MartinLogan Motion 2i vs. NHT SuperZero 2.1

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
$200 $300
Dimensions (H × W × D)
10.00” × 4.70” × 4.60”
254mm × 119mm × 117mm
9.00” × 5.50” × 5.00”
229mm × 140mm × 127mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
110-23,000 Hz 85-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 3.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 6.7

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In a high-fidelity clash, the MartinLogan Motion 2i and NHT SuperZero 2.1 mini-monitors vie for audiophile affection. The Motion 2i flaunts its luscious Folded Motion tweeter, delivering crisp, articulate highs, complemented by a robust bass for its size. On the other side, the SuperZero 2.1, a cult classic, sticks to a more traditional design, offering a balanced, neutral sound with surprising detail and coherence. Both are compelling picks for those tight on space but craving quality sound; however, the MartinLogan tempts with its high-tech tweeter, while NHT seduces with its faithful audio reproduction and compact charm.

Speaker Comparison

Entering the realm of high-fidelity audio often invites a collision of design philosophies, technical prowess, and, of course, personal taste. When considering two compact powerhouses like the MartinLogan Motion 2i and the NHT SuperZero 2.1, it's evident that each brand brings its unique signature to the table. The Motion 2i, as part of MartinLogan's reputable lineup, is known for its precise soundstage and sophisticated engineering. On the other hand, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 carries the legacy of its predecessor, which was lauded for its ability to punch above its weight, delivering surprisingly full sound from a diminutive form factor.

A Study in Sound: MartinLogan Motion 2i

The MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speakers immediately set themselves apart with their Folded Motion tweeter, a distinct feature that marks the brand's commitment to crisp highs and detailed sound reproduction. This technology ensures that the Motion 2i's can handle the nuances of intricate musical passages with ease, making them particularly beloved by audiophiles who crave clarity and precision. With a slightly larger cabinet than the NHT, the Motion 2i's also boast a more pronounced low-end presence, although it's their sparkling highs that tend to capture the listener’s attention.

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

Compact Challenger: NHT SuperZero 2.1

In contrast, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor takes a more minimalist approach. Loyal to its 'SuperZero' moniker, it focuses on doing more with less, presenting a no-frills, straightforward design. The acoustic suspension (sealed box) design is a rarity in a market dominated by bass-reflex systems, and it offers tight, controlled bass response that is both articulate and more room-friendly when it comes to placement. However, this also means the SuperZero 2.1 has a lighter touch with the lower frequencies and relies on pairing with a good subwoofer to fill in the bottom octave.

Design and Aesthetics

From an aesthetic standpoint, both speakers exude their own version of elegance. The Motion 2i carries the signature MartinLogan flair with its sleek, high-gloss finish and modern curves, presenting a speaker that looks as good as it sounds. It's a speaker that begs to be displayed prominently, complementing a contemporary decor. The NHT SuperZero 2.1, conversely, sticks to basics with its unassuming, boxy shape and a more subdued look. It's designed to be acoustically invisible, with the goal of blending into a room rather than standing out. Both are available in various finishes to match personal preferences and room decor.

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

When it comes to placement and integration into a living space, the Motion 2i and SuperZero 2.1 offer different levels of flexibility. The Motion 2i's are less fussy about placement thanks to their more robust low-end, which gives them a bit more freedom in relation to room boundaries. The SuperZero 2.1's, while adaptable due to their compact size, will require some experimentation to achieve the best possible sound, particularly as they benefit from a subwoofer to flesh out their bass response.

Conclusion: Weighing Your Preferences

Ultimately, choosing between the MartinLogan Motion 2i and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor boils down to personal preference and specific use cases. The Motion 2i excels with its high-resolution sound and aesthetic appeal, making it an ideal match for listeners who value sonic detail and visual design equally. It's for those who seek a more complete package, with less reliance on additional components like subwoofers. The SuperZero 2.1, however, will appeal to the purist looking for a clean, uncolored sound and who doesn't mind the extra step of integrating a subwoofer for full-range performance.

Both speakers are strong contenders in their own right, and both have the potential to elevate a sound system from ordinary to extraordinary. Whether it's the detailed, airy soundstage of the MartinLogan Motion 2i or the compact, accurate sound of the NHT SuperZero 2.1, the right choice is the one that resonates with your listening habits, aesthetic preferences, and the unique acoustic environment of your home. In the end, both speakers stand as testaments to the idea that great things do indeed come in small packages.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
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.