This paper deals with the speed and position estimation for synchronous reluctance motors (SyRMs) and interior permanent-magnet synchronous motors (IPMs). A unified design and analysis framework for a class of back-electromotive-force (back-EMF)-based observers is developed and the links between apparently different estimation methods are brought out. State observers equipped with a speed-adaptation law are shown to be mathematically equivalent to voltage-model-based flux observers equipped with a position-tracking loop. The error signal driving the adaptation law or the tracking loop is presented in a generalized form. Using the framework, a stabilizing gain design is reviewed and detailed design guidelines are given. Selected observer designs are experimentally evaluated using a 6.7-kW SyRM drive and a 2.2-kW IPM drive.