Focus ESL C18

Focus ESL C18 is a versatile performance shelf or wall-mounted electrostatic center channel speaker, bringing realism into focus with an 18-inch wide XStat CLS electrostatic transducer with the detailed imaging capability of a Folded Motion tweeter, along with twin 6.5-inch woofers, capable of deep bass reproduction down to 50Hz.

$4,899.99 $4,409.99 each
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Focus ESL C18

The painters of the Dutch Golden Age produced photo-realistic masterpieces 300 years before cameras were invented. They focused your attention using a bright, otherworldly light. Even in their most intimate portraits, the riveting light draws your eye.

This kind of sensory focus is the key to realism in your home theater, as well. It’s the job of your center channel loudspeaker to anchor action and dialogue to your screen. It must reproduce detailed high frequency information to reinforce imaging, and also blend seamlessly with the other speakers in your surround-sound system to envelope you in a realistic soundstage.

MartinLogan presents a new Masterpiece of home theater realism: the Focus ESL C18 Center Channel Loudspeaker, an electrostatic center channel speaker designed for wall-mounted flexibility.

Focus ESL C18
Focus ESL C18

On the wall or on the shelf, there has never been a more adaptable electrostatic speaker.

The goal is flexibility and performance, and the Focus ESL C18 achieves both. The sleek, sculpted enclosure is solidly braced, resonance-free and well-balanced. It is designed to be mounted above or below your screen. Heavy-duty wall-mounting bracket hardware is included, and the innovative brackets accommodate multiple mounting angles, so you can aim the Focus ESL C18 directly at your listening position for a perfectly aligned center channel presentation.

The Focus ESL C18 is also at home on a shelf or floor stand. Toggle the convenient “On-Wall/Off-Wall” acoustic contour switch to instantly optimize performance for any mounting position. This feature automatically modifies response to compensate for wall boundaries that may reinforce or inhibit bass output. The result is room-filling center channel reproduction with lifelike full-range verve.

Installation flexibility and tailored center channel performance: Now you have more options than ever in your Masterpiece home theater system.

Focus ESL C18
Focus ESL C18

Yes, a wall-mountable electrostatic center channel.

What makes the Focus ESL C18 a masterpiece of center channel design and engineering is its surprising ability to be wall-mounted. And while the Focus ESL C18 boasts a depth of just 9.6-inches when mounted flat on a wall, it is packed with technology that delivers the detailed audio you demand from a superior center channel loudspeaker.

The 7.5 x 18-inch Curvilinear Line Source (CLS) electrostatic panel, with its gentle horizontal curve, enhances output and extends the enveloping mid-range dispersion pattern. The design of the exterior grille matches the look of the MicroPerf Stators and bold AirFrame Blade seen on other models in the Masterpiece ESL Series, for a sophisticated and coordinated home theater system aesthetic.

Premium 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.

Focus ESL C18

Precision-Built Advanced-Topology Vojtko Crossover

Vojtko Voiced, the advanced crossover in Focus ESL C18 add enhanced 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.

Exclusive Folded Motion Tweeter

Situated just behind the electrostatic panel, fixed in a uniquely designed housing, sits a MartinLogan exclusive Folded Motion Tweeter. The low-mass diaphragm of the Folded Motion Tweeter minimizes distortion, while its short excursion length expedites lightning fast high frequency response. The 1 x 1.4-inch Folded Motion Tweeter in the Focus ESL C18 center channel speaker has a diaphragm area of 5.25 x 1.75-inches. The combined performance characteristics of the electrostatic panel and the Folded Motion Tweeter ensure precision and hyper-realistic front-stage blending.

This kind of mid- and high-frequency performance can only be supported by a foundation of tremendous low-end. So the Focus ESL C18 also features a passive array of twin 6.5-inch woofers, capable of deep bass reproduction down to 50Hz. Bass output can be tuned for any installation option with the acoustic contour switch.

Focus ESL C18



Specifications are subject to change without notice

Frequency Response

50–23,000 Hz ±3dB

Recommended Amplifier Power

50—400 watts per channel

Horizontal Dispersion



90 dB/2.83 volts/meter


4 Ohms Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers.

Crossover Frequency

470, 3000 Hz

High Frequency Transducer

1" x 1.4" (2.6cm x 3.6cm) Folded Motion Transducer with 5.25" x 1.75" (13.3cm x 4.4cm) diaphragm.

Mid Frequency Transducer

Patented CLS™ XStat™ electrostatic transducer » Panel Dimensions: 7.5" x 18" (19 x 45.7cm) » Radiating Area: 135 in² (868 cm²)

Low Frequency Transducer

Two 6.5" (16.5cm) cast basket, high excursion, rigid aluminum cone with extended throw drive assembly, non-resonance asymmetrical chamber format.


Custom-wound audio transformer, air core coils, low DCR steel laminate coils, polyester capacitors

Audio Controls

Position: On-Wall / Off-Wall

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.


50 lbs. (22.7 kg)

Dimensions (Table Mount)

9.6" x 43.2" x 9.2 " (24.4cm x 109.7cm x 23.4cm)

Dimensions (Installed On Wall, Flat Mount)

9.4" x 43.2" x 9.6" (23.9 cm x 109.7cm x 24.5cm)

Dimensions (Installed On Wall, Angled)

11.3" x 43.2 " x 11.5 " (28.8 cm x 109.7cm x 29.1 cm)

Customer Reviews For Focus ESL C18

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  • Sunday, January 16, 2022

Worth every penny. The Focus is one of the best sounding center channels I've ever had. It blends will with the masterpiece series speakers and previous generation MLs. I currently have this matched with my current Montis speakers and previous Theos both systems sounded excellent with movies, TV, video games, or anything surround sound. If you are on the fence about this speaker or want to upgrade from the ESL C don't even think twice, it is a night and day difference in improvement. Highly recommend.

Craig P.

  • Saturday, July 17, 2021

The ESL C18 is an absolutely fantastic center speaker. I have Stewart StudioTek 130 electric projection screens and needed a wall mounted center channel speaker to go with my other Martin Logan speakers. This is the ultimate center speaker. Crisp, clear dialog and good off axis sound for people not dead center. I love this speaker!


  • Friday, February 16, 2018

In the past few months I have upgraded my center channel from the Stage X to the new Focus. Originally I had the new Focus paired with a pair of Summit X’s for a few months. I could tell right away that the new center channel was superior to the Stage X. How could I tell? It was pretty easy to tell that the new Focus just made movies or concerts sound more real and interesting then in the past. The center channel is the most important speaker in a multi-channel system so to get the best sound quality any improvements will be noticed immediately. If you look at the specs the horizontal dispersion is the same for both center channels but to me it’s wider on the new Focus. So sitting off axis works better in my room sitting arrangement – maybe it’s just that it’s longer than the Stage X. The other thing that I would like to mention is I had the Stage X sitting on top of my electronic cabinet with the back about 3” from the wall. This worked but an older different manufacturer (that I had in the past) had a way to mount the center channel directly to the wall. I always liked that look but even though the Stage X had a bracket that could be used to mount to the wall it would have been sticking out quite a bit more so I never mounted it that way. The new Focus is made to mount to a wall hanging on a very narrow bracket so really it sticks out just slightly deeper than the speaker itself. The Focus has a switch to configure the speaker exactly for direct wall mounting and if preferred not. I really like the look mounted directly to the wall. I also think because of the development work that ML did to make this even possible to wall mount (which probably was quite the trick with an electrostatic speaker) I just think the end result is very good sonically and visually. I also like the longer look of the Focus it kind of looks like the top section of a hybrid speaker on its side. It seems to match the rest of the front channels better visually. The finishing that I’m all too familiar with continues to be top notch indeed. In fact it looked so good I swapped out my Summit X’s (with stock black ash finish) to a special color 13a’s that match much more closely which I like a lot – both visually and sonically. I would also like to thank Shawn at DaVinci Media for all his help with this media room system upgrades and trade ins over the years!