MartinLogan Motion 20i vs. MartinLogan Motion 4i

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
$2000 $250
Dimensions (H × W × D)
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
12.60” × 5.60” × 5.70”
320mm × 142mm × 145mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
46-25,000 Hz 70-23,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 5.1

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity sound, the MartinLogan Motion 20i towers and Motion 4i bookshelf speakers embody aural elegance. The 20i, with its statuesque presence, brings forth an enveloping soundstage and deep bass response, courtesy of larger drivers and dedicated woofers. The 4i, compact yet potent, offers remarkable imaging and detail, perfect for spaces where footprint is a concern. Both feature MartinLogan's signature Folded Motion tweeters for crisp highs. Ultimately, the choice hinges on room size and bass preference—the 20i excels in expansive areas while the 4i suits intimate settings, both assuring the exquisite clarity MartinLogan is celebrated for.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to high-fidelity audio, the name MartinLogan carries a weight of expectation that's as hefty as their electrostatic speakers. Known for their precision engineering and phenomenal sound staging, MartinLogan has a lineup that satisfies the audiophile’s hunger for auditory perfection. Today, we're taking a closer look at two models that encapsulate the brand's dedication to sonic excellence: the floor-standing Motion 20i Tower Speaker and the more compact Motion 4i Bookshelf Speaker. Both are part of the esteemed Motion Series, but cater to different spaces and listening preferences.

Design and Build Quality

The Motion 20i towers stand with an imposing presence, crafted to make a statement both in terms of aesthetics and performance. These statuesque speakers with their sleek, modern lines, are not just designed to blend in - they're made to stand out. Meanwhile, the Motion 4i bookshelf speakers are the more unassuming siblings. They offer versatility in placement, making them ideal for smaller rooms or as part of a larger surround system. Despite their size difference, both models exude MartinLogan's commitment to quality, featuring high-gloss finishes and solid cabinet construction that resonate with the brand’s attention to detail.

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

Sound Quality: Highs and Mids

The Motion 20i and Motion 4i share the same Folded Motion tweeter technology, which is a hallmark of the series. This innovative design yields crisp and articulate high frequencies that never seem to tire your ears, even during those marathon listening sessions. The Motion 20i, however, has a slight edge in the midrange department, courtesy of its larger cabinet and driver size. This allows for a more open and expansive soundstage, with vocals and instruments that come through with a lush, full-bodied character. The Motion 4i, while still impressive, delivers a more restrained midrange, which is a natural trade-off for its compact footprint.

Bass Response and Power Handling

Bass response is another area where the larger Motion 20i towers take the lead. Equipped with dual woofers, these towers deliver the low-end rumble with authority and control that can fill larger spaces with ease. On the flip side, the Motion 4i bookshelf speakers, while still providing commendable bass for their size, can't defy physics. They offer a tighter, more controlled bass response that’s well-suited for smaller rooms or when paired with a subwoofer. In terms of power handling, the Motion 20i can soak up more power, which translates to louder listening levels without distortion, making them ideal for those who like to push their systems to the limit.

MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i arrow (at

Imaging and Soundstaging

Both the Motion 20i and Motion 4i excel in imaging and soundstaging, traits MartinLogan is famous for. The precision and attention to detail in the speakers' design yield a sound that is both coherent and effortlessly placed within the listening space. However, due to their larger size and dual-woofer configuration, the Motion 20i towers provide a more enveloping soundstage that can project the music beyond the physical constraints of the room. The Motion 4i, while still delivering precise imaging, offers a more intimate soundstage, perfect for those nuanced listening moments or smaller-scale performances.

Ultimately, choosing between the MartinLogan Motion 20i and Motion 4i comes down to your personal listening preferences and spatial considerations. The Motion 20i is the choice for audiophiles with larger rooms seeking full-range sound and powerful dynamics. Its ability to convey the breadth and depth of a recording is remarkable, truly embodying the essence of a live performance. The Motion 4i, on the other hand, is the speaker for those who appreciate subtlety and nuance in a more compact package. It's an ideal candidate for those looking to build a space-efficient system without sacrificing the clarity and detail MartinLogan is revered for.

Regardless of your choice, both speakers are a testament to MartinLogan's relentless pursuit of audio perfection. Whether you’re entranced by the soaring highs of a symphony or the intricate rhythms of a jazz trio, the Motion 20i and Motion 4i are poised to deliver an unparalleled listening experience. They are more than just speakers; they are instruments of passion, precision, and performance that continue to set the bar for audio excellence in their respective classes.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i 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.