Elac Carina BS243.4 vs. MartinLogan Motion 20i

Elac Carina BS243.4 Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
$1000 $2000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
12.63” × 8.06” × 9.69”
321mm × 205mm × 246mm
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
46-30,000 Hz 46-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity audio, the Elac Carina BS243.4 and MartinLogan Motion 20i present a study in contrasts. The Carina, a compact bookshelf model, relies on a JET folded ribbon tweeter and aluminum sandwich woofer to deliver articulate, room-filling sound with a footprint that belies its sonic presence. Meanwhile, the stately Motion 20i tower leverages MartinLogan's renowned Folded Motion tweeter alongside dual aluminum cone drivers to produce a soundstage that is both expansive and precise. Choosing between the two often comes down to space, preference for speaker design, and whether one values the pinpoint imaging of bookshelves or the floor-standing gravitas.

Speaker Comparison

Welcome to the world of high-fidelity audio, where the subtle nuances of a performance are just as important as the grandiose moments that take your breath away. Today, we're setting our sights on two remarkable contenders in the competitive field of loudspeakers: the Elac Carina BS243.4 bookshelf speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 20i tower speakers. Both have earned their stripes among audiophiles, but they present two very different philosophies in sound reproduction and design aesthetics.

Elac Carina BS243.4: A Bookshelf Contender

The Elac Carina BS243.4 speakers are the epitome of what a bookshelf speaker should aspire to be. Compact, yet powerful, these speakers boast a new JET folded-ribbon tweeter that delivers an impeccably clear and detailed high-frequency response. This, coupled with the aluminum cone woofer, ensures that the Carina BS243.4 offers an impressively accurate and seamless sonic transition from the lows to the highs. The bass response is tight and controlled – surprising for its size – and it provides an expansive soundstage that can easily fill a medium-sized room with well-defined sound.

Elac Carina BS243.4 Bookshelf Speakers
Elac Carina BS243.4 arrow (at Amazon.com)

MartinLogan Motion 20i: Towering Presence

On the other side of the ring stands the MartinLogan Motion 20i, a floor-standing speaker that naturally commands more space, both physically and acoustically. It is built around MartinLogan's exquisite Folded Motion tweeter, renowned for its lightning-fast response and minimal distortion. The dual aluminum cone woofers of the 20i work in concert to produce deep and authoritative bass, free from the confines of smaller cabinets. The larger cabinet volume of this tower speaker not only supports low-end heft but also contributes to a more enveloping soundstage that can effortlessly cascade across larger listening environments.

Design and Aesthetics: Form Meets Function

The Elac Carina BS243.4's design speaks to the modern audiophile, with a sleek, European flair that feels at home in any contemporary decor. Its smaller footprint allows it to be placed on a bookshelf or on stands without dominating the room. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 20i exhibits a statuesque elegance that demands visual as well as aural attention. Its slender form factor and signature perforated steel grille offer a unique and futuristic visual appeal that is distinctively MartinLogan. Both sets of speakers are not just sonic instruments, but also pieces of art in their own right.

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

When comparing the sound characteristics of the two, it's evident that the Elac Carina BS243.4 caters to those who appreciate precision and nuance. The sound is articulate and refined, with a clear emphasis on delivering a faithful reproduction of the recording. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 20i provides an experience that is more about the scale and dynamics. While it still maintains a high level of detail, it offers a more visceral listening session, with the power to recreate the full energy of a live performance.

In terms of placement flexibility, the Elac Carina requires careful consideration to truly shine. They perform best when given room to breathe away from walls and in an environment acoustically suited to their output. The MartinLogan 20i is more forgiving in this regard, able to maintain composure and deliver a balanced sound even when room conditions are less than ideal. This may be a significant factor for audio enthusiasts who do not have the luxury of a dedicated listening room.

Ultimately, the choice between the Elac Carina BS243.4 and the MartinLogan Motion 20i comes down to personal preference and the specifics of one's listening space. The Carina, with its bookshelf design, is perfect for those seeking a high-end audio experience in a more compact form, ideal for intimate listening sessions. The Motion 20i, being a tower speaker, is suited for those looking to fill a larger space with robust, room-filling sound. Regardless of the choice, both speakers represent the pinnacle of audio engineering and are sure to delight any audiophile's ears.

Check Current Prices:

Elac Carina BS243.4 Bookshelf Speakers
Elac Carina BS243.4 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.