KEF LS50 Meta vs. MartinLogan Motion 15i

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
$1600 $900
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.90” × 7.90” × 11.00”
302mm × 201mm × 279mm
11.40” × 6.80” × 9.50”
290mm × 173mm × 241mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
79-28,000 Hz 60-25,000 Hz
ASR Score
4.6 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
6.7 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity audio, the KEF LS50 Meta speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 15i bookshelf speakers represent two distinct philosophies. The LS50 Meta, with its Uni-Q driver and Metamaterial Absorption Technology, offers a holographic soundstage and pristine detail. Conversely, the Motion 15i, with its Folded Motion tweeter, delivers a smooth, high-resolution treble that MartinLogan fans cherish. Both sets of speakers are impeccably designed, but while the LS50 Meta leans towards a clinical, revealing presentation, the Motion 15i exudes a warm, engaging character. Your choice depends on personal taste, listening space, and system synergy.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to selecting high-fidelity bookshelf speakers, the discerning audio enthusiast is often faced with a plethora of choices, each with its unique sonic signature and design philosophy. Two standout options that often top the list for their aural prowess are the KEF LS50 Meta and MartinLogan Motion 15i speakers. Both exemplify the pinnacle of audio engineering within their price range, but they approach sound reproduction in notably different ways, with the KEF LS50 Meta boasting its innovative Uni-Q driver array, while the MartinLogan Motion 15i employs the brand's acclaimed Folded Motion tweeter.

The Unique Selling Point: KEF's Uni-Q vs. MartinLogan's Folded Motion Tweeter

The core of KEF's sonic identity in the LS50 Meta speakers lies in its patented Uni-Q driver, an ingenious coaxial design that aligns the tweeter and midrange/bass cone to act as a single point source. This configuration ensures a more detailed, coherent, and room-filling sound that minimizes sweet spot limitations, allowing for a more flexible listening experience. On the other hand, MartinLogan's Motion 15i harnesses the precision of its Folded Motion tweeter, which delivers an astonishingly fast transient response and a broad yet controlled dispersion pattern, translating into a lifelike and articulate high-end that many audiophiles admire.

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta arrow (at

Design Aesthetics: Contemporary vs. Classic

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but the visual design of a speaker can sometimes be as influential as its sound. The KEF LS50 Meta speakers offer a sleek, modern aesthetic with a curved front baffle and a choice of bold colorways that make them stand out or blend in with contemporary interiors. MartinLogan's Motion 15i, with its classic lines, real wood veneer finishes, and subtle accents, exudes a timeless elegance that appeals to those seeking a more traditional speaker appearance that complements classic decor.

Performance in the Listening Room

In the listening room, the differences between the two speakers become more apparent. The KEF LS50 Meta's soundstage is impressively wide and deep, providing an almost holographic representation of the recorded space. Instruments and voices are placed with pinpoint accuracy, creating an immersive listening environment. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 15i excels in rendering crystal-clear highs and a remarkably open midrange, thanks to its Folded Motion tweeter and lightweight aluminum cone drivers. The sound is airy and has a sense of effortless transparency that is particularly effective with acoustic and vocal recordings.

MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 15i arrow (at

When it comes to bass performance, the LS50 Meta may surprise listeners with the amount of low-end punch it can deliver from its relatively compact enclosure. While it won't replace a dedicated subwoofer for those who crave earth-shaking bass, it achieves a commendable balance and integration with the mids and highs. The Motion 15i also performs admirably in the lower frequencies, though it prioritizes finesse over sheer power, making it suitable for genres that don't demand intense bass reproduction.

Both the LS50 Meta and Motion 15i are relatively easy to drive, but to unlock their full potential, they should be paired with high-quality amplification. The LS50 Meta is less sensitive to placement, allowing for a more versatile setup in various room sizes and shapes. However, the Motion 15i, with its rear-firing bass port, may require more careful positioning away from walls to optimize bass response and overall balance.

Ultimately, the choice between the KEF LS50 Meta and the MartinLogan Motion 15i bookshelf speakers boils down to personal preference and the specific requirements of one's listening space and musical tastes. Both are exceptional in their own right, and either choice is likely to delight the listener with years of musical enjoyment. The LS50 Meta is a solid pick for those who desire a cutting-edge design with wide sound dispersion, while the Motion 15i should be the go-to for audiophiles who prioritize high-frequency detail and a classic aesthetic. In the end, it's not just about the speakers—it's about the experience they create for you.

Check Current Prices:

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta 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.