MartinLogan Motion 4i vs. NHT SuperZero 2.1

MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
$250 $300
Dimensions (H × W × D)
12.60” × 5.60” × 5.70”
320mm × 142mm × 145mm
9.00” × 5.50” × 5.00”
229mm × 140mm × 127mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-23,000 Hz 85-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 3.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
5.1 6.7

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the arena of compact audiophile speakers, the MartinLogan Motion 4i and NHT SuperZero 2.1 are both compelling contenders. The Motion 4i offers a detailed soundstage with its Folded Motion tweeter, delivering crisp highs, while its elegant design complements modern decor. The SuperZero 2.1, on the other hand, is a classic mini-monitor known for its balanced and neutral sound, albeit requiring a subwoofer to fill out the low end. Both are excellent choices for those short on space, but your preference for either will hinge on whether you prioritize the Motion 4i's detailed highs or the SuperZero 2.1's timbral accuracy.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to the world of high-fidelity audio, few experiences are as rewarding as finding the perfect set of bookshelf speakers. The quest for pristine clarity, enveloping soundstages, and rich, accurate bass is a journey many audiophiles gladly embark on. Two contenders that often stir up debates are the MartinLogan Motion 4i and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor. Each brings its unique flavor to the table, catering to the discerning ears of music lovers worldwide.

The Aesthetics and Build

The MartinLogan Motion 4i speakers exude a modern elegance with their sleek, piano black finish and the distinctive folded motion tweeter that is a hallmark of the brand's design language. They boast a solid build that feels premium to the touch, a testament to MartinLogan's attention to detail. On the other hand, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 maintains a more traditional appearance with its compact, cube-like form factor. It's unassuming but classic, with a build quality that feels robust and purposeful, despite its more modest price point.

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

Sound Signature and Performance

When it comes to performance, the MartinLogan Motion 4i speakers deliver an incredibly detailed and transparent sound, thanks to their unique folded motion tweeters. These tweeters are known for their lightning-fast response and precision, which imparts a crispness to the highs that isn't commonly found in traditional dome tweeters. The midrange is articulate, presenting vocals and instruments with a lifelike presence. In contrast, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 offers a surprisingly coherent and balanced sound from such a small package. While it may lack the same high-frequency extension as the Motion 4i, it still manages to produce a smooth and natural tonal balance that is both engaging and easy to listen to for extended sessions.

Bass and Room Integration

The MartinLogan Motion 4i, despite its relatively slim profile, can deliver satisfying bass that is tight and controlled. However, they may not plunge into the deepest octaves without the assistance of a subwoofer. Ideal placement and some room treatment can coax the best performance from these speakers, letting them shine in a well-integrated setup. The NHT SuperZero 2.1, by virtue of its acoustic suspension design, offers a taut and articulate bass response. Although, like the Motion 4i, they benefit greatly from pairing with a good subwoofer, especially for those craving full-range sound.

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

For those with space constraints, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 is a clear winner. Its diminutive size allows it to disappear into the decor of any room, making it a superb choice for urban dwellers in cozy apartments. The MartinLogan Motion 4i's are certainly not large by any standard, but they do demand a bit more space to breathe and perform optimally, which should be a consideration for potential buyers.

Value Proposition and Versatility

Considering the value proposition, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 punches above its weight class. It's a speaker that offers a high-quality audio experience without breaking the bank, making it an ideal entry point for budding audiophiles. The MartinLogan Motion 4i, while positioned at a higher price bracket, justifies its cost with advanced technology and a sound that can be almost revelatory. For those looking for a speaker that can serve in a variety of roles—from home theater duties to pure music enjoyment—the Motion 4i is incredibly versatile and can adapt to different audio needs with ease.

In conclusion, both the MartinLogan Motion 4i and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 speakers have their distinct advantages and will appeal to different listeners. The choice between them will ultimately come down to personal preferences in sound signature, aesthetics, and budget. What is certain is that both speakers represent their brands admirably and are capable of providing countless hours of acoustic pleasure. It is a joyous occasion when technology and artistry converge in such compact forms, and audiophiles are all the better for it.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i 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.