Edifier R1280DBs vs. MartinLogan Motion 4i

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
$160 $250
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
12.60” × 5.60” × 5.70”
320mm × 142mm × 145mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
51-20,000 Hz 70-23,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 5.1

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity audio, the Edifier R1280DBs powered bookshelf speakers deliver exceptional value with their built-in amplification and Bluetooth connectivity. They appeal to listeners seeking convenience and a warm sound signature at an accessible price point. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 4i bookshelf speakers showcase audiophile-grade refinement. They feature MartinLogan's renowned Folded Motion tweeters for a detailed and precise soundstage. Though requiring a separate amplifier, the Motion 4i's excel with their airy highs and articulate midrange, catering to the purist ear. Choosing between them hinges on one's desire for plug-and-play ease versus sonic excellence.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to bookshelf speakers, the market is awash with options that can suit nearly every taste and budget. Among the plethora of choices, two standout models are the Edifier R1280DBs and the MartinLogan Motion 4i. Both offer a compelling mix of audio performance and value, but they cater to different segments of the audiophile market. Today, we'll take a closer look at how these two models compare, what sets them apart, and which might be the better fit for your listening preferences and space.

Design and Build Quality: A Study in Contrasts

The Edifier R1280DBs speakers exude a modern, yet somewhat utilitarian aesthetic that's in line with their price point. The build quality is solid, with a wood veneer finish that gives them a classic touch. On the other hand, the MartinLogan Motion 4i speakers radiate an air of sophistication and high-end appeal. Their sleek, piano black finish and the iconic MartinLogan folded motion tweeter not only make for a visual statement but also hint at the advanced technology housed within. The Motion 4i's build quality is exemplary, with attention to detail that is expected from a premium brand.

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DBs arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Quality: Clarity Meets Power

The Edifier R1280DBs may be modestly sized, but they pack a surprising punch. The sound is warm and full-bodied, with an emphasis on providing a pleasing balance across frequencies. The built-in digital signal processing (DSP) and dynamic range control (DRC) ensure that audio remains clear even at high volumes. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 4i speakers take clarity to the next level. The high-resolution folded motion tweeter provides an astonishingly precise soundstage, with crystal-clear highs that never become harsh. The dedicated woofer and sophisticated crossover design deliver tight, articulate bass and a well-defined midrange.

Connectivity and Features

One of the R1280DBs' strong suits is their flexibility when it comes to connectivity. With Bluetooth, optical, coaxial, and dual RCA inputs, these speakers are ready to handle a variety of audio sources. They also come with a convenient remote control, making them user-friendly for everyday use. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, on the other hand, sticks to a more traditional approach, focusing on pure audio performance without the inclusion of built-in Bluetooth. While this might limit their versatility somewhat, it allows for a more straightforward, high-fidelity listening experience that purists will appreciate.

MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i arrow (at Amazon.com)

Where the Edifier R1280DBs stand out in their category is the incorporation of these modern conveniences without significantly inflating the cost. They represent a gateway into the world of high-quality audio without the need for additional components. The Motion 4i speakers, being a more audiophile-centric offering, assume the presence of a quality receiver or amplifier to unlock their full potential, which may add to the overall investment.

Value Proposition: Affordability vs. Audiophile Aspirations

Price is often a determining factor, and the Edifier R1280DBs shine in the value department. They offer a high level of performance and convenience at a price point that is accessible to most. This makes them an attractive option for those looking to step up from basic, entry-level speakers without breaking the bank. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 4i represents a more significant investment. They are geared towards an audience that is willing to pay a premium for the incremental improvements in sound quality and the prestige associated with a high-end brand.

Ultimately, the choice between the Edifier R1280DBs and the MartinLogan Motion 4i comes down to personal preference and priorities. If you're after a pair of speakers that blend performance with modern features at a great price, the Edifiers are a compelling option. But if you're someone who prioritizes acoustic excellence and has the budget to match, the MartinLogan Motion 4i could be the jewel in your home audio crown, offering an immersive listening experience that's hard to beat.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers

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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.