MartinLogan Motion 20i vs. NHT SuperZero 2.1

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
$2000 $300
Dimensions (H × W × D)
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
9.00” × 5.50” × 5.00”
229mm × 140mm × 127mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
46-25,000 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 realm of high-fidelity audio, the MartinLogan Motion 20i and NHT SuperZero 2.1 occupy distinct niches. The Motion 20i, a slender floor-standing tower, boasts a captivating soundscape with its Folded Motion tweeter, delivering a broad soundstage and nuanced details. Conversely, the SuperZero 2.1, a compact mini-monitor, offers a surprisingly robust performance for its size, prioritizing clarity and cohesiveness. While the Motion 20i excels in immersive listening within larger spaces, the SuperZero 2.1 shines in intimate environments, demanding less real estate. Both speakers stand as testaments to the axiom that size isn't the sole arbiter of audio excellence.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to audiophile-grade speakers, the landscape is as varied as the preferences of the listeners that tread its grounds. Two notable standouts that cater to different ends of the spectrum are the MartinLogan Motion 20i tower speakers and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 mini-monitor speakers. Both have their merits and are designed to appeal to the discerning audiophile, but they offer fundamentally different listening experiences and are tailored to different environments and uses. In the following comparison, we will dive into the nuances that distinguish these two models, aiming to shed light on which speaker suits which kind of audio connoisseur.

Design Philosophy and Aesthetics

The MartinLogan Motion 20i is a sleek, floor-standing speaker that exudes a contemporary vibe, perfect for those who appreciate a speaker that doubles as a piece of modern art. With a bold, statuesque presence, it demands attention and space in the room. In contrast, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 is a compact bookshelf speaker with a minimalist design, intended to blend into its surroundings or fit into tight spaces. Its small footprint is ideal for those who prioritize space efficiency or wish for their audio setup to take a step back visually.

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

Driving Technology and Sound Reproduction

The MartinLogan Motion 20i speakers are renowned for their use of an advanced Folded Motion tweeter, which delivers precise and highly dynamic highs. The larger cabinet and dedicated drivers for mid-range and bass frequencies ensure that the Motion 20i provides a full-bodied and detailed sound stage. On the other hand, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 employs a traditional 1-inch soft dome tweeter coupled with a 4.5-inch mid/bass driver. While its sound might not be as expansive due to the smaller drivers and enclosure, it nonetheless offers a remarkably clear and accurate sound that belies its size.

Room Considerations and Placement

Room size plays a pivotal role in the performance of any speaker. The MartinLogan Motion 20i towers require ample room to breathe and perform optimally in medium to large spaces where their sound can fill the space without constraint. These speakers also benefit from some distance from walls to minimize early reflections and bass buildup. In contrast, the NHT SuperZero 2.1, due to its diminutive form factor, is more forgiving in placement and can deliver its best in smaller rooms or as a part of a desktop setup, where proximity to room boundaries is less of an issue.

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

The MartinLogan Motion 20i is a clear winner when it comes to creating an immersive soundstage with its ability to produce deep bass and a broad spectrum of sound. They can easily serve as the cornerstone of a high-fidelity stereo system or a multi-channel home theater. The NHT SuperZero 2.1, while not designed to compete on the same level of room-filling sound, excels as a near-field monitor or in a secondary system where space constraints limit the use of larger speakers.

Value and Investment

When evaluating the value proposition of the MartinLogan Motion 20i versus the NHT SuperZero 2.1, it's essential to consider the investment in relation to the intended use and listener's expectations. The Motion 20i represents a substantial investment and is best suited for audiophiles who seek an outstanding acoustic centerpiece for a dedicated listening room. Conversely, the SuperZero 2.1 offers exceptional performance per dollar, especially for those looking for quality audio on a tighter budget, or who need a compact solution without a significant sacrifice in sound quality.

Ultimately, the choice between the MartinLogan Motion 20i tower speakers and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 mini-monitors hinges on the individual's listening preferences, space constraints, and budget. The Motion 20i towers deliver a commanding presence and exceptional detail that will satisfy those seeking a premium listening experience. Meanwhile, the SuperZero 2.1s offer a discrete, yet impressive performance that punches above their weight class. Both are capable of delivering musical enjoyment, but they cater to different desires and situations, each with its unique strengths.

In the quest for the perfect audio experience, the MartinLogan Motion 20i and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 remind us that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Whether one chooses the expansive and detailed sound of the Motion 20i or the compact clarity of the SuperZero 2.1, both speakers stand as testaments to the remarkable diversity of choices available to today's audiophiles. The journey to sonic nirvana is a personal adventure, and both of these speakers offer very different paths to arrive at that destination.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower 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.