ELAC ARB51 Navis vs. MartinLogan Motion 6i

ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 6i Center Channel Speaker
$2000 $300
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.58” × 7.44” × 9.45”
345mm × 189mm × 240mm
5.20” × 17.50” × 4.00”
132mm × 444mm × 102mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
44-28,000 Hz 120-23,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The ELAC ARB51 Navis combines audiophile-grade engineering with the convenience of an active system, offering rich, precise sound without external amplification, making it a standout in the powered bookshelf space. Meanwhile, the MartinLogan Motion 6i, as a center channel speaker, is designed to anchor a home theater's dialogue and detail. Both serve different roles; the Navis excels in a stereo setup with its refined amplifiers and drivers, whereas the Motion 6i is part of a surround system, providing crystal-clear vocals with its Folded Motion tweeter. Choosing between them depends on whether you're curating a pure listening experience or a cinematic soundscape.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to high-fidelity audio, the choice of speakers is paramount in molding one's sonic experience. Diving into the realm of powered bookshelf speakers and dedicated center channel speakers, we pit the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers against the MartinLogan Motion 6i Center Channel Speaker—two formidable contenders in the realm of premium audio. Each offers a unique approach to sound reproduction, and the differences between them can have a significant impact on how they fit into a listener's home setup.

Design Aesthetics and Build Quality

The ELAC ARB51 Navis exhibits a sophisticated, unassuming design that would blend seamlessly into most living spaces. With its custom-designed midrange/tweeter concentric driver paired with a powerful woofer, it is built to deliver nothing short of an exquisite audio experience. The craftsmanship is palpable—from the cabinet construction to the driver materials, it's clear that ELAC has not cut corners. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 6i, with its distinct folded motion tweeter and compact form factor, offers a contemporary look that's as much a statement piece as it is a center channel speaker. The build quality is robust, ensuring that it not only sounds good but can also serve as a lasting part of your home theater system.

ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Signature and Performance

The ELAC ARB51 Navis is a true audiophile's delight, delivering an accurate and transparent sound signature. The three-way design allows for a seamless integration between the lows, mids, and highs, resulting in an articulate and full-bodied sound that's both detailed and dynamic. The bass is tight and controlled, thanks to its dedicated woofer, ensuring that the speakers deliver a performance that punches well above their size. On the flip side, the MartinLogan Motion 6i is engineered to excel as a center channel speaker, providing crystal-clear dialogue and a wide soundstage that enhances the cinematic experience. Its folded motion tweeter offers a lightning-fast response, giving an airy and detailed treble that breathes life into movie soundtracks and music alike.

Connectivity and Integration

Being powered speakers, the ELAC ARB51 Navis provides an all-in-one solution with built-in amplification, which means there's no need for a separate receiver or amplifier. This simplifies setup and reduces the clutter of cables. Additionally, the Navis supports high-resolution audio, making it a breeze to connect directly to a digital source or stream music wirelessly via an optional adapter. On the contrary, the MartinLogan Motion 6i, as a passive center channel speaker, requires an external amplifier or AV receiver to drive it. While this necessitates additional equipment, it also allows for greater flexibility in system configuration and the ability to fine-tune the sound to one's preference.

MartinLogan Motion 6i Center Channel Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 6i arrow (at Amazon.com)

Value and Versatility

In terms of value, the ELAC ARB51 Navis may come with a higher price point, but it offers a complete and sophisticated audio system with fewer components needed. For those seeking a minimalist setup without sacrificing sound quality, the Navis may present a better value proposition. The MartinLogan Motion 6i, while typically less expensive than the Navis, demands investment in other parts of the audio chain. However, for enthusiasts who already own a compatible receiver or amplifier, the incremental cost for adding the Motion 6i to an existing system can form part of a cost-effective upgrade path to enhancing the home theater experience.

In sum, choosing between the ELAC ARB51 Navis and the MartinLogan Motion 6i Center Channel Speaker will largely depend on your existing setup and audio aspirations. The Navis offers a sleek and self-contained package ideal for those who value simplicity and high-quality audio. Meanwhile, the Motion 6i is the speaker of choice for those looking to bolster their home theater system with a center channel that provides outstanding vocal clarity and integration with other speakers. Regardless of your preference, both speakers are exceptional performers that can transform your listening experience.

Ultimately, the battle between these two speakers is not just about their individual prowess but how they align with the listener's personal audio journey. The ELAC ARB51 Navis speaks to the audiophile who craves a pure and immersive listening experience with minimal fuss, while the MartinLogan Motion 6i appeals to the movie enthusiast and the tinkerer who enjoys crafting their perfect sound. Whichever path you choose, rest assured that both options will elevate your audio game to enviable heights.

Check Current Prices:

ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 6i Center Channel Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 6i Center Channel 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.