MartinLogan Motion 15i vs. NHT SuperZero 2.1

MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
$900 $300
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.40” × 6.80” × 9.50”
290mm × 173mm × 241mm
9.00” × 5.50” × 5.00”
229mm × 140mm × 127mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
60-25,000 Hz 85-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 3.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 6.7

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the arena of high-fidelity audio, the MartinLogan Motion 15i and NHT SuperZero 2.1 engage in a compelling duel of bookshelf speakers. The Motion 15i boasts an eloquent Folded Motion tweeter, delivering resplendently detailed highs and a lush midrange, housed in a sumptuously finished cabinet. Contrastingly, the SuperZero 2.1, revered for its true-to-source accuracy, offers a minimalist design with a focus on precise sound reproduction, despite its diminutive form. While the Motion 15i shines in its expansive soundstage and articulate detail, the SuperZero 2.1 counters with its exceptional neutrality and coherence at a more accessible price point.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to high-fidelity sound, few things are as delightful as finding the perfect set of speakers that fit both your space and your taste in music. The quest for crystal-clear highs, detailed mids, and firm, yet not overwhelming, bass can lead many audiophiles down a rabbit hole of endless options. Today, we're peering into that rabbit hole to compare two speakers that, while similar in their compact nature, differ in sound and design philosophy: the MartinLogan Motion 15i and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker.

The Aesthetics and Build Quality

Right off the bat, the MartinLogan Motion 15i speakers exude a modern elegance with their sleek lines and the distinct perforated steel grille. They're a design statement as much as they're an audio one, aimed at those who value the visual harmony in their listening environment. The Motion 15i's, with their wood veneer finish, not only sound warm but also feel warm to the touch—a nod to traditional craftsmanship. On the flip side, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 speakers are more utilitarian in design, sporting a no-frills, all-business look. They might not win beauty contests against the more stylish Motion 15i's, but they do possess a charm in their simplicity and a build quality that punches above their weight class.

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

The Drivers: A Study in Contrast

Moving on to the heart of these speakers: their drivers. The Motion 15i's feature MartinLogan's acclaimed Folded Motion tweeter, which delivers precise and articulate high frequencies without ever seeming piercing or fatiguing. This is paired with a 5.25-inch aluminum cone woofer that provides a balanced and well-rounded midrange. In contrast, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 goes for a more traditional setup with its 1-inch soft-dome tweeter. It's a classic design that's been honed to perfection over the years and offers a surprisingly wide dispersion for such a compact speaker. The 4.5-inch polypropylene woofer in the SuperZero 2.1 may not move as much air as the larger driver in the Motion 15i, but it's capable of surprisingly tight and clean bass for its size.

Soundstage and Imaging

Where the Motion 15i really shines is in its soundstage. MartinLogan speakers are known for their wide, enveloping sound and the Motion 15i's are no exception. They create an immersive listening experience that can make you forget you're in your own living room. The precise imaging is a testament to the engineering prowess behind these speakers, placing each instrument and vocal in a three-dimensional space with effortless clarity. The SuperZero 2.1, while more modest in comparison, still provides a respectable soundstage for its size. While it doesn't have the same expansiveness as the Motion 15i, it compensates with a focused and detailed presentation that's both intimate and engaging.

NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
NHT SuperZero 2.1 arrow (at

Performance Across Various Genres

When it comes to versatility, both speakers manage to handle a variety of musical genres with ease, but there are nuances worth mentioning. The MartinLogan Motion 15i's provide a more consistent performance across different types of music, thanks to their wider frequency response and dynamic range. Whether it's the subtlety of a string quartet or the raw power of a rock band, the Motion 15i's deliver a faithful and dynamic reproduction. The NHT SuperZero 2.1, by contrast, excels with acoustic and vocal-centric recordings, where its accurate midrange really allows the emotion of the music to shine through. It may struggle slightly with complex, bass-heavy tracks, but this is to be expected given its more compact nature.

In conclusion, choosing between the MartinLogan Motion 15i and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker is a matter of personal preference and specific needs. The Motion 15i is a showpiece, capable of delivering a rich and expansive sound that belies its bookshelf size, suitable for audiophiles seeking an immersive experience. The SuperZero 2.1 is a formidable contender in its own right, offering honest and detailed sound that can be the perfect entry-point for those looking to dip their toes into high-fidelity audio without breaking the bank. Either way, both speakers stand as testaments to the fact that great things can indeed come in small packages.

Ultimately, the choice between the MartinLogan Motion 15i and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 might come down to the listener's room, preferred aesthetic, and the type of sonic experience they're after. While the Motion 15i beckons those who want their music to fill the room, the SuperZero 2.1 speaks to the purist who loves a more direct and perhaps more personal listening session. Regardless of the path one chooses, each speaker offers a gateway to rediscover music in its most honest form, and that's what being an audiophile is all about.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor 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.