MartinLogan Motion 15i vs. MartinLogan Motion 40i

MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
$900 $2600
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.40” × 6.80” × 9.50”
290mm × 173mm × 241mm
42.50” × 7.60” × 12.80”
1080mm × 193mm × 325mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
60-25,000 Hz 40-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the high-fidelity realm, the MartinLogan Motion 15i and 40i present a study in scale and ambition. The 15i bookshelf speaker, with its compact footprint and Folded Motion tweeter, delivers precise imaging and a detailed high-end. Its smaller size suits intimate spaces where nuanced listening prevails. The 40i tower counterpart, stepping up with a larger bass response and dynamic reach, fills rooms with authoritative sound. Both share an auditory lineage but diverge in presence—the 15i for the discerning ear in cozy confines, the 40i for those seeking the embrace of sound in grander spaces.

Speaker Comparison

Welcome to the world of high-fidelity sound, where the MartinLogan Motion series stands as a testament to the brand’s dedication to sonic excellence. Today, we’re comparing two of its illustrious models: The MartinLogan Motion 15i bookshelf speaker and the MartinLogan Motion 40i tower speaker. Both are engineered with precision and designed to deliver an immersive audio experience, but they cater to different preferences and setups. Let's dive into the details of what sets these two speakers apart and determine which might be the right fit for your auditory adventures.

Design Aesthetics: Compact Elegance vs. Towering Presence

Starting with appearances, the Motion 15i bookshelf speaker is a marvel of compact elegance. Its smaller stature allows it to blend seamlessly into any room without demanding attention, making it a suitable choice for those with limited space or a preference for unobtrusive aesthetics. Conversely, the Motion 40i tower speaker stands tall and proud, making a visual statement. The floor-standing design not only contributes to its striking presence but also to its acoustic performance, anchoring it firmly to provide stability and optimal sound distribution.

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

Sound Quality: Intimacy vs. Power

The sound signature of the Motion 15i is intimate and precise. Its smaller frame houses advanced technology that produces clear, detailed highs and mids, with a bass response that is surprisingly robust for its size. The Motion 40i, on the other hand, is a powerhouse capable of filling the room with rich, dynamic audio. Its larger drivers deliver deeper bass and a more expansive soundstage, making it ideal for those seeking a more enveloping audio experience. The tower speaker’s additional woofers ensure that low frequencies are handled with greater authority and depth.

Technology: A Shared Legacy

Both the Motion 15i and Motion 40i boast MartinLogan's innovative Folded Motion tweeter, a distinctive feature that sets the series apart from conventional dome tweeters. This technology allows for faster transient response, lower distortion, and a unique sound dispersion pattern that is consistent across both models. Additionally, both speakers benefit from precision-built Vojtko crossovers, ensuring a seamless integration of the tweeter and woofer components. This shared technology underpins the exceptional clarity and cohesiveness in the sound of both the Motion 15i and 40i.

MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i arrow (at

In terms of versatility, the Motion 15i has an advantage due to its size. It can serve as an excellent stereo pair, be part of a compact home theater setup, or even act as a companion to a turntable setup in a vinyl lover's sanctuary. The 40i, with its grander scale and energy, is more suited to be the cornerstone of a high-impact home theater or as the primary vessel for music in a larger listening room. The added presence and power give it the edge when it comes to delivering cinematic thrills and musical peaks at higher volumes without compromise.

Placement and Room Interaction

Placement is another key consideration in this comparison. The Motion 15i's bookshelf design offers more flexibility, allowing it to adapt to various environments, including on stands or in tight spaces. It relies less on room acoustics to flourish, thus accommodating a wider range of listening spaces. The Motion 40i, due to its tower form, requires more room to breathe and performs best when given space to fully express its soundstage capabilities. Proper placement away from walls and in a larger room will unlock the full potential of these towering speakers.

When it comes to price, there's no denying the Motion 15i is more accessible, reflecting its status as the entry point into MartinLogan's revered Motion series. It's a premium bookshelf speaker that offers a balance of performance and value. The Motion 40i, being a floor-standing speaker with advanced components, comes in at a higher price point. It's an investment for the serious audiophile who demands an uncompromised listening experience and is willing to pay for that leap in performance and stature.

In conclusion, the MartinLogan Motion 15i and Motion 40i speakers both exemplify the brand’s commitment to audio excellence but cater to different spaces, budgets, and personal preferences. The 15i shines in intimacy, detail, and versatility, perfect for the discerning listener with space constraints or a modestly sized room. The 40i is the choice for those seeking the full force of a floor-standing speaker, with room-filling sound and the depth and power to match larger spaces and ambitious audio expectations. Whichever you choose, MartinLogan promises a transcendent listening experience that remains true to the source material, enveloping you in the artistry of sound.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i 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.