Klipsch Reference R-41M vs. MartinLogan Motion 2i

Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
$150 $200
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.30” × 5.75” × 7.90”
287mm × 146mm × 201mm
10.00” × 4.70” × 4.60”
254mm × 119mm × 117mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
68-21,000 Hz 110-23,000 Hz
ASR Score
2.8 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
5.7 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of compact sonic titans, the Klipsch Reference R-41M and MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speakers represent distinct audio philosophies. The R-41M delivers Klipsch's signature dynamic punch, leveraging its Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter for crisp highs and a robust bass response, despite its modest cabinet size. Conversely, the Motion 2i showcases MartinLogan's refined audiophile approach, featuring a Folded Motion tweeter that renders exceptionally detailed and smooth highs, with a balanced, articulate midrange. Ultimately, listeners' preference for the lively Klipsch energy or the MartinLogan's nuanced soundstage will guide their choice between these two impressive contenders in the bookshelf speaker arena.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to bookshelf speakers, the Klipsch Reference R-41M and MartinLogan Motion 2i both offer compelling options for discerning audiophiles. Each has its own unique approach to sound reproduction, reflecting the distinctive philosophies of their respective brands. Klipsch is known for their dynamic, lively sound characterized by their proprietary horn-loaded technology, while MartinLogan's reputation is built on their detailed and transparent audio, often associated with their use of advanced materials and innovative designs.

Design and Build Quality

The Klipsch Reference R-41M boasts a rugged yet refined appearance with its copper-spun IMG woofers and textured wood grain vinyl. It's a design that's both classic and contemporary, signaling the speaker's ability to belt out music with authority. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 2i features a sleek, modern look with its distinct curved design and the signature perforated steel grille. The build quality of both speaks to the care and craftsmanship behind these brands, with solid cabinets that are as much about performance as they are about aesthetics.

Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-41M arrow (at Amazon.com)

Driver Technology

The heart of any speaker is its drivers, and here these two diverge significantly. The Klipsch Reference R-41M is powered by a 4-inch, copper-spun Injection Molded Graphite (IMG) woofer, paired with a 1-inch aluminum LTS tweeter mated to a 90x90 square Tractrix Horn. This configuration ensures the R-41M delivers the energetic and impactful sound Klipsch lovers have come to expect. The MartinLogan Motion 2i, on the other hand, employs a 3.5-inch aluminum cone woofer and a Folded Motion tweeter, which is known for its lightning-fast response and precise detail. The Motion 2i's tweeter, in particular, has a larger surface area compared to traditional dome tweeters, resulting in clear, refined highs without distortion.

Sound Performance

Listening to the Klipsch R-41M, you're immediately struck by the lively presentation. The tractrix horn-loaded tweeter delivers a broad and dynamic soundstage with clear highs and an assertive presence. Bass response is tight and punchy, albeit not as deep as larger speakers. They excel in genres that thrive on energy and presence, such as rock or electronic music. The MartinLogan Motion 2i presents a more balanced and nuanced sound. The high-end detail is exquisite, and the overall sound is more laid-back, but with a level of clarity and openness that can make high-resolution audio tracks truly shine. It's a sound that can be described as more 'audiophile', offering an experience that's closer to the original recording.

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i arrow (at Amazon.com)

Both sets of speakers perform admirably in their respective areas. The Klipsch offers a more visceral, room-filling experience, making it excellent for movies and engaging listening sessions. The MartinLogan, with its detailed and accurate soundstage, is perfect for critical listening and enjoying the finer details in music. It must be noted, however, that the MartinLogan Motion 2i's performance could benefit even further from a subwoofer to fill in the lower frequencies, more so than the Klipsch R-41M.

Compatibility and Placement

In terms of placement, the Klipsch R-41M is relatively forgiving due to its horn-loaded design, which helps control the dispersion of high frequencies. It allows for a more consistent listening experience across a broader area, making it a good fit for less-than-ideal room setups. The MartinLogan Motion 2i, with its precise soundstage, requires more careful positioning to achieve optimal performance. It's a speaker that rewards attention to placement and room acoustics, which is something potential buyers should consider.

When you're deciding between the Klipsch Reference R-41M and the MartinLogan Motion 2i, it's not just a matter of comparing specifications – it's about understanding the type of listening experience you are seeking. The Klipsch is about energy and impact, perfect for someone who wants their music to feel alive and kicking. The MartinLogan is for the purist, someone who treasures accuracy and the subtle details in music. Both are exceptional in their own right, and the final choice will rest upon personal preference and the type of sonic journey you wish to embark on.

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Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i 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.