MartinLogan Motion 2i vs. Micca RB42

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
$200 $150
Dimensions (H × W × D)
10.00” × 4.70” × 4.60”
254mm × 119mm × 117mm
8.70” × 4.90” × 7.90”
221mm × 124mm × 201mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
110-23,000 Hz 50-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 4.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 6.6

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity bookshelf speakers, the MartinLogan Motion 2i and Micca RB42 serve distinct listener profiles. The Motion 2i, with its beguiling Folded Motion tweeter, offers an articulate, airy treble that audiophiles with a penchant for detail will savor. This precision, matched with a robust build, positions it as an upscale choice for discerning ears. On the flip side, the Micca RB42, with its compact form factor, provides an unexpectedly full-bodied sound. Its rich midrange and enhanced bass response make it a favorite for those seeking a warm and impactful sonic experience without breaking the bank.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to compact bookshelf speakers, audiophiles often have to navigate the delicate balance between size and sound. Two contenders that aim to punch above their weight are the MartinLogan Motion 2i and the Micca RB42 Reference bookshelf speakers. Each approaches the goal of delivering a rich listening experience in a small package with different philosophies and technological prowess. As we delve into a head-to-head comparison, it’s important to note that the nuances in sound reproduction are as subjective as they are technical, and preferences can vary as widely as the music we love.

Design and Build Quality

The MartinLogan Motion 2i exudes a sleek, modern aesthetic with its distinctive folded motion tweeter, which not only serves as a design statement but also brings with it a unique approach to high-frequency reproduction. The build quality is solid, reflecting MartinLogan's commitment to high-end craftsmanship. On the other hand, the Micca RB42, with its classic boxy design and wood grain vinyl finish, might seem modest in comparison, but is nonetheless well-constructed. The RB42's more traditional look belies its robust build, making it a sturdy contender in the category.

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i arrow (at

Sound Performance

The Motion 2i speakers are known for their clarity and precision, owed in large part to the aforementioned folded motion tweeter. This tweeter design delivers a lightning-fast response with a broad dispersion that avoids the "sweet spot" pitfall of many directional tweeters. On the other side of the spectrum, the Micca RB42 relies on its 4-inch woofer and silk dome tweeter to produce a warm and engaging sound. The RB42s are often praised for their surprisingly full bass response and coherent soundstage, considering their compact size.

Listening to the MartinLogan Motion 2i, you'll be struck by the transparency of the midrange and the airy, detailed highs. The Motion 2i's excel in presenting the intricacies of a complicated piece, whether it’s the delicate string sections of a symphony or the layered harmonies of an a cappella group. When it comes to the Micca RB42, the sound is rich and punches well above its weight class. The bass has a depth and authority that is rare for speakers of its size, though it may lack the absolute definition and control offered by the Motion 2i's.

Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 arrow (at

Power Handling and Efficiency

The MartinLogan Motion 2i speakers are somewhat less sensitive, typically requiring a bit more power to drive them to their full potential. When paired with a suitable amplifier, they come alive with a dynamic and engaging performance. In contrast, the Micca RB42s have a higher sensitivity and are easier to drive. This makes them a friendlier match for modest amplifiers or even high-quality integrated amplifiers or receivers, which is a significant consideration for those who are not looking to invest in separate, high-powered equipment.

When considering the efficiency and power handling of these two speaker sets, it's important to consider the intended use. The Motion 2i's may be more demanding, but they also reward the listener with a level of performance that justifies the need for quality amplification. The Micca RB42s, while easier to drive, are an excellent choice for anyone seeking great sound without the need for hefty power. They are well-suited to small to medium-sized rooms where their ample sound can fill the space without strain.

Value Proposition

Value is often in the eye—or ear—of the beholder. The MartinLogan Motion 2i speakers sit at a higher price point, but for that investment, you're getting a taste of high-end audio technology with their patented tweeter design and robust engineering. The Micca RB42s offer a compelling value proposition with their affordability and outstanding performance for the price. They are an ideal entry point into high-fidelity audio for the budget-conscious listener or those looking to outfit a secondary listening space without compromising on sound quality.

In conclusion, the MartinLogan Motion 2i and Micca RB42 bookshelf speakers cater to different segments of the audiophile market. The Motion 2i's are for those who crave precision and detail, and who are willing to invest in superior amplification to extract every ounce of performance. Meanwhile, the Micca RB42s serve up a rich, room-filling sound that belies their affordable price tag, offering a high return on investment for those who want quality audio on a budget. Both sets of speakers have their unique strengths, and a choice between them should be guided by personal listening preferences, room characteristics, and system synergy.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 Reference 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.