MartinLogan Motion 20i vs. Polk T50

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker Polk T50 150 Watt Tower Speakers
$2000 $400
Dimensions (H × W × D)
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
36.50” × 9.25” × 8.75”
927mm × 235mm × 222mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
46-25,000 Hz 38-24,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 3.7
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 5.7

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of tower speakers, the MartinLogan Motion 20i and Polk T50 represent a study in contrasts. The Motion 20i, with its luscious Folded Motion tweeter, delivers a detailed and nuanced soundstage that caters to the discerning ear. Its build and audio quality justify a premium investment. Meanwhile, the Polk T50, a budget-friendly contender, offers a surprising level of clarity and presence, making it an exceptional value for casual listeners and budding audiophiles alike. Choosing between the two hinges on one's commitment to sonic excellence versus the allure of accessible, room-filling sound.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to selecting the right tower speakers for your sound system, two contenders stand out for their own reasons: the MartinLogan Motion 20i and the Polk T50 150 Watt. Both are esteemed for their quality and performance, but they cater to different types of audiophiles. The Motion 20i, a continuation of MartinLogan's storied history in high-fidelity audio, promises an immersive listening experience. On the other hand, the Polk T50 is a budget-friendly speaker that surprises many with its sound quality relative to cost.

The Sound Signature

MartinLogan's Motion 20i delivers an exceptionally detailed and smooth sound signature, with its Folded Motion tweeter providing crisp highs that never become fatiguing. The bass response, while not overpowering, is tight and articulate. In contrast, the Polk T50 offers a warmer sound, with a softness that may appeal to those who prefer a less analytical listening experience. The bass is robust, thanks in part to its larger drivers and passive radiators, which can make it a better fit for genres that thrive on a stronger low end.

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

Build and Design

The build quality of the Motion 20i is nothing short of what you'd expect from MartinLogan. It features a sleek, modern design with a luxurious finish, and it exudes a premium feel that is instantly noticeable. The Polk T50, while less extravagant in its design, still maintains a look of respectability that won’t disappoint users looking for a functional, aesthetically pleasing addition to their living space. Both speakers, however, are built with attention to detail and a commitment to durability.

Performance Nuances

When diving deeper into the audio performance, the Motion 20i stands out for its soundstage and imaging capabilities. It offers a level of precision that is captivating, placing instruments and vocals in a three-dimensional space with pinpoint accuracy. The T50, while less precise, still provides a spacious soundstage that is remarkable for its price point. This characteristic makes it an excellent choice for movies and gaming where a wide sound field is appreciated.

Polk T50 150 Watt Tower Speakers
Polk T50 arrow (at

One cannot ignore the power handling and efficiency of these towers. The Motion 20i is adept at revealing the subtle nuances of high-resolution audio, showcasing its ability to handle dynamic shifts with ease. Meanwhile, the T50 is surprisingly efficient, able to produce significant volume without needing a powerhouse amplifier, which is ideal for those who might not have high-powered equipment.

In terms of versatility, the Polk T50 is pleasantly flexible – it performs well across a range of amplifiers and genres. The MartinLogan Motion 20i, while also versatile, is particularly unforgiving with low-quality recordings or sources; a testament to its high-resolution capabilities, but a consideration for users who have varied quality in their audio collection.

Ultimately, the choice between MartinLogan Motion 20i and Polk T50 will depend on the listener's priorities. The Motion 20i is a premium speaker that lends itself to an audiophile's critical ear, offering exceptional clarity and a high-fidelity listening experience. The Polk T50, conversely, provides an excellent value proposition, delivering a full and satisfying sound that punches well above its weight class. Balancing budget, performance, and the type of audio experience one seeks will guide consumers to the appropriate choice for their personal audio journey.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
Polk T50 150 Watt Tower Speakers
Polk T50 150 Watt Tower 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.