Edifier R1280T vs. MartinLogan Motion 20i

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
$120 $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
75-18,000 Hz 46-25,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.9 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.5 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity sound, the Edifier R1280T powered bookshelf speakers offer sterling value, boasting a warm, balanced sound profile in a compact form, perfect for cozy spaces. They deliver surprising clarity and a decent soundstage for their size and price. On the other hand, the MartinLogan Motion 20i tower speakers are a testament to audiophile-grade engineering, offering superior depth, detail, and dynamic range. With a sophisticated design and larger footprint, they cater to the discerning listener who craves an immersive audio experience in larger rooms. This matchup pits affordability against high-end luxury in the speaker world.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to outfitting a living room or a dedicated listening space with an audio setup, the choices one makes in selecting speakers can significantly shape the listening experience. Two popular options in the market that cater to different user needs are the Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speakers. Each brings its own unique set of features and sound profiles that appeal to various audiophiles and casual listeners alike. In this comparison, we'll delve into what sets these two speaker systems apart and for whom each might be the better choice.

Compact Versus Commanding: Size and Aesthetics

The Edifier R1280T speakers are compact and unobtrusive, making them an excellent choice for those with limited space. The wooden finish gives a nod to the classic bookshelf design, offering a blend of modern and traditional that can fit comfortably in many décor styles. On the other hand, the MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speakers are a statement piece. Standing tall, they exude a sleek and contemporary style that is as much a visual statement as it is an auditory one. The Motion 20i not only demands more floor space but also draws the eye as a central piece in a room's audio setup.

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T arrow (at Amazon.com)

Power and Performance

The Edifier R1280T is a powered speaker, meaning it has an integrated amplifier and requires no additional components to deliver sound. This makes them particularly convenient for those looking for a simple, plug-and-play audio solution. The sound profile is warm and pleasing with a decent representation of highs, mids, and lows for a speaker of its size and price point. The MartinLogan Motion 20i, however, is a passive speaker that requires an external amplifier or receiver to drive it. This allows for a higher level of customization in one's audio system but also adds to the complexity and cost. The Motion 20i's audio performance is on another level, with breathtaking clarity, precise imaging, and deep, room-filling bass that is hard to match in the bookshelf category.

Soundstage and Imaging

Soundstage and imaging are where the MartinLogan Motion 20i truly shines. The Motion 20i's tower design and premium drivers work in concert to create a palpable soundstage that feels expansive and immersive. The proprietary Folded Motion tweeter delivers pinpoint accuracy with high-frequency reproduction, making it feel like the musicians are in the room with you. The Edifier R1280T, while providing a solid stereo image for bookshelf speakers, cannot compete with the sheer scope and detail that the Motion 20i delivers. However, it still manages to create a cohesive and engaging soundstage that can surprise users given its compact size.

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

Both the Edifier R1280T and the MartinLogan Motion 20i offer different listening experiences that cater to different preferences and spaces. For smaller rooms or apartment living, where space is at a premium, the R1280T offers an attractive and competent sound solution. Conversely, if one's listening environment can accommodate the physical and sonic presence of the Motion 20i, the result is a more profound and encompassing audio experience that can rival live performances.

Value for Money

Price is a significant factor in any audio equipment decision, and here the difference is quite stark. The Edifier R1280T represents excellent value for those on a tighter budget or for whom audio is not the primary interest. They deliver a sound that belies their modest price, making them a favorite among cost-conscious audiophiles and casual listeners. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 20i is a high-end product with a price tag to match. It is an investment in an audio experience, aimed at those who are willing to pay a premium for the nuances and finesse that these speakers offer.

In conclusion, the Edifier R1280T and MartinLogan Motion 20i cater to different segments of the audio market, each excelling in their respective niches. The R1280T is perfect for those seeking an affordable, straightforward, and space-saving solution, while the Motion 20i is suited for audiophiles with ample space who demand audiophile-grade performance. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preferences, listening habits, and the importance of audio in one's life. Whichever path you choose, ensure it harmonizes with your love for music and the spaces where you immerse yourself in it.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T 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.