KEF Q150 vs. MartinLogan Motion 20i

KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
$600 $2000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.92” × 7.08” × 10.94”
303mm × 180mm × 278mm
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
51-28,000 Hz 46-25,000 Hz
ASR Score
4.8 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
6.9 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity audio, the KEF Q150 bookshelf speakers offer an exceptional soundscape from a compact frame, boasting their signature Uni-Q driver for precise imaging and a broad sweet spot. The MartinLogan Motion 20i, towering in stature, delivers an authoritative audio experience with its Folded Motion tweeter, ensuring crisp highs and a seamless soundstage. Both excel in their respective classes, with the Q150s shining in smaller spaces and the Motion 20i's commanding presence in larger rooms. Ultimately, the choice hinges on spatial considerations and listener preference for nuanced detail versus room-filling power.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to filling your room with sound, the choice between bookshelf speakers and floor-standing towers is significant. KEF's Q150 and MartinLogan's Motion 20i serve as prime examples of their respective categories, each boasting unique attributes that cater to different audiophile preferences. The Q150, a compact bookshelf model, is revered for its Uni-Q driver array, which brings a precise and detailed soundstage to small and medium-sized spaces. On the other hand, the Motion 20i towers are a testament to MartinLogan's legacy in electrostatic speaker design, albeit in a more conventional dynamic driver format. Their slender profile houses a larger driver configuration, aimed at delivering a more robust bass response and dynamic range.

Design and Build Quality

KEF's Q150 speakers exhibit a minimalist design, with a seamless Uni-Q driver that eliminates the traditional speaker grille for a cleaner look. The build quality is solid, and the speakers feel substantial despite their smaller stature. MartinLogan's Motion 20i towers, with their statuesque and slender build, present an elegant aesthetic that is likely to complement a modern living space. The build quality here is equally impressive, with real wood veneer finishes and a reinforced baffle to ensure minimal resonance.

KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers
KEF Q150 arrow (at

Sound Signature and Performance

The Q150 shines with its detailed sound reproduction. The patented Uni-Q driver achieves a wide dispersion of sound, which means you're likely to experience a sweet spot in various positions across the room. The high frequencies are crisp, and the mids are articulate, making the speakers excellent for vocal-heavy tracks and intricate instrumentals. In contrast, the Motion 20i brings a sense of scale to the performance. The dual woofers in each tower provide an extended bass response that bookshelf speakers like the Q150 often cannot match. This gives the Motion 20i a warmer and fuller sound signature, suitable for both music and home theater applications.

When it comes to soundstage and imaging, both KEF and MartinLogan have strong offerings. The Q150's unique driver configuration lends itself to a more cohesive stereo image, promoting an illusion of a live performance. The Motion 20i also fares well in this regard, with a more expansive soundstage owing to its larger cabinet size and driver placement. The result is an immersive experience that can fill a larger room with ease.

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

Power Handling and Efficiency

The KEF Q150, being smaller in size, is less demanding in terms of power. These speakers are relatively efficient and can be driven to satisfying levels with a modest amplifier. The MartinLogan Motion 20i, with its bigger drivers and greater cabinet volume, has the potential to handle more power and thus can accommodate a wider range of amplifiers, including high-powered models, without distortion. This makes the Motion 20i a better choice for audiophiles looking to push their system's performance with more substantial amplification.

Placement and Practicality

When considering the placement, the KEF Q150 is undemanding and versatile. These bookshelf speakers can be placed on stands, within a bookcase, or on a desk, providing flexibility for those with limited space. The MartinLogan Motion 20i towers require more floor space and are less forgiving in positioning. They need room to breathe to perform optimally, which might not be suitable for cramped quarters. The tower's footprint and need for proper spacing from walls can dictate room arrangement to a greater extent than the compact KEF speakers.

Ultimately, the choice between the KEF Q150 bookshelf speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 20i tower speakers boils down to personal preference, listening habits, and room characteristics. The Q150's are ideal for the listener who values precision and is working within a smaller space or budget, while the Motion 20i's are better suited for those seeking the full-bodied presence and deeper bass that only larger floor-standing speakers can provide. Both models hold their own in their respective classes, and either choice will be music to the ears of the discerning audiophile.

Check Current Prices:

KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers
KEF Q150 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.