MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers Review


MSRP $200
(H × W × D)
10.00” × 4.70” × 4.60”
254mm × 119mm × 117mm
Power Type Passive
Frequency Response 110-23,000 Hz
MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speakers impress with their Folded Motion tweeter, delivering a rich, detailed soundscape far beyond their modest size. The high-gloss finish exudes elegance. However, they demand quality amplification to truly sing, and their bass, while clear, may leave enthusiasts yearning without a sub. A superb choice for discerning listeners with small to medium rooms, the Motion 2i's combine potent performance with an aesthetic charm, though they may stretch the budget of an entry-level audiophile.

Check current prices:

See Price

MartinLogan Motion 2i: Our Take

The MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speakers are a compact addition to the esteemed manufacturer's line-up, promising to deliver high-quality audio performance. Designed for both music enthusiasts and home theater fans, these speakers come with a number of standout features. One of the key aspects is the use of MartinLogan's signature Folded Motion tweeter, which is engineered to produce precise and clear high-frequency sounds. This proprietary technology aims to minimize distortion and provide a wide soundstage, which is particularly impressive for speakers of this size.

Regarding design, the MartinLogan Motion 2i speakers feature a sleek, modern look that can blend seamlessly into a variety of room aesthetics. Their small footprint makes them suitable for spaces where larger speakers might be intrusive or impractical. The build quality is solid, and the attention to detail in construction is evident, reflecting the brand's commitment to both sound quality and design. However, it's important to note that their minimalist style may not appeal to those who prefer a more traditional or ornate speaker appearance.

In terms of performance, the Motion 2i speakers provide an engaging listening experience. They excel at delivering detailed mids and crisp highs, making them particularly adept at handling vocal and instrumental clarity. The bass response, while commendable for their size, may not satisfy those looking for room-shaking lows without the addition of a subwoofer. This is often the case with bookshelf speakers, where physical limitations affect the bass potency.

Related Content

Sound Customization and Integration

The speakers offer some flexibility when it comes to sound customization. Users can fine-tune their listening experience by adjusting placement and toe-in angle due to the broad dispersion characteristic of the Folded Motion tweeter. Integration with other components in a home theater system is relatively straightforward as well, making the Motion 2i a versatile choice for various setups. However, achieving optimal sound may require some experimentation with positioning and calibration within different environments.

Comparisons with Similar Products

When considering alternatives, potential buyers might look at other reputable brands such as Bowers & Wilkins' 607 S2 Anniversary Edition or KEF's Q150 bookshelf speakers. Both offer comparable sound quality within a similar price range and are celebrated for their own unique acoustic technologies. The B&W 607 S2 features the Continuum cone technology for midrange clarity, while the KEF Q150 boasts the Uni-Q driver array for an expansive soundstage. These competing products could sway users based on brand loyalty or specific sonic preferences.

Connectivity options on the MartinLogan Motion 2i are standard for bookshelf speakers, offering traditional binding posts that support various wiring configurations. While they lack wireless connectivity features such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi found in some modern speakers, this is often the case for audiophile-grade bookshelf speakers where wired connections are preferred for maintaining signal integrity.

The value proposition of the Motion 2i speakers is significant for both audiophiles on a budget and those looking to build a high-fidelity audio system without taking up too much space. Their performance punches above their weight class, making them an attractive option for discerning listeners. Still, it's essential to weigh this against their relative lack of deep bass and the additional cost of acquiring a subwoofer for those who demand a fuller frequency range.

Potential Limitations

One possible downside for some users might be the passive nature of the Motion 2i speakers. In an age where smart and active speakers are gaining popularity, these require a separate amplifier or receiver to function. This necessitates an additional investment and may not be ideal for those seeking a more plug-and-play solution.

In conclusion, the MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speakers stand out as an impressive option in their category, offering remarkable high-frequency detail and soundstage thanks to their Folded Motion tweeter technology. While they hold up well against competitors in terms of performance, they may not be the perfect fit for everyone due to style preferences or bass response expectations. It is always recommended that potential buyers audition various models, including these, to find what best suits their personal taste and listening needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the MartinLogan Motion 2i's Folded Motion tweeter compare to traditional dome tweeters?

The MartinLogan Motion 2i’s Folded Motion tweeter is one of the defining features of this speaker, and it sets it apart from traditional dome tweeters in a few key ways. First, the Folded Motion tweeter has a larger surface area, which allows it to move more air with less excursion, resulting in lower distortion and a faster transient response. This means that the Motion 2i can deliver crisp, detailed highs and a very open, transparent soundstage that audiophiles often crave. Furthermore, the unique design of the tweeter ensures a wide, yet controlled sound dispersion, which makes the sweet spot for listening more generous and forgiving, ideal for real-world listening environments.

Can the MartinLogan Motion 2i be wall-mounted, and if so, what are the recommended practices?

Yes, the MartinLogan Motion 2i speakers are indeed designed with versatility in mind, and they can be wall-mounted. For those looking to save space or prefer the aesthetic of wall-mounted speakers, this is a considerable advantage. When wall-mounting the Motion 2i, it is important to use the appropriate hardware and to ensure the speakers are securely attached to wall studs to prevent any accidents. Also, consider the tweeter's height to be at ear level when seated for optimal sound performance. Additionally, leave some space between the speaker and the wall to prevent bass frequencies from becoming too boomy, as the rear port requires some breathing room for the best sound quality.

What types of music genres are the MartinLogan Motion 2i speakers best suited for?

The MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speakers are quite versatile when it comes to music genres, thanks to their high-resolution Folded Motion tweeter and well-balanced woofer. They excel at delivering the intricate details and spatial cues of acoustic, classical, and jazz recordings, where the nuance of every note is paramount. However, they are also more than capable of handling the dynamic swings of rock, electronic, and hip-hop music. The clarity and openness of the Motion 2i make them well-suited for vocal-centric music as well, ensuring that the subtleties of the human voice are conveyed with emotion and precision. In essence, these speakers are designed to be all-rounders, capable of delivering an engaging listening experience across a broad spectrum of musical tastes.

Check current prices:

MartinLogan Motion 2i

See Price

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.