Edifier R1280T vs. MartinLogan Motion 4i

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
$120 $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
75-18,000 Hz 70-23,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.9 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.5 5.1

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of budget audiophilia, Edifier's R1280Ts offer remarkable value with their warm sound profile and built-in amplification, suiting casual listeners and space-conscious setups. Meanwhile, the MartinLogan Motion 4i speakers, though pricier, are a sonic leap forward, boasting an airy, detailed high-end courtesy of the brand's acclaimed Folded Motion tweeter. These passive speakers require an external amplifier but reward with a high-fidelity soundscape and nuanced transparency that is music to an audiophile's ears. Choose Edifier for simplicity and value, or MartinLogan for an investment in audiophile-grade performance.

Speaker Comparison

Welcome to the realm of high-fidelity audio, where the quest for the perfect soundstage is as intense as the music itself. Today, we find ourselves comparing two notable contenders in the bookshelf speaker segment: the Edifier R1280T and the MartinLogan Motion 4i. Both speakers cater to audiophiles and casual listeners alike, but they approach sound reproduction with unique philosophies and technological prowess.

Design Aesthetics and Build Quality

Upon first glance, the retro charm of the Edifier R1280T captures the nostalgia of classic hi-fi, with its wood veneer and straightforward design. It exudes a warmth that can blend seamlessly into a variety of home décor styles. The build quality is solid for its price point, offering reliability and sturdiness that exceed expectations. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, on the other hand, presents a more contemporary look, with sleek lines and a high-gloss finish that appeals to modern sensibilities. The construction screams premium, and the attention to detail in the build reflects MartinLogan’s commitment to excellence. It's a speaker that not only sounds good but also doubles as a conversation piece for its visual allure.

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

Sound Quality: Clarity and Precision

The Edifier R1280T, known for its warm and balanced sound, is a fantastic entry-level option for those who are venturing into the audiophile world. Its dual-driver setup, consisting of a 4-inch woofer and a 13mm silk dome tweeter, offers a pleasing sonic character that favors mid-range clarity but doesn't skimp on the lows and highs. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, equipped with the brand's acclaimed Folded Motion tweeter, showcases a level of precision and airiness that is simply breathtaking. The sound is delivered with such crispness and detail that it can easily reveal the nuances of a recording, especially in the high frequencies where the Motion 4i truly excels.

Performance: Room-Filling Sound

When it comes to filling a room with sound, the Edifier R1280T is surprisingly robust for its size. Its powered nature means it's ready to go out of the box, making it an excellent plug-and-play solution for small to medium-sized rooms. The sound is rich and full-bodied, providing an enveloping experience for any genre of music. The MartinLogan Motion 4i steps up the game with its impressive soundstage, offering a level of immersion that belies its compact form factor. The Motion 4i speakers project audio in a way that can make the room feel larger, with excellent imaging that places instruments and vocals in a three-dimensional space around the listener.

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

At the heart of the comparison, however, lies the application of power. The Edifier R1280T's self-powered convenience means that no additional amplification is required, making it an all-in-one solution. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, being a passive speaker, requires a separate amplifier or receiver to drive it. This could be seen as a disadvantage, or as an opportunity for the enthusiast to tailor the system's performance with different amplification options, fine-tuning the audio experience to personal taste.

Value for Money

The Edifier R1280T is undeniably a value proposition. With its affordability, it's hard to overlook the quality and performance it brings to the table. It's a speaker that's accessible to all but still respects the integrity of music reproduction. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 4i sits at a higher price point, but for those seeking a transcendental listening experience, the investment pays off. The Motion 4i is a gateway into high-end audio, making it a worthy consideration for the discerning audiophile who is ready to invest in superior acoustic refinement.

In summary, choosing between the Edifier R1280T and the MartinLogan Motion 4i is a matter of weighing priorities, preferences, and purpose. The Edifier offers an excellent starter option with its rich sound and ease of use, while the MartinLogan is a step-up choice that commands a premium but delivers a sonic quality that is nothing short of inspiring. Whichever path one chooses, both speakers stand as testaments to the joys of high-fidelity sound and the ever-evolving pursuit of the perfect audio experience.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T 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.