MartinLogan Motion 15i vs. MartinLogan Motion 20i

MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
$900 $2000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.40” × 6.80” × 9.50”
290mm × 173mm × 241mm
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
60-25,000 Hz 46-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The MartinLogan Motion 15i and 20i speakers serve different niches. The 15i bookshelf model shines in intimate settings, offering precise imaging and a rich midrange, thanks to its Folded Motion tweeter. Meanwhile, the Motion 20i tower extends its prowess with deeper bass and greater dynamic range, suited for larger rooms. While both carry the MartinLogan prestige of clarity and detail, the choice boils down to spatial considerations and listener preference for bass response without a subwoofer. For true audiophiles, the 20i delivers a more full-bodied experience, while the 15i excels in space-limited environments.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to choosing speakers that meet the delicate demands of an audiophile, the decision inevitably comes down to the subtleties in sound quality, design, and overall performance. With MartinLogan's reputation for producing high-fidelity electrostatic speakers, the introduction of their Motion series brings a level of excitement to those who prefer the traditional cone-based system. Two notable contenders from this lineup are the Motion 15i bookshelf speakers and the Motion 20i floor-standing towers. Both boast the brand's signature Folded Motion tweeter, but they cater to different acoustic preferences and settings.

Design and Build Quality

At first glance, the Motion 15i and Motion 20i share MartinLogan's sleek aesthetic, defined by clean lines and sophisticated finishes. The Motion 15i bookshelf speakers are compact and perfect for smaller rooms or spaces where a discreet yet powerful audio presence is desired. In contrast, the Motion 20i tower speakers make a bolder visual statement, standing tall and confident, ready to anchor a more spacious listening environment. Despite their size differences, both models exude the same build quality that MartinLogan enthusiasts have come to expect.

MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 15i arrow (at

Performance and Sound Characteristics

When it comes to performance, the Motion 15i bookshelf speakers offer an impressively wide soundstage for their size, thanks to their Folded Motion tweeter and 5.25-inch aluminum cone woofer. These components work together to deliver precise and detailed highs, a clear midrange, and surprisingly robust bass for a speaker of its stature. On the other hand, the Motion 20i floor-standing speakers bring an added level of depth with their larger woofer configuration, consisting of one 5.5-inch midrange driver and two 5.5-inch bass drivers. This allows the Motion 20i to produce a more authoritative and dynamic bass response, while still maintaining the clarity and detail that the Motion series is known for.

One of the key differences between the two speakers lies in their low-end reproduction. With the Motion 15i, the bass is tight and well-controlled, but it might not satisfy those looking for room-shaking rumbles without the addition of a subwoofer. The Motion 20i, with its greater cabinet volume and additional woofers, naturally provides a more powerful and immersive low-end experience, which may eliminate the need for a separate subwoofer in many systems.

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

Placement and Room Integration

The Motion 15i's smaller footprint allows for more flexibility in placement, and they can be easily integrated into a variety of room sizes. They are well-suited for bookshelf placement or stands, making them a versatile choice for those with limited space. Conversely, the Motion 20i towers require a bit more room to breathe and perform optimally when given space away from walls and corners. Proper placement of the Motion 20i can result in a truly expansive soundstage that feels both enveloping and intricately detailed.

Another aspect to consider is the listening environment. The Motion 15i bookshelf speakers work wonders in intimate settings, where their sound can be appreciated in close quarters. Meanwhile, the Motion 20i towers are designed to fill larger spaces with ease, making them the go-to option for those with ample room to dedicate to their audio setup. However, both models benefit from a room that's acoustically treated or at least thoughtfully arranged to minimize reflections and standing waves.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the choice between the MartinLogan Motion 15i bookshelf speaker and the Motion 20i tower speaker depends on personal preferences, room size, and the desired bass response. The Motion 15i may appeal to the space-conscious listener who values clarity and detail without the physical dominance of larger speakers. For the audiophile seeking a more full-range experience and who has the room to accommodate them, the Motion 20i towers stand out as a compelling choice. Whichever route one takes, both speakers uphold the MartinLogan legacy with their engaging and articulate sound.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
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.