MartinLogan Motion 40i vs. MartinLogan Motion 4i

MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
$2600 $250
Dimensions (H × W × D)
42.50” × 7.60” × 12.80”
1080mm × 193mm × 325mm
12.60” × 5.60” × 5.70”
320mm × 142mm × 145mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
40-25,000 Hz 70-23,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 5.1

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the electrifying battle of MartinLogan's illustrious speakers, the Motion 40i towers astound with their robust, room-filling soundstage and deep, articulate bass, courtesy of larger drivers and dedicated woofers. Meanwhile, the Motion 4i bookshelf siblings offer a more compact, versatile form factor, delivering surprisingly expansive sound with a detailed midrange, ideal for smaller spaces. Both boast MartinLogan's revered Folded Motion tweeters for crisp, precise highs. The choice hinges on your spatial constraints and bass preferences—savor the full-bodied immersion of the 40i or embrace the 4i's spatial economy without sacrificing sonic clarity.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to high-end audio, MartinLogan is a name that resonates with clarity and precision among audiophiles. The brand has consistently produced speakers that not only push the boundaries of sound reproduction but also serve as benchmarks for quality and design. In the realm of MartinLogan's offerings, two speakers that stand out for their performance are the Motion 40i tower speakers and the Motion 4i bookshelf speakers. Each has its own set of strengths, catering to different listening preferences and room environments, and today, we'll delve into a comparison that might just help you decide which model sings the right tune for your ears and your living space.

Design Aesthetics and Build Quality

The MartinLogan Motion 40i is a floor-standing speaker that commands presence. Its sleek, tall profile is not just a design choice but a statement of purpose, housing a trio of drivers that span the frequency range with grace. With its larger cabinet, it embodies the very essence of what makes a tower speaker visually appealing. The Motion 4i, on the other hand, is a more compact bookshelf speaker that offers the same high level of craftsmanship but in a smaller package. While the Motion 4i can be placed on a bookshelf or stand, its size makes it more versatile in terms of placement within a room. Both speakers bear the signature MartinLogan build quality, with premium finishes that exude luxury and longevity.

MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i arrow (at

Soundstage and Imaging

One of the most crucial aspects of any speaker's performance is its ability to project a realistic soundstage. The Motion 40i, with its larger size, naturally creates a more expansive and immersive soundstage. The sound seems to emanate from a point beyond the physical limitations of the speakers, drawing the listener into a more enveloping experience. The Motion 4i, while smaller, still manages to impress with its imaging capabilities. The bookshelf speaker may not fill the room quite like its larger sibling, but it offers a pinpoint accuracy in imaging that allows for a well-defined and coherent musical landscape, making it ideal for smaller spaces or more intimate listening sessions.

Bass Response and Power Handling

The difference in driver size between the Motion 40i and the Motion 4i is not just cosmetic; it translates into a noticeable distinction in bass response and overall power handling. The Motion 40i's larger drivers and cabinet volume give it an edge in producing deep, articulate bass. Music and movie soundtracks convey a sense of depth and power that is hard to match with smaller speakers. The Motion 4i puts up a respectable fight in this arena, offering a bass response that is taut and more than adequate for its size, but it may require the assistance of a subwoofer to reach into the lowest octaves that the Motion 40i can touch with ease.

MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i arrow (at

Both the Motion 40i and Motion 4i employ MartinLogan's renowned Folded Motion Tweeter, a unique feature that sets these speakers apart from conventional domes. This innovative design allows for lightning-fast transient response and a smooth, yet detailed high-frequency range. This commonality ensures that whichever speaker you choose, you will be greeted with the crystal-clear highs and nuanced treble that MartinLogan is known for.

When we consider versatility, the Motion 4i bookshelf speakers shine. They are well-suited for a variety of applications, from serving as a primary stereo pair to acting as surround channels in a home theater setup. The Motion 40i, while not lacking flexibility, is more likely to be used as the cornerstone of a high-fidelity stereo system or as the main front speakers in a larger surround sound ensemble, due to their size and power handling capabilities.

In conclusion, the choice between the MartinLogan Motion 40i tower speakers and the Motion 4i bookshelf speakers ultimately boils down to the listener's space, preferences, and intended use. The Motion 40i is perfect for those seeking a full-range speaker that can fill a room with sumptuous sound, while the Motion 4i is ideal for audiophiles with limited space or those who prefer a more subtle, yet equally accurate, sonic footprint. Regardless of your choice, both models stay true to the MartinLogan pedigree of exceptional sound quality and impeccable design.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i 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.