Edifier R1280T vs. MartinLogan Motion 40i

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
$120 $2600
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
42.50” × 7.60” × 12.80”
1080mm × 193mm × 325mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
75-18,000 Hz 40-25,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.9 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.5 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the world of high-fidelity audio, the Edifier R1280T powered bookshelf speakers offer a budget-friendly entry point with a warm, pleasant sound profile that makes them a hit among casual listeners. They pack a surprising punch for their size, with accessible features and a classic design. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 40i tower speakers are an investment in audiophile-grade performance, delivering expansive soundstaging and precise imaging through their distinct folded motion tweeters and powerful bass response. For those with discerning ears and a larger budget, the Motion 40i's articulate and detailed presentation is a compelling step up.

Speaker Comparison

When the discussion veers into the realm of high-fidelity audio, the conversation inevitably meanders between two polar ends of the spectrum: the budget-friendly workhorses and the splurge-worthy feats of acoustic engineering. The Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speakers represent these ends, respectively. One offers a pragmatic solution to everyday audio needs without breaking the bank, while the other indulges the listener with a premium sound experience that commands a higher price tag.

Design Aesthetics and Build Quality

The Edifier R1280T speakers are modest in design, featuring a classic wood veneer paneling that is both unobtrusive and pleasing to the eye. They exude a retro charm that can fit seamlessly into a variety of interiors. On the other hand, the MartinLogan Motion 40i tower speakers make a statement with their sleek, modern design, boasting the iconic AirFrame Blade design and luxurious finishes. The build quality of the Motion 40i is unequivocally superior, featuring real wood veneer and meticulously crafted components that speak to its premium stature.

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

Sound Quality and Performance

Sound quality is where these two contenders demonstrate their true colors. The Edifier R1280T, with its 4-inch bass driver and a calibrated, flared bass reflex port, offers a sound that is warm, rich, and surprisingly full for its size. These speakers are fantastic for casual music listening, gaming, and everyday use. However, when pitted against the MartinLogan Motion 40i, there’s a clear divide. The Motion 40i speakers, with their Folded Motion tweeters and high-excursion, black aluminum woofers, deliver an audio clarity, depth, and detail that is nothing short of breathtaking. The Motion 40i's can effortlessly fill a room with sound, creating an enveloping audio experience that is as close to live music as one can get in the home.

Price and Value

Price plays a critical role in the decision-making process for consumers. The Edifier R1280T speakers are priced at a point that is accessible to a wide audience, making them an excellent value for those seeking good sound on a budget. The MartinLogan Motion 40i, being a product of high-end craftsmanship and audio technology, comes with a price tag that reflects its position in the luxury segment of the market. While the initial cost is significantly higher, for the audiophile who demands unparalleled sonic performance, the investment in the Motion 40i may be justified.

MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i arrow (at Amazon.com)

Connectivity and Ease of Use

Functionality-wise, the Edifier R1280T is quite straightforward, featuring dual RCA inputs that allow for connection to multiple audio sources, and a simple remote control for volume adjustment and mute. This simplicity is one of its strengths, offering plug-and-play convenience. Conversely, MartinLogan’s Motion 40i, being a passive speaker system, requires a separate amplifier or receiver, adding a layer of complexity in setup and usage. However, for the audiophile enthusiast, this separation of components is often a preferred setup to allow for customization and upgrading of the audio system.

Room Integration

The space each speaker set occupies in your room also plays a vital role in decision-making. The compact nature of the Edifier R1280T bookshelf speakers means they can comfortably sit on a desk or bookshelf without demanding too much real estate. The MartinLogan Motion 40i, being floor-standing speakers, require more space but are designed to be a visual and auditory focal point of a room. The choice between the two will largely depend on the listener's space constraints and design preferences.


Ultimately, the choice between the Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speakers boils down to what one values most in their listening experience. For the budget-conscious user who wants a significant upgrade from built-in speakers or basic audio setups, the R1280T offers a commendable balance of performance and affordability. For the discerning audiophile willing to invest in superior sound reproduction, the Motion 40i is an exemplary piece of audio technology that promises to satiate even the most critical of ears. Regardless of the choice, both speakers stand as testaments to the varied and rich landscape of high-fidelity audio.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i 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.