Originally Posted by dllhg
This is for my low end downstairs HT the family uses. I know the small speakers wont be great I just want something a decent step up from the crappy Bose speakers I am using presently.
What would be ideal is something up to 6-8 inches and white. Haven’t had luck finding anything yet that would be an upgrade in sound quality that small.
I was very impressed with the Martin Logan motion 4 inch speakers I listened to at Magnolia. A bit bigger that I want. Only 6 lbs but they are 12.5 tall 5.5x5.5. The 3 inch version was a bit smaller at 9 inches and still sounded great but there was a noticeable jump when comparing to the 4 inch. They are $180 and $250 each. Neither is available in white. 😟. Going by sound alone these would be a HUGE upgrade in sound quality over the Bose. Clarity was amazing and sounds were very full and rich.
Other ideas/ options?
1. It won't be hard to beat out the Bose cubes in SQ...but make no mistake, you will NOT get any huge leap if you are determined to stay in such a miniscule size range, at ANY budget...physics is physics. That you easily heard a big difference going from the 3" to the 4" ML models makes perfect sense...around 4" is the bare minimum woofer size to get halfway decent sound out of any speaker, IMO.
2. I'm partial to AMT tweeters, so I'm sure the MLs did sound very good esp. compared to what else was available at Magnolia. And there's no denying that the glossy finish and stylish curvy shape of the cabinet looks great.
3. However, in the same size ballpark as the ML4, you can actually get a great (for HT, equal or better) speaker for just a little over half the price! The speaker I'm thinking of is the Ascend 200SE, which I once had on loan for an extended period and was very impressed with given its size and modest price, and which I think is really the hidden gem in the highly-regarded Ascend lineup. While actually being 1.6" SHORTER than the ML4 and only about 0.7" wider and deeper, you get TWO 4" woofers giving you a much bigger sound in a similarly sized package! The only area where it clearly loses out to the ML4 is aesthetic: it's just a plain rectangular box, without even the benefit of a nice glossy finish...not ugly so much as totally functional/utilitarian-looking. Oh and it's not available for in-store audition, Ascend being an internet-direct company (the ID companies all give you a 30 day trial though, you just have to pay for return shipping which I'd guesstimate to be around $40 for a pair of small speakers like this).
And like most really high bang-for-the-buck speakers, you can have it in any color you wish as long as it's black. :P
Here's a direct comparison of the two speakers, on paper:
Martin Logan Motion 4i
5.7 x 5.6 x 12.6 in
Drivers: 4" woofer + AMT tweeter
Mid-bass extension: 70Hz (not specified if anechoic or in-room)
Sensitivity: 90db (not specified if anechoic or in-room)
Impedance: 4 ohms
Recommended power: 20-150 watts
6.5 x 6.4 x 11 inch
Drivers: twin 4" woofers + 1" tweeter
Mid-bass extension: 68Hz in-room, 74Hz anechoic
Sensitivity: 89db in-room, 87db anechoic
Impedance: 8 ohms
Recommended power: 25-200 watts
Sealed cabinet = much more placement options
$322/pair shipped (also available in singles)