MartinLogan Motion 20i vs. Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
$2000 $160
Dimensions (H × W × D)
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
12.56” × 7.13” × 8.44”
319mm × 181mm × 214mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
46-25,000 Hz 55-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 5.0
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 7.5

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the dance of the MartinLogan Motion 20i tower speakers with their lustrous electrostatic verve against the humble yet revered Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf contenders, choreographed by Andrew Jones, it's a performance of David and Goliath. The Motion 20i's present a spacious soundscape and articulate midrange, while the SP-BS22-LR, though compact, punches above its weight with remarkable coherence and balance. Whether to grace a palatial listening room with MartinLogan's grandiosity or infuse a cozy nook with Pioneer's unassuming clarity, the choice hinges on space, budget, and the listener's sonic predilection. Both, however, conduct an arresting symphony of sound.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to high-fidelity sound reproduction, the choice of speakers can make or break the audio experience. Two notable contenders in the space of quality sound are the MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speakers and the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers. These two models offer distinct approaches to audio design, aiming to cater to different segments of the audiophile market. In this comparison, we'll dive into how these two speaker sets stand up against each other in terms of design, sound performance, and value.

Design and Build Quality

The MartinLogan Motion 20i stands out with its sleek, floor-standing design that commands presence in any room. The Motion 20i's are not just speakers; they are statement pieces. With their svelte lines and the iconic MartinLogan AirMotion Transformer (AMT) tweeter perched atop, they exude a sense of sophistication and high-end craftsmanship. Conversely, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR takes a more modest approach. Designed by renowned engineer Andrew Jones, these bookshelf speakers showcase a professional build quality with a less imposing footprint, making them suitable for those who prefer discreet audio setups or have space constraints.

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

Sound Performance - Clarity and Detail

The Motion 20i towers utilize MartinLogan's proprietary AMT tweeter, which delivers an exceptionally crisp and articulate high-frequency response. The detail retrieval is astounding, often revealing nuances in music that can go unnoticed with lesser speakers. Midrange is handled with grace and precision, owing to the dedicated aluminum cone midrange driver that ensures vocals and instruments are rendered with lifelike accuracy. In contrast, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers, with their 4-inch structured surface woofer and 1-inch soft dome tweeter, offer a balanced and cohesive sound. They might not match the sheer detail of the Motion 20i's, but they provide a warm and inviting soundstage that is impressive for their size and price point.

Bass Response and Dynamics

For those who crave a deep and expansive bass, the MartinLogan Motion 20i towers have the clear advantage. Their larger cabinet volume and sophisticated ported design allow for a more robust and controlled low-end that can energize a room without the need for a separate subwoofer. The Pioneers, while commendable in their bass output for a bookshelf model, simply cannot match the visceral impact of a floor-standing speaker. However, they do offer surprisingly good dynamics and punchy bass that belies their compact size, making them a suitable choice for small to mid-sized rooms.

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR arrow (at

A critical aspect of sound reproduction is the dynamic range. The MartinLogan Motion 20i excels in this regard, capturing the softest whispers to the loudest crescendos with effortless poise. The dynamic headroom provided by these tower speakers ensures that they can handle complex orchestral pieces and high-decibel rock concerts alike. The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, while not as dynamically expansive due to its smaller drivers and enclosures, still manages to convey a sense of liveliness and enthusiasm in its playback, often outperforming other speakers in its class.

Price and Value

The pricing of these two speakers reflects their respective market positions. The MartinLogan Motion 20i, as a premium floor-standing speaker, comes with a higher price tag, positioning itself as an investment for the serious audiophile looking for a long-term audio solution. The Pioneers, on the other hand, are positioned as an exceptional value proposition, offering an entry point for budget-conscious enthusiasts or those taking their first foray into high-fidelity audio without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, the MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speakers and the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers cater to different needs and preferences within the audio community. The choice between these two will largely depend on factors such as available space, desired sound characteristics, and budget. The Motion 20i's are the clear pick for those who demand the pinnacle of sound detail and room-filling performance, while the SP-BS22-LR's stand as a testament to accessible, quality audio. Each set of speakers holds its ground within its niche, and either choice would be a commendable addition to any audiophile's collection.

Ultimately, the decision between the MartinLogan Motion 20i and the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR should be guided by personal listening tests, as specifications and reviews can only tell part of the story. The true measure of a speaker's worth is in how it connects with the listener emotionally and sonically. So whether it's the grandeur of the Motion 20i's or the humble excellence of the SP-BS22-LRs, the right choice is the one that resonates most with your ears and your soul.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR 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.