Klipsch Reference R-820F vs. MartinLogan Motion 2i

Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
$1000 $200
Dimensions (H × W × D)
43.00” × 10.94” × 17.50”
1092mm × 278mm × 444mm
10.00” × 4.70” × 4.60”
254mm × 119mm × 117mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
35-21,000 Hz 110-23,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the battle of towering presence versus compact finesse, Klipsch's Reference R-820F delivers a bold, dynamic performance with its commanding 8-inch woofers, ensuring deep, room-filling bass and a lively treble via its Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter. Meanwhile, the MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speakers, with their Folded Motion tweeters and meticulous engineering, offer a detailed and nuanced soundstage that belies their modest size. The R-820F suits those craving cinematic impact and grand scale, while the Motion 2i appeals to listeners with a critical ear for precision and a preference for subtler, space-conscious design.

Speaker Comparison

Welcome to the eternal quest for the perfect audio experience. Today, we're juxtaposing two stellar performers from the audio world: the room-filling Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers and the more compact MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers. Both are commendable in their own rights, yet they cater to different audiophile preferences and spaces.

Design and Build

The Klipsch R-820F towers bring a commanding presence to any room with their substantial height and the iconic copper-spun IMG woofers. Their robust build and aesthetic appeal are undeniable, and they promise to make a visual statement in your listening space. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 2i's are the epitome of bookshelf beauty—compact, sleek, and designed with a luxurious finish that speaks of refinement. These speakers blend into your space without the visual heft of their floor-standing counterparts.

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

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound, the R-820F's are a force to be reckoned with. Klipsch's proprietary Tractrix horn-loaded technology and aluminum tweeters ensure high-end response with greater extension, enhanced imaging, and powerful dynamics. The experience is akin to a live performance, with clear, crisp highs and profound, room-shaking lows. The MartinLogan Motion 2i, with its Folded Motion tweeter, offers a detailed and nuanced soundstage that is incredibly precise. The Motion 2i's excel in delivering a balanced, articulate midrange and a high-frequency response that is smooth and refined.

Power and Performance

Power handling is another arena where these two diverge. The Klipsch R-820F, with its towering figure and dual 8" woofers, is built to handle up to 150 watts of continuous power, pushing the envelope to fill larger spaces effortlessly. The Motion 2i's are more modest in their output, with a recommended amplifier power of up to 75 watts. They are designed for intimate settings, offering clarity without the need for overwhelming volume.

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

Diving into performance, the Klipsch's sensitivity rating is an impressive 97 dB, making them highly efficient and easily driven by even modest amplifiers. This means you get more volume per watt, and they can get loud without much power. The MartinLogan's are slightly less sensitive at 90 dB, requiring a bit more power to achieve the same volume, but this is typical for bookshelf speakers of their caliber.

Integration and Versatility

In a home theater setup, the R-820F speakers function brilliantly as the front channels, providing an expansive soundstage that can anchor even the most demanding movies. Pairing them with a Klipsch center channel and surrounds creates an immersive, full-spectrum audio environment. The MartinLogan Motion 2i, while they can certainly stand on their own for music, shine when integrated into a home theater system as well, particularly when space is at a premium. These bookshelf speakers can be paired with a subwoofer and other MartinLogan offerings to achieve a cohesive and articulate surround sound experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers comes down to your unique listening needs, space, and aesthetic preferences. The R-820F's are built for those who want to feel the power of their music and movies in a larger setting, while the Motion 2i's are perfect for the audiophile who values precision and clarity in a more intimate space. Regardless of your pick, both sets promise to elevate your listening experience with their own brand of audio excellence.

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