Edifier R1280DB vs. MartinLogan Motion 20i

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
$150 $2000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
55-20,000 Hz 46-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The Edifier R1280DBs are compact, powered bookshelf speakers that offer versatility with Bluetooth connectivity, making them ideal for casual listeners seeking a simple, all-in-one solution. Their sound is punchy and clear for the price, with a remote for easy control. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 20i tower speakers are a high-end investment, standing tall in both stature and audio quality. With Motion's signature Folded Motion tweeter and robust drivers, these towers deliver audiophile-grade clarity and depth, ideal for those seeking a premium listening experience in a dedicated space. Choose Edifier for convenience or MartinLogan for refined performance.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to home audio, the quest for the perfect sound can take an enthusiast down many roads. Among those paths, you'll find setups that range from the modest bookshelf units to the towering monoliths of sound. Two such paths are embodied by the Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speakers. Both systems cater to different segments of the audiophile market, but how do they compare in terms of performance, design, and overall value?

Design and Build Quality

Right out of the box, the Edifier R1280DB speakers give off a vibe of practical elegance with a classic bookshelf design that fits into most decor without fuss. Their wooden enclosure is both aesthetically pleasing and acoustically effective, providing a warm resonance that complements their sound profile. In contrast, MartinLogan's Motion 20i Tower Speakers are a statement piece. They stand tall, exuding a high-end presence with their slender form and the signature MartinLogan design touch — the distinct perforated steel grille and the lustrous finish. Both sets of speakers are well-built, but MartinLogan's craftsmanship takes a decisive leap into premium territory.

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DB arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Quality and Performance

Edifier's R1280DB may be compact, but they pack a surprising punch. These powered bookshelf speakers deliver a balanced sound with decent bass response considering their size, and the built-in amplification means you won't need additional equipment to start listening. However, when pitted against the Motion 20i, the scale tips. The MartinLogan speakers, powered by a separate amplifier, produce a sound that is not just louder, but also crisper, with an airy quality that bookshelf speakers rarely achieve. The Motion 20i's Folded Motion Tweeter offers a precise and highly articulate treble, while the dual woofers ensure a robust and controlled bass. The overall soundstage is expansive, providing an immersive listening experience that is hard to match in smaller speakers.

Functionality and Features

The Edifier R1280DB scores high marks for functionality with features like Bluetooth connectivity, multiple input options, and a handy remote control for easy adjustments from across the room. These are features designed for convenience and versatility, making the R1280DB a smart choice for users who value simplicity and connectivity. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 20i speakers are more traditional in their feature set, focusing primarily on pure audio performance. Their bi-wire/bi-amp capabilities do offer an avenue for customization for the audiophile who loves to tinker and optimize their sound setup.

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i arrow (at Amazon.com)

In terms of value, it's essential to consider what you're seeking in a speaker system. The Edifier R1280DB shines as an affordable, all-in-one solution that doesn't skimp on sound quality for everyday listening. They're an excellent choice for those who want respectable performance without a hefty investment. On the other end of the spectrum, the MartinLogan Motion 20i speakers command a premium but justify it through their superior sonic capabilities and luxurious build. They're an investment in high-fidelity sound that will satisfy a discerning ear.

For the space-conscious consumer, the R1280DB's compact size allows them to fit into various environments, from a small apartment to a modest home office. The Motion 20i, while not overly bulky for tower speakers, still require more space and are best suited for larger rooms where they can truly breathe and fill the area with their dynamic sound.

The conclusion is as nuanced as the listeners who might be choosing between these two. The Edifier R1280DB and the MartinLogan Motion 20i cater to different desires and needs. The R1280DB offers a no-fuss, compact audio solution for the casual listener or those with space constraints. Meanwhile, the Motion 20i stands as the audiophile's towering beacon of sound, demanding more from both your wallet and your living space but rewarding you with a listening experience that's nothing short of captivating.

Ultimately, the choice between the Edifier R1280DB and the MartinLogan Motion 20i isn't just about volume or clarity; it's about what speaks to you both aesthetically and sonically. Each offers a window into the soul of the music they project, but the view you prefer depends on the scenery you're drawn to — the cozy corner bookshelf or the grand audio vista.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.