Jamo S 803 vs. MartinLogan Motion 4i

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
$330 $250
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.94” × 6.56” × 9.94”
354mm × 167mm × 252mm
12.60” × 5.60” × 5.70”
320mm × 142mm × 145mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
57-26,000 Hz 70-23,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 5.1

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The Jamo S 803 and MartinLogan Motion 4i bookshelf speakers offer contrasting takes on affordable high-fidelity sound. The Jamo S 803 encompasses a warmer, bass-forward profile with its 5-inch woofer, apt for a lush soundscape in casual listening environments. On the flip side, the MartinLogan Motion 4i, with its advanced Folded Motion tweeter, aims for pristine highs and articulate midrange, catering to those craving detail and clarity. The choice between the Danish-inspired design of the Jamo and the precision engineering of the MartinLogan will hinge on personal taste and the acoustic character one seeks in their auditory space.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to bookshelf speakers, the Jamo S 803 and the MartinLogan Motion 4i represent two distinct approaches to sound reproduction. The Jamo S 803, part of the Studio 8 series, is a Danish-designed speaker that offers a modern aesthetic and a sound signature that caters to a wide audience. On the other hand, the MartinLogan Motion 4i is the latest iteration in a line of high-fidelity speakers renowned for their innovative use of the Folded Motion tweeter, a technology that promises an exceptionally fast transient response.

The Design Philosophy

The Jamo S 803 boasts a contemporary look with clean lines and wood accents that blend with a variety of decors. The vinyl finish is tastefully executed, and the front fabric grille adds a touch of class, while the compact size allows for easy placement in any room. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 4i exhibits a sleek, high-tech appearance, highlighted by the distinctive Folded Motion tweeter centered at the top of its curved gloss black or white panel. Though both are visually striking, the MartinLogan carries a more futuristic vibe that may appeal to modernists.

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

Sound Signature and Performance

The sound signature of the Jamo S 803 is warm and balanced, with a focus on providing an enjoyable listening experience across a variety of genres. The bass is surprisingly deep for speakers of their size, thanks to the rear-firing port design. The highs are crisp, but not overly bright, making for a pleasant long-term listening experience. In comparison, the MartinLogan Motion 4i delivers remarkable clarity and precision, mainly attributable to its Folded Motion tweeter, which renders the highs with a level of detail that is hard to match. This makes the Motion 4i particularly suited for listeners who crave an analytical and articulate presentation.

Imaging and Soundstage

Imaging is an area where the Jamo S 803 performs admirably. The speakers create a coherent soundstage that allows for easy identification of instruments and vocalists within the mix. They offer a respectable sense of space, although they may not project as wide or as deep a soundstage as some audiophiles might prefer. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, with its Folded Motion tweeter, excels at imaging, providing pin-point accuracy that can almost transport the listener to the recording venue. The soundstage is broad and enveloping, making each listening session an immersive experience.

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

However, the Jamo S 803's more forgiving nature when it comes to placement and room interaction means it's a speaker that will perform consistently in a variety of settings, which can be a significant advantage for those who cannot optimize their room acoustics. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, while exceptional in its delivery, might require more careful placement and possibly even room treatment to achieve its full potential.

Value and Accessibility

In terms of value, the Jamo S 803 speakers are often considered a great entry point for those looking to step into the world of quality audio without breaking the bank. Their performance-to-price ratio is impressive, making high-fidelity sound accessible to more people. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 4i speakers, while reasonably priced within the high-end market, are an investment that targets the more discerning audiophile. They represent a higher tier both in terms of cost and the audio quality they deliver.

Ultimately, the choice between the Jamo S 803 and MartinLogan Motion 4i bookshelf speakers comes down to personal preference and priorities. The Jamo offers an all-around pleasing experience, versatile enough to handle most music with aplomb, and is easy on the wallet to boot. The MartinLogan, on the other hand, is for the purist who is willing to pay a premium for sonic excellence and an unparalleled listening experience. Whichever path one chooses, each speaker stands as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of its makers, promising countless hours of auditory bliss.

Check Current Prices:

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 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.