MartinLogan Motion 40i vs. NHT SuperZero 2.1

MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
$2600 $300
Dimensions (H × W × D)
42.50” × 7.60” × 12.80”
1080mm × 193mm × 325mm
9.00” × 5.50” × 5.00”
229mm × 140mm × 127mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
40-25,000 Hz 85-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 3.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 6.7

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The MartinLogan Motion 40i tower speakers boast a luscious soundscape with their signature Folded Motion tweeter, delivering an expansive soundstage that belies their sleek footprint. With a full-bodied low end and crisp highs, they cater to audiophiles with a desire for an immersive listening experience. On the flip side, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 mini-monitors are the David to MartinLogan's Goliath; small yet mighty, offering remarkable clarity and a well-balanced sound that defies their diminutive size. Ideal for smaller spaces, they provide an exceptional value proposition for listeners seeking high-quality audio on a budget.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to the enthralling world of high-fidelity audio, comparing speakers across different categories can often be a challenging endeavor, much like comparing the subtle nuances between a finely aged Cabernet Sauvignon and a bold, vibrant Pinot Noir. In the spotlight today, we have two speakers that represent divergent philosophies in sound reproduction: the MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker. These two are designed to cater to different auditory preferences, spaces, and, perhaps most notably, budget considerations.

The Tower of Power: MartinLogan Motion 40i

The MartinLogan Motion 40i is a floor-standing speaker that exudes a presence as commanding as its performance. With its svelte cabinet and the distinctive Folded Motion tweeter, the Motion 40i is engineered to deliver a soundstage that is as expansive as it is impeccably detailed. The speaker's dual 6.5-inch aluminum cone woofers are crafted to produce robust and articulate bass that is not just heard but felt. The Motion 40i is designed for those who seek a speaker that can effortlessly fill a room with their favorite sonatas, rock anthems, or cinematic scores with equal finesse.

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

The Compact Contender: NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor

In stark contrast, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 is a mini-monitor that packs a surprising punch within its compact frame. The SuperZero 2.1 stands as a testament to the principle that size isn't everything when it comes to high-quality audio. Equipped with a 4.5-inch long-throw pulp cone woofer and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter, this bookshelf speaker is adept at rendering clear and precise sounds while maintaining a footprint that is as modest as its price tag. The SuperZero 2.1 is ideal for those with limited space or for use in a secondary audio system where performance still matters.

Soundstage and Imaging

One of the most critical aspects of speaker performance is the ability to create a believable and immersive soundstage. The Motion 40i shines in this domain, offering a wide and deep soundstage that can extend beyond the physical boundaries of the speaker itself. The imaging is razor-sharp, allowing listeners to pinpoint the exact location of each instrument and performer. Conversely, the SuperZero 2.1, while limited by its size, still manages to produce a well-defined and coherent soundstage that belies its diminutive stature. Imaging is precise, making it a compelling choice for those seeking accuracy over expansiveness.

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

Frequency Response and Character

The aural character of the MartinLogan Motion 40i is distinguished by its clean, articulate highs, owing to the unique properties of its Folded Motion tweeter. The bass is powerful without being overbearing, maintaining control and definition even at higher volumes. The midrange is lush and inviting, ensuring vocals and instruments are rendered with natural warmth. The NHT SuperZero 2.1, while not as commanding in the low end, still delivers a balanced frequency response. Its highs are crisp, and the mids are clear, making it well-suited for vocal-centric tracks and acoustic music. For deep bass, though, pairing it with a subwoofer would be advisable.

Room Placement and Versatility

Speakers interact with the room they inhabit, and the MartinLogan Motion 40i can benefit from thoughtful placement to optimize its performance. They require some breathing room from walls to truly shine, and their larger size may necessitate a larger listening area. The NHT SuperZero 2.1 is much more forgiving in terms of placement, and their size allows them to be tucked away on bookshelves or desks, making them versatile companions in various settings. However, to achieve optimal sound, attention to positioning and potential stands or mounts is recommended.

In conclusion, the MartinLogan Motion 40i and NHT SuperZero 2.1 speakers serve as shining examples of how different designs can fulfill the diverse needs of the audiophile community. Whether your pursuit of audio nirvana leads you to the towering grace of the Motion 40i or the compact charm of the SuperZero 2.1, both speakers stand ready to deliver a captivating listening experience. Ultimately, the choice between them will hinge on personal preferences regarding aesthetics, space, and sonic ambition, but rest assured, neither will disappoint the discerning ear.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
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.