MartinLogan Motion 4i vs. Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
$250 $160
Dimensions (H × W × D)
12.60” × 5.60” × 5.70”
320mm × 142mm × 145mm
12.56” × 7.13” × 8.44”
319mm × 181mm × 214mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-23,000 Hz 55-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 5.0
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
5.1 7.5

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity audio, the MartinLogan Motion 4i and Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers present two distinct choices for audiophiles. The Motion 4i boasts a refined soundstage with its Folded Motion tweeter, delivering crisp highs and articulate midrange, catering to those seeking precision and detail. Meanwhile, the SP-BS22-LR, designed by acclaimed engineer Andrew Jones, offers a well-balanced, warm sound at a more approachable price point, making it a favorite among budget-conscious listeners. Both excel in their respective classes, but the Motion 4i is the pick for the discerning ear, while the Pioneer shines for overall value.

Speaker Comparison

The quest for the ultimate soundstage is a never-ending journey for audiophiles. When it comes to selecting bookshelf speakers, the contrast between MartinLogan's Motion 4i and Pioneer's SP-BS22-LR offers a compelling study. Both bookshelf speakers aim to deliver high-quality audio within a compact footprint, but they do so with distinctly different approaches and at different price points.

Design Aesthetics and Build Quality

The MartinLogan Motion 4i speakers exude a premium feel with their sleek, high-gloss finish and the visually arresting Folded Motion tweeter. The build quality of the Motion 4i is robust, with attention to detail that suggests a product aiming for a higher-end market. In contrast, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, designed by the renowned Andrew Jones, presents a more understated look with a curved cabinet design that's not just for aesthetics but also aids in reducing standing waves inside the enclosure. The build is solid, despite the vinyl finish, which is more modest compared to the lustrous MartinLogan's.

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

Sound Quality and Performance

Sound-wise, the MartinLogan Motion 4i bookshelf speakers offer a crisp and detailed sound signature, with the Folded Motion tweeter providing an exceptional high-frequency response that's both articulate and refined. The bass is tight and more pronounced than one might expect from speakers of this size, though they may require a subwoofer to satisfy bass heads. In comparison, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR delivers a well-balanced, coherent soundstage with a warm midrange that's particularly flattering to vocals and strings. The highs are not as extended as the MartinLogans, and the bass, while natural and smooth, lacks the punch of its counterpart.

Value and Accessibility

Value is a significant factor in the equation. The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers provide remarkable quality for their price, making them accessible to a broader audience. They represent the philosophy that high-fidelity sound need not be a luxury. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 4i speakers are positioned as a more premium option, and their price reflects this. They cater to an audience that is willing to invest more in their audio setup for the sake of enhanced clarity and detail in their sound.

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR arrow (at

When considering the overall usability of these speakers, it's crucial to note that the MartinLogan Motion 4i is more demanding in terms of placement due to their sound dispersion characteristics. The sweet spot is more precise, urging the listener to find the optimal listening position to fully appreciate their sonic capabilities. The Pioneers, on the other hand, are more forgiving with room placement and listener position, making them a better choice for a casual listening environment where such precision may not be feasible.

Connectivity and compatibility are areas where both speakers are on even footing, with standard binding posts that should accommodate most amplifiers or receivers. However, the Motion 4i's may benefit from a higher-quality amplification to shine, whereas the Pioneers are less picky and can still perform admirably even with modest amplification. This means the Pioneers are a bit more versatile when it comes to system matching.

In conclusion, the MartinLogan Motion 4i and Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers cater to different audiences within the audiophile spectrum. The Motion 4i is for the discerning listener who seeks an immaculate audio experience and is prepared to invest in quality, while the SP-BS22-LR is the workhorse that brings a warm, balanced sound to the everyday music lover. Your choice between the two will ultimately depend on your personal preferences, listening habits, and budget considerations.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR 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.