KEF LS50 Meta vs. MartinLogan Motion 20i

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
$1600 $2000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.90” × 7.90” × 11.00”
302mm × 201mm × 279mm
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
79-28,000 Hz 46-25,000 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 sound, the KEF LS50 Meta bookshelf speakers and MartinLogan Motion 20i towers approach auditory bliss from different vantages. The LS50 Meta, with its Uni-Q driver array, offers astonishingly clear and precise soundstage from a compact form, ideal for intimate listening spaces. Meanwhile, the Motion 20i's sleek towers house the brand's acclaimed Folded Motion tweeter alongside powerful woofers, delivering dynamic range and deep bass suited for larger rooms. Both are acoustic marvels, yet your choice may hinge on space, aesthetic preference, and whether you prioritize the pinpoint imaging of bookshelves or the commanding presence of towers.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to high-fidelity audio, the landscape is rich with contenders vying to create the most immersive and authentic sound experience possible. Among these, bookshelf and tower speakers occupy different niches, each with its own set of strengths. Today, we're looking at two particularly noteworthy models: the KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speakers. These are two distinct approaches to sound reproduction, each with a unique set of capabilities and design philosophies.

Design and Build

The KEF LS50 Meta is an evolution of the revered LS50 series, sporting a sleek and compact design that's as much a pleasure to look at as it is to listen to. The LS50 Meta employs a Uni-Q driver array, which positions the tweeter concentrically within the midrange speaker, delivering a more focused audio dispersion and a detailed soundstage. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speakers stand tall, with their slender form factor exuding a sense of elegance that commands presence in any room. The Motion 20i leverages MartinLogan's signature Folded Motion tweeter, which promises a lightning-fast response and a broad sound dispersion.

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta arrow (at

Sound Signature and Performance

When it comes to the sonic personality of these speakers, the KEF LS50 Meta presents a balanced and articulate sound across the frequency spectrum. KEF's Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) plays a pivotal role here, providing an intricate labyrinth within the driver that absorbs unwanted sound, reducing distortion and enabling a pure sound. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 20i delivers a wide soundstage with an emphasis on clarity and detail, thanks in part to the Folded Motion tweeter's low distortion and high efficiency. The Motion 20i's dual woofers also provide a robust and controlled bass response that complements the crisp highs.

The LS50 Meta, being a bookshelf speaker, is generally geared towards listeners in smaller spaces or those who prefer a more intimate listening experience. The intricacies of the sound are more pronounced when seated in the 'sweet spot', fostering a connection between listener and music that's direct and personal. On the other hand, the MartinLogan Motion 20i, with its tower design, has a commanding presence that fills larger rooms with ease. Its ability to project sound across a spacious area makes it ideal for those looking to create a more enveloping audio environment.

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i arrow (at

Flexibility and Pairing

Furthermore, the LS50 Meta's size and design lend themselves well to pairing with a variety of amplifiers and setups. Whether you're using a modest integrated amp or a high-powered separates system, the LS50 Meta's 85dB sensitivity and 8-ohm nominal impedance mean it's not particularly power-hungry. The MartinLogan Motion 20i, with a sensitivity of 90dB and compatible with 4, 6, or 8-ohm rated amplifiers, also provides flexibility, though its stature and power may entice audiophiles to pair it with more robust amplification to exploit its full potential.

On the subject of room integration, the compact nature of the LS50 Meta affords a variety of placement options. They can stand on a desk, fit within a bookshelf, or be mounted on dedicated stands. The Motion 20i, however, requires more thought in terms of placement due to its larger size and floor-standing design. It's best suited away from walls to prevent bass loading and in a position where its sound can freely propagate.


In the final analysis, the choice between the KEF LS50 Meta and the MartinLogan Motion 20i comes down to personal preference and intended use. The LS50 Meta is perfect for the discerning listener who values precision and balance in a more compact package, while the Motion 20i is tailored for the enthusiast seeking a grand and dynamic auditory spectacle. Both models represent the pinnacle of modern speaker design and are sure to delight audiophiles for years to come. Your room, listening habits, and aesthetic preferences will guide you to the speaker that will best fill your space with the magic of music.

Check Current Prices:

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta 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.