MartinLogan Motion 2i vs. Presonus Eris E3.5

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
$200 $100
Dimensions (H × W × D)
10.00” × 4.70” × 4.60”
254mm × 119mm × 117mm
10.24” × 7.00” × 7.68”
260mm × 178mm × 195mm
Power Type
Passive Powered
Frequency Response
110-23,000 Hz 80-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 4.3

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speakers exude audiophile charm with their exquisite Folded Motion tweeters, delivering a crisp and detailed high-end. Their sophisticated design and superior soundstage appeal to the discerning listener. Contrastingly, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 studio monitors offer a more utilitarian aesthetic, with a focus on accurate sound reproduction for the budding producer or multimedia enthusiast. Their compact form factor and affordability make them an attractive choice for those with space constraints and budget considerations. Decision between them hinges on use—pure listening bliss or critical sound work.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to compact speakers that pack a punch, both the MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speakers and the PreSonus Eris E3.5 near-field monitors cater to discerning listeners, albeit in slightly different markets. The Motion 2i speakers are a continuation of MartinLogan's reputation for blending audiophile performance with sleek design, while the Eris E3.5 monitors are tailored towards the burgeoning home studio market, offering professional features at a consumer-friendly price point. Yet, for those who simply crave quality audio, the lines between professional and consumer gear often blur. Let's dive into the nuances that distinguish these two models.

The Sound of Clarity: MartinLogan Motion 2i

The MartinLogan Motion 2i speakers come from a lineage renowned for its electrostatic speaker design, which gives them an edge in delivering crisp, articulate highs and a well-defined midrange. The signature Folded Motion tweeter provides an extraordinary level of detail and smoothness that is hard to find in traditional dome tweeters. This results in a soundstage that is remarkably open and airy, allowing for precise imaging that audiophiles crave. The low-end response is respectable for the size, though true bass enthusiasts might seek additional reinforcement from a subwoofer.

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

PreSonus Eris E3.5: Studio Precision on a Budget

On the flip side, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 monitors aim for accuracy rather than enhancement. These monitors are engineered to deliver a flat frequency response to ensure that what you hear is as close as possible to the original recording. This is crucial for audio production, where the truth of the mix is paramount. However, this doesn't mean the E3.5s are devoid of musicality. They offer a well-balanced sound that's both detailed and expansive, given their compact size. Bass response is tight and controlled, though, like the Motion 2i, low-end frequencies will be limited by the smaller woofer size.

Aesthetic and Build Quality

When it comes to aesthetics, the MartinLogan Motion 2i speakers exude a certain elegance that would complement any modern living space. The build quality is superb, with a high-gloss finish and solid cabinet construction that resonates with the brand's high-end heritage. Conversely, the Eris E3.5 monitors have a more utilitarian design that fits well in a studio environment. The build is functional and robust, aimed at withstanding the rigors of studio use. These aren't speakers that scream for attention based on their looks, but rather for their performance and durability.

Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
Presonus Eris E3.5 arrow (at

The User Experience

User experience can often be a deciding factor in speaker selection, and here is where the two diverge significantly. The MartinLogan Motion 2i speakers are passive, requiring a separate amplifier or receiver, which allows for more flexibility and potential quality in system matching but also demands a greater investment and space. The PreSonus Eris E3.5 monitors are active, with built-in amplification, making them a plug-and-play solution that is both space-saving and cost-effective for those not wishing to delve into the complexities of hi-fi setups.

Connectivity is another aspect where these speakers differ. The Motion 2i is designed to integrate seamlessly with traditional hi-fi components, featuring standard binding posts for speaker wire. In contrast, the Eris E3.5 monitors offer a variety of inputs, including balanced TRS and unbalanced RCA connections, catering to the needs of the modern producer who might be connecting a range of devices, from audio interfaces to computers.

Finally, the target audience is a key component in any product comparison. MartinLogan's Motion 2i speakers are squarely aimed at the audiophile market – those seeking a high-fidelity listening experience and who are willing to invest in the ancillary equipment needed to extract the best performance. The PreSonus Eris E3.5, however, is targeted towards content creators, aspiring engineers, and audiophiles who also dabble in music production. They are a versatile choice for anyone who values accuracy and studio-quality sound in a compact package.

In conclusion, the MartinLogan Motion 2i and the PreSonus Eris E3.5 serve different but occasionally overlapping purposes. The Motion 2i is the choice for the audiophile who values sonic purity and is prepared to build a system around these speakers. The Eris E3.5, meanwhile, is the pragmatic choice for those who need professional-grade accuracy and simplicity in a home studio environment. Regardless of your preference, both speakers represent their respective brands with distinction, offering exceptional performance in their domains.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor

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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.