KEF LS50 Meta vs. MartinLogan Motion 4i

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
$1600 $250
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.90” × 7.90” × 11.00”
302mm × 201mm × 279mm
12.60” × 5.60” × 5.70”
320mm × 142mm × 145mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
79-28,000 Hz 70-23,000 Hz
ASR Score
4.6 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
6.7 5.1

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The KEF LS50 Meta elevates the iconic LS50 lineage with its patented Metamaterial Absorption Technology, delivering a cleaner, more precise soundstage. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 4i maintains a reputation for articulate highs, courtesy of its signature Folded Motion tweeter. The LS50 Meta exudes a robust, full-bodied presence, whereas the Motion 4i prides itself on crisp detail and a sleek profile. Both are stellar contenders within the bookshelf speaker realm, each appealing to different listener preferences: the LS50 Meta to the purist seeking acoustic innovation, and the Motion 4i to the aesthete craving clarity and form.

Speaker Comparison

The pursuit of sonic perfection often leads us to the crossroads where design innovation intersects with audiophile passion. At this juncture, two standout offerings beckon the discerning listener: the KEF LS50 Meta and the MartinLogan Motion 4i bookshelf speakers. Each of these exquisite models has been engineered to offer an unparalleled listening experience, yet they bring to the table distinct acoustic ideologies and design principles that cater to different audiences within the audiophile community.

Design Aesthetics and Build Quality

On the topic of design, the KEF LS50 Meta speaks volumes with its sleek, modern aesthetic, characterized by a curved baffle that embodies both form and function. The Uni-Q driver array, a signature KEF feature, not only draws the eye but also serves to create a more cohesive soundstage. The build quality is robust, with a dense cabinet construction that mitigates unwanted resonance, ensuring purity of sound. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 4i sports a more traditional look with a hint of avant-garde, thanks to its distinctive Folded Motion tweeter. The build is solid, with precision engineering evident in every aspect, from the airframe-grade aluminum construction to the meticulously applied finishes.

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta arrow (at

Soundstage and Imaging

For audiophiles, the soundstage and imaging are often the dealbreakers in any speaker comparison. The KEF LS50 Meta excels in presenting a broad and deep soundstage with pinpoint imaging, courtesy of its Uni-Q driver that disperses sound evenly throughout the room. The result is a holographic experience where each instrument and voice is presented with an almost tangible presence. In comparison, the MartinLogan Motion 4i, with its Folded Motion tweeter, offers a remarkably fast transient response that brings a crisp clarity to the upper frequencies. While its soundstage might seem a tad narrower than the LS50 Meta's, it compensates with a focused and articulate presentation that is nothing short of enchanting.

Bass Response and Power Handling

Bass response is another critical factor in the performance of bookshelf speakers. The LS50 Meta employs its proprietary technology to eke out an impressive low-end from a relatively small enclosure. Bass notes are tight, controlled, and surprisingly deep for the speaker's size. On the other hand, the MartinLogan Motion 4i might not delve as deep into the lower octaves, but it handles bass with finesse and speed, benefiting from its stiff and lightweight diaphragm. When it comes to power handling, both speakers are commendable, but the LS50 Meta seems to have a slight edge with its ability to maintain composure and clarity even at higher volume levels.

MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i arrow (at

At the heart of the KEF LS50 Meta's sonic prowess is its MAT (Metamaterial Absorption Technology), a groundbreaking innovation that absorbs 99% of the unwanted sound coming from the rear of the driver, drastically reducing distortion. This technological marvel contributes significantly to the speaker's clarity and detail retrieval. Conversely, MartinLogan doesn't lean on such a radical innovation, but the precision-engineered Folded Motion tweeter provides an effortless and natural high-frequency response that is hard to criticize. Both approaches deliver captivating sonic experiences but do so through divergent paths.

The price point is a consideration that cannot be ignored. The LS50 Meta, positioned as a premium offering, commands a price that reflects its advanced technology and acoustic performance. For those who value cutting-edge research and development in their audio equipment, the LS50 Meta could be seen as a worthy investment. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, while not inexpensive, is often more affordable, offering a high-quality audio experience that challenges the performance of more costly rivals, thereby presenting itself as a value proposition for budget-conscious audiophiles.

Ultimately, choosing between the KEF LS50 Meta and the MartinLogan Motion 4i bookshelf speakers is a subjective exercise, driven by personal preferences in sound signature, aesthetic design, and value perception. The LS50 Meta may appeal to those seeking a blend of innovative technology and expansive soundscapes, while the Motion 4i caters to enthusiasts who prioritize articulate highs and a forward, engaging listening experience. Regardless of where one's inclinations lie, both speakers stand as testaments to the enduring quest for audio excellence—a quest that continues to inspire and delight music lovers around the world.

Check Current Prices:

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta 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.