least enough bass pressure or I can feel the bass. I must increase the bass gain in my preamp just to feel enough bass coming out. I also purchased ML BalanceForce 212 subwoofer to pair with these speakers and to augment them. Let me tell ya, they are made for each other. I can equalize the bass with the PBK, and load the phase matching software specifically for my Impression speakers. Now, I can hear and feel substantial bass coming out from my music. Even at low volume, I can still hear and feel the rich and clean bass. Overall, I am very happy with these setup. To make the most of out them, I also acoustically treat my entire living room with bass traps and acoustic panels. Acoustically treated room makes a huge different in sound quality, it makes the best sound system sound even supper.

Geir Fagervik

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Speaker for a lifetime
Just tested the New Martin Logan speaker Impression. The most important quality in a speaker for me is resolution and transparency. Listening to the Impression speaker is like all the filter are gone. It reaches so deep into recordings, in a way I did not think was possible. I listen to complex electronic music, and the presition and details revealed makes it possible to visualize each sound on the recording. It has a lot of air, and the sounds are never sharp. You can actually listen on good volume without risking tinnitus. The bass integration of the new Martin Logan is so much better than on the former models I have tested. I mean, the result i breathtaking. For me this is the last speaker i ever need to invest inn, and therefore the price is actually cheap!