MartinLogan Motion 2i vs. Polk Signature Elite ES20

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
$200 $400
Dimensions (H × W × D)
10.00” × 4.70” × 4.60”
254mm × 119mm × 117mm
14.80” × 8.50” × 13.80”
376mm × 216mm × 351mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
110-23,000 Hz 44-40,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of discerning audiophiles, the MartinLogan Motion 2i and Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 bookshelf speakers offer distinct sonic experiences. The Motion 2i leans on its lightning-fast Folded Motion tweeter for an articulate, detailed high-end, while the ES20 counters with a Dynamic Balance driver array, promising a rich, full-bodied performance. Both are compact, yet the MartinLogan's sleek design contrasts with Polk's classic approach. Ultimately, the choice hinges on listener preference: pristine clarity and spacious soundstaging from the Motion 2i, or the robust, warm tonality of the ES20, each speaker catering to different facets of the audiophile's palette.

Speaker Comparison

When the delicate intricacies of sound reproduction are in question, the choice of speaker can make all the difference between a flat, uninspiring audio experience and a transcendental journey through the essence of music. Today, we have two contenders vying for the spotlight in the realm of bookshelf speakers: the MartinLogan Motion 2i and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20. Both of these units promise to deliver exceptional sound quality, but they approach their mission with distinctly different philosophies and technological innovations.

Design and Build Quality

Let's begin by admiring the craftsmanship of each model. MartinLogan is renowned for its sleek, modern aesthetic, and the Motion 2i is no exception. With its compact form factor and the eye-catching perforated metal grille, it's designed to blend seamlessly into a contemporary living space while making a subtle, yet undeniable statement. The Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20, on the other hand, takes a more classic route with its well-crafted MDF cabinet and a visually arresting, textured wood grain vinyl finish, making it a choice addition for those who lean towards a more traditional décor.

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

Sound Signature and Performance

Delving into sound reproduction, the MartinLogan Motion 2i speaks the language of clarity and precision. Equipped with its trademark Folded Motion tweeter, the Motion 2i excels in rendering crystal-clear highs without a hint of harshness, a testament to its electrostatic lineage. The midrange is articulate, allowing vocals and instruments to soar with lifelike presence. However, when it comes to the lower frequencies, these speakers may leave the bass-heads yearning for more depth and thump.

Conversely, Polk's Signature Elite ES20 is a maestro of balance, offering a warm and robust sound profile that's conducive to a wide array of genres. Polk's proprietary Dynamic Balance technology ensures a rich and detailed midrange, while the bass response is punchy and surprisingly authoritative for a speaker of its size, thanks to the Power Port technology. High frequencies are smooth and extended, but they might lack the last degree of air and nuance that the MartinLogan delivers.

Room Integration and Versatility

The Motion 2i, with its modest footprint, is relatively easy to place in a room, and its sound dispersion is quite wide, thanks to the design of the tweeter. These speakers are less fussy about placement, yet they will reward the listener who takes the time to find their sweet spot. They are ideal for smaller rooms where space is at a premium, and listener positioning can be optimized.

The Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20s are slightly more demanding when it comes to room real estate. They thrive in a more spacious environment and would benefit from a bit of breathing room to allow their sound to blossom fully. The bass-reflex design with rear-firing Power Port means they'll need some distance from the wall to prevent bass boominess, making them a bit more placement-sensitive than their MartinLogan counterparts.

In the end, the choice between the MartinLogan Motion 2i and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 bookshelf speakers will hinge upon personal preference, room characteristics, and the type of audio experiences one is after. The Motion 2i is a perfect match for those who crave detail and a high-fidelity window into their music. The ES20, with its fuller-bodied sound and impressive bass, will likely appeal to those seeking a more immersive, all-around performance. Each sets a high bar in its own right, and either will elevate the home listening experience to new heights.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 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.