Jamo S 803 vs. MartinLogan Motion 15i

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
$330 $900
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.94” × 6.56” × 9.94”
354mm × 167mm × 252mm
11.40” × 6.80” × 9.50”
290mm × 173mm × 241mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
57-26,000 Hz 60-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of mid-tier bookshelf speakers, the Jamo S 803 and MartinLogan Motion 15i present a classic face-off. The Jamo S 803 offers a stylish, contemporary design with a punchy and dynamic sound that appeals to modern listeners. Its affordability also plays a significant role in its popularity. On the other hand, the Motion 15i, with MartinLogan's acclaimed Folded Motion tweeter, delivers a more refined and detailed audio experience that audiophiles revere. The Motion 15i's build quality and soundstage precision typically come at a higher price point, reflecting its premium positioning in the market.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to furnishing our personal listening spaces, the choices we make in loudspeakers can define the very character of our musical enjoyment. Two contenders that present themselves with unique appeals are the Jamo S 803 and the MartinLogan Motion 15i bookshelf speakers. Each brings its own flavor to the table, and today, we're delving into the nuances that might sway an audiophile towards one or the other.

The Aesthetics and Build Quality

The Jamo S 803 speakers sport a contemporary design that can easily blend into a modern living space. They're sleek, come in several finishes, and show off a Scandinavian minimalism that's both understated and chic. On the other hand, the MartinLogan Motion 15i speakers exude a more luxurious vibe – with their signature folded motion tweeter perched above a lustrous woofer, these are not just speakers, but conversation pieces as well. The build quality of MartinLogan often feels a notch above with their hand-built care and meticulous attention to detail.

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 arrow (at Amazon.com)

The Sonic Signature

Sound-wise, the Jamo S 803s lean towards a lively and dynamic presentation. They're punchy, with a surprising amount of bass heft for their size, thanks primarily to their rear-firing bass port. The highs are crisp, although some might find them a bit forward in the mix. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 15is are a study in clarity and precision. The folded motion tweeter is the star of the show, offering an airy, detailed top end without a hint of sibilance. The bass response is more measured, tight, and accurate, but it won't shake the room the way the Jamos can.

Room Integration and Flexibility

The Jamos are relatively easy to place. They're not particularly fussy about room placement or toe-in, making them a great choice for less than perfect rooms or for those who don't want to spend hours fine-tuning positions. The MartinLogans, however, demand a bit more attention to placement. They can deliver an expansive and precise soundstage, but it takes a bit of effort to find their sweet spot in the room. Once properly set, though, the Motion 15is can create a truly holographic listening experience that's hard to step away from.

MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 15i arrow (at Amazon.com)

Another consideration is power handling. The S 803s are not terribly power-hungry and can be driven to satisfying levels with a modest amplifier. The MartinLogan Motion 15is are a bit more demanding in terms of amplification – they really shine when paired with a high-quality amp that can deliver clean, stable power. They're revealing speakers that will highlight the strengths of good amplification, as well as the flaws of a lesser one.

The Verdict

Choosing between the Jamo S 803s and the MartinLogan Motion 15is ultimately comes down to personal preference and intended use. For those who want a more forgiving setup and enjoy a bit of thump in their music, the Jamos offer a great price-to-performance ratio. They're also well-suited for multi-purpose rooms where critical listening isn't always the main event. The MartinLogans, with their articulate and refined sound, are more for the purist who relishes in detail and soundstage depth. They're ideal for focused listening sessions and for those who don't mind a bit of extra work in speaker placement for the ultimate payoff.

Ultimately, the beauty of the audiophile journey is in the exploration and the personal relationship one forms with their gear. Whether you lean towards the energetic and room-filling sound of the Jamo S 803s or the exquisite detail and precision of the MartinLogan Motion 15is, both sets of bookshelf speakers offer a doorway to enhanced musical experiences that can transform a living space into a sanctuary of sound.

Check Current Prices:

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf 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.