MartinLogan Motion 15i vs. Polk Signature Elite ES20

MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
$900 $400
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.40” × 6.80” × 9.50”
290mm × 173mm × 241mm
14.80” × 8.50” × 13.80”
376mm × 216mm × 351mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
60-25,000 Hz 44-40,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the high-fidelity skirmish between the MartinLogan Motion 15i and Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 bookshelf speakers, audiophiles find themselves weighing the 15i's detailed, airy highs, courtesy of its Folded Motion tweeter, against the ES20's dynamic, richly-textured sound enabled by its Dynamic Balance driver. MartinLogan's offering excels in precise imaging and clarity, while Polk counters with a broader soundstage and impactful bass response, thanks to its Power Port technology. The choice boils down to preference: the Motion 15i's articulate detail for the purists or the ES20's room-filling warmth for those who crave a more visceral listening experience.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to the world of high-fidelity audio, the debate over loudspeakers can become as nuanced and passionate as discussions about fine wine. Two titans in the realm of bookshelf speakers are the MartinLogan Motion 15i and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20. Both have their own signature styles and sonic footprints that appeal to a wide range of audiophiles. The Motion 15i is a shining example of MartinLogan's commitment to audiophile-grade sound, marrying art with technology. Polk Audio's Signature Elite ES20, on the other hand, is the embodiment of Polk's dedication to bringing high-end sound to a broader audience without breaking the bank.

Design and Aesthetics

The MartinLogan Motion 15i speakers exude a sense of sophistication with their sleek, modern design. The high-gloss finishes and the signature perforated steel grille give them a contemporary look that is at home in any modern living space. The Motion 15i's are not just speakers; they are statement pieces. Conversely, the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 leans towards a more traditional aesthetic with a no-nonsense, utilitarian design that prioritizes function over form, yet still manages to look elegant in its simplicity.

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

Sound Quality and Performance

When it comes to the auditory experience, the MartinLogan Motion 15i speakers deliver a detailed and articulate soundstage. The Folded Motion tweeter technology is particularly noteworthy, as it yields crisp, clear highs without ever becoming harsh. The bass response is tight and controlled, which is impressive for a speaker of its size. In contrast, the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 offers a warmer sound profile with an emphasis on a robust low-end presence, courtesy of their proprietary Dynamic Balance drivers. Their sound is rich and expansive, making them well-suited for a variety of musical genres.

The Motion 15i’s are particularly adept at handling the subtleties of complex musical arrangements, providing an intimate listening experience that reveals the layers and textures in the music. They shine in a near-field listening environment, such as a study or a den. The Polk ES20's, however, are more versatile in terms of room placement. They can fill a larger space with sound, making them ideal for a living room or an open-concept area where people gather for entertainment.

Build Quality and Longevity

MartinLogan has a reputation for high-quality craftsmanship, and the Motion 15i is no exception. Every component, from the connectors to the drivers, feels premium and built to last. The robust construction not only ensures durability but also contributes to the overall sound performance. Polk Audio's Signature Elite ES20, while not as high-end in their finishing, also boasts a solid build quality. Polk has engineered these speakers to withstand the rigors of everyday use, ensuring that they will be a part of your home audio system for many years to come.

One cannot discuss longevity without mentioning the warranty and customer support offered by both companies. MartinLogan backs the Motion 15i with a substantial warranty, reflecting their confidence in the product's durability. Polk Audio also provides a reassuring warranty for the ES20s, coupled with a customer service team that has received positive reviews for their responsiveness and support.

Value Proposition

Ultimately, the choice between the MartinLogan Motion 15i and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 comes down to personal preference and perceived value. The Motion 15i's are an investment in near-audiophile level sound quality and design finesse, catering to those who are willing to pay a premium for sonic excellence and visual elegance. The Polk Audio ES20s present a different kind of value, offering a more accessible entry point into high-fidelity sound with a performance that punches above its weight class. Whichever path you choose, both speakers represent their brands' commitment to delivering an exceptional listening experience.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 15i Bookshelf Speaker
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 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.