ELAC Uni-fi UB5 vs. MartinLogan Motion 4i

ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
$500 $250
Dimensions (H × W × D)
12.81” × 7.94” × 12.19”
325mm × 202mm × 310mm
12.60” × 5.60” × 5.70”
320mm × 142mm × 145mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
46-25,000 Hz 70-23,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 5.1

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The ELAC Uni-fi UB5 and MartinLogan Motion 4i bookshelf speakers are both highly regarded, but they cater to different listener preferences. The UB5s, designed by Andrew Jones, deliver a rich, full-bodied sound and offer remarkable value with their concentric driver design. In contrast, the Motion 4i speakers, with MartinLogan's signature Folded Motion tweeter, provide an exceptionally detailed and airy treble that can elevate high-resolution audio. The UB5s might appeal more to those who prioritize depth and warmth, while the Motion 4i gears towards audiophiles chasing precision and nuance in the higher frequencies. Choose based on your sonic taste and the genres you favor.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to filling your intimate spaces with rich, detailed sound, few components are as critical as a pair of top-notch bookshelf speakers. Today, we're putting two heavy hitters head to head: the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 and the MartinLogan Motion 4i. Both of these speakers have their own unique attributes and sonic characteristics, appealing to the discerning ears of audiophiles and casual listeners alike.

Design Philosophy & Build Quality

The ELAC Uni-fi UB5 takes a traditional approach with its three-way design, presenting a coherent and balanced soundstage. The build quality is robust, featuring a custom-designed concentric driver that ensures a more precise sound dispersion. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, on the other hand, boasts a unique folded motion tweeter, which claims to minimize distortion and provide a faster response than conventional dome tweeters. It's a sleek, modern-looking speaker that isn't afraid to stand out in your living room or study.

ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Uni-fi UB5 arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sonic Signature

The sound signature of the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 is characterized by its warmth and richness, lending itself well to a wide variety of music genres. Its midrange is particularly noteworthy, delivering vocals with palpable presence and body. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, conversely, offers a slightly bright tonal balance that excels in clarity and detail retrieval, making it a perfect match for those who favor precision and crispness in their sound.

Delving deeper into the soundstage, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5's three-way design pays dividends, offering a depth and layering that brings a live-like dimension to recordings. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, while not as expansive in its staging, counters with pinpoint imaging, granting each instrument its own distinct space within the mix.

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

Bass Response and Dynamics

Bass response is another area where the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 shines. The speakers provide a substantial low-end presence that belies their bookshelf form factor. This makes them suitable for a variety of settings without necessarily requiring a subwoofer. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, with its more compact design, has a tighter bass response that is accurate and controlled but may lack the visceral impact of the UB5s without additional bass reinforcement.

Efficiency and Amplification

When it comes to driving these speakers, the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 can be somewhat demanding. They require a bit of muscle from your amplifier to truly sing, so pairing them with a robust amp is key to unlocking their full potential. The MartinLogan Motion 4i is more forgiving in terms of amplification, thanks to its higher sensitivity and lower impedance, making them a more versatile choice for a variety of systems, including those with modestly powered receivers.

In conclusion, both the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 and the MartinLogan Motion 4i are exceptional bookshelf speakers, each excelling in their own right. The ELAC offers a more immersive and fuller sound, ideal for users seeking a rich and enveloping listening experience. The MartinLogan, with its exceptional detail and compact size, is perfect for the listener who prioritizes clarity and space-saving design. Your final choice will boil down to personal preference and the specifics of your listening environment, but rest assured, with either option, you're set for an auditory treat that will delight for years to come.

Check Current Prices:

ELAC Uni-fi UB5 Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Uni-fi UB5 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.