Klipsch Reference R-820F vs. MartinLogan Motion 20i

Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
$1000 $2000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
43.00” × 10.94” × 17.50”
1092mm × 278mm × 444mm
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
35-21,000 Hz 46-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the quest for room-filling sound, the Klipsch Reference R-820F and MartinLogan Motion 20i stand tall. The R-820F, with its dynamic, robust presence, owes to Klipsch's signature horn-loaded tweeter and dual 8-inch woofers, delivering an impactful and efficient performance. The Motion 20i, on the other hand, brings an audiophile grace with its Folded Motion tweeter for crisp highs and articulate mids, supported by dual 5.5-inch aluminum cone woofers for a balanced bass. Both towers offer distinctive auditory experiences—Klipsch's lively and bold soundstage versus MartinLogan's nuanced and detailed audio landscape. The choice hinges on personal preference for either sheer power or refined subtlety.

Speaker Comparison

Welcome to the world of high-fidelity audio, where the pursuit of perfect sound reproduction is a never-ending quest for audiophiles. Today, we pit two very different contenders in the tower speaker arena against one another: the robust Klipsch Reference R-820F against the refined MartinLogan Motion 20i. Both are respected in their own right, but how do they stack up against each other? Let's dive in to find out.

The Klipsch R-820F: A Tower of Power

Klipsch has long been celebrated for its horn-loaded technology, and the R-820F continues this proud tradition. Outfitted with an 8-inch horn tweeter and dual 8-inch woofers, the R-820F brings an energetic and dynamic presence to the listening room. It’s a speaker that demands your attention, with a forward and lively sound profile that’s as suited to rocking out as it is to unveiling the nuances of a symphony. The bass response is deep and commanding, easily filling the room without the need for a subwoofer. Its high sensitivity also means that it can achieve room-filling sound with relatively low-powered amplifiers, a hallmark of Klipsch's design philosophy.

Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-820F arrow (at Amazon.com)

The MartinLogan Motion 20i: Clarity Meets Artistry

Moving on to the MartinLogan Motion 20i, we enter a different realm of audio fidelity. MartinLogan is known for its electrostatic speakers, but the Motion Series takes a more traditional approach while still maintaining the brand’s dedication to sonic excellence. The Motion 20i features a Folded Motion tweeter, which provides a lightning-fast response with a detailed and nuanced top end. This speaker is all about transparency, offering a window into the recording that is both revealing and smooth. The bass from its dual 5.5-inch aluminum cone woofers is tight and well-defined, though it may not shake the room like the Klipsch can without additional bass support.

Design & Aesthetics: More Than Just Sound

When it comes to design, both speakers have their distinctive appeal. The Klipsch R-820F boasts a more traditional look with a textured wood grain vinyl finish and a black, brushed polymer veneer baffle, giving it a classic and robust feel. It can blend into a variety of settings while still making a statement. The MartinLogan Motion 20i, on the other hand, has a contemporary and elegant appearance, with a slender cabinet and a high-gloss finish that is sure to garner admiration. It's evident that with the Motion 20i, MartinLogan has not only engineered a speaker for superb sound but also for visual harmony in a modern home.

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i arrow (at Amazon.com)

In terms of performance, the decision between these two speakers often comes down to the listener's preferences and the types of media they consume. The Klipsch R-820F, with its larger drivers and efficient design, is generally better suited for larger rooms and listeners who crave that impactful, cinematic experience. The MartinLogan Motion 20i, with its articulate and revealing nature, is ideal for intimate listening sessions where the subtleties in music are savored.

The Verdict: Choosing Your Champion

At the end of the day, choosing between the Klipsch Reference R-820F and the MartinLogan Motion 20i is a matter of personal taste and intended use. The Klipsch excels in delivering the excitement and scale of live music, with a sound that's both bold and fun. The MartinLogan, with its detailed and refined soundstage, is perfect for those who want to dissect the layers of their music and appreciate the finer details in a recording.

Both manufacturers have a storied legacy that has influenced their design choices for these speakers. Klipsch's focus on efficiency and impact draws from its heritage in cinema and public address systems, while MartinLogan's emphasis on transparency and detail owes much to its experience with electrostatic speaker designs. Whichever route you take, you'll be investing in a piece of audio history that embodies the philosophy of its creator.

Whether you're a rock enthusiast eager to feel the power of the performance or a classical aficionado looking for a speaker that can articulate the breath of a flutist or the delicate pluck of a harpist's fingers, the choice between the Klipsch R-820F and the MartinLogan Motion 20i is your ticket to sonic bliss. Pair them with the right components, position them carefully in your room, and you'll be transported to an auditory nirvana that reflects the passion both brands pour into their speakers. Happy listening!

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Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower 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.