Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. MartinLogan Motion 35XTi

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
$85 $1500
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
13.50” × 7.60” × 11.80”
343mm × 193mm × 300mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 50-25,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In an intriguing face-off, the budget-friendly Dayton Audio B652-AIR speakers bring remarkable value with their AMT tweeters delivering crisp highs, while the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi represents a leap into high-end territory with its luscious soundstage and Folded Motion XT tweeter for articulate accuracy. The Daytons surprise with competent performance at their price point, but the MartinLogans, with their exquisite build and nuanced audio reproduction, cater to the discerning audiophile. The choice hinges on budget constraints and listening preferences: entry-level enthusiasm meets the Dayton's charm, while the MartinLogans beckon those craving an upscale aural experience.

Speaker Comparison

Every audiophile's journey is marked by the quest for that perfect soundstage, the one that draws you into the heart of the music. In the realm of bookshelf speakers, there is a wide spectrum of contenders, each promising to deliver the goods. On one end of this spectrum, we have the budget-conscious Dayton Audio B652-AIR, a speaker that brings to the table a taste of high-fidelity without plundering your wallet. On the other end, we find the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi, a veritable gem in the compact speaker category that purports to offer an uncompromising audio experience. These two speakers may serve different masters, but they both aim to please the discerning ear.

Design and Build Quality

The Dayton Audio B652-AIR is utilitarian in design, with a no-frills appearance that speaks to its affordability. The black vinyl finish is clean but basic, and the removable grill offers a glimpse at the Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeter, which is the star of the show for this speaker. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi exudes class and refinement. With its high-gloss piano black finish, real-wood veneer, and signature perforated steel grill, the 35XTi is a piece of audio art. The build quality is substantial, exuding luxury and durability that justifies its premium price.

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR arrow (at

Sound Profile and Performance

The Dayton B652-AIR's sound is surprisingly robust given its modest cost. The AMT tweeter delivers crisp highs, and there's a decent warmth to the midrange. However, the bass is where the B652-AIR can falter, lacking the depth and tightness audiophiles often crave. It's a commendable performer for its price, but it doesn't quite reach audiophile territory. The MartinLogan Motion 35XTi, on the other hand, is in another league. It offers an expansive soundstage with pinpoint accuracy, and the Folded Motion XT tweeter provides exceptionally detailed highs without ever becoming harsh. The bass is tight and controlled, and the midrange is articulate, bringing vocals to life with clarity and presence.

Listening Experience

When it comes to the listening experience, the B652-AIR is like the gateway to high-end audio. It's an easy recommendation for someone looking to dip their toes into better sound without a significant investment. It performs admirably for casual listening and smaller rooms. The Motion 35XTi, however, is built for the enthusiast. It rewards the listener with a level of detail and coherence that makes every genre of music shine. Whether it's the subtle breaths between vocal phrases or the tight snap of a snare drum, the 35XTi delivers a listening experience that's immersive and exhilarating.

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 35XTi arrow (at

One cannot ignore the value proposition these two bookshelf speakers represent. The Dayton Audio B652-AIR is an incredible value, perfect for those on a tight budget or for use in a secondary audio system. You're getting more than what you pay for, and that is a rare thing in the audio world. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi is an investment. It's for the listener who has moved past the introductory phase and is ready to commit to a more serious audio setup. The 35XTi's higher price point is justified by its superior performance and craftsmanship.

Room Integration and Flexibility

The B652-AIR, with its compact size and forgiving nature, integrates well into most spaces and can be driven by a wide range of amplifiers. Its simplicity is its strength in terms of integration, as it doesn't demand much from its environment. The Motion 35XTi is more demanding; it requires careful placement and a quality amplifier to truly sing. It's a speaker that urges you to optimize your listening space, to treat it as a component in a high-caliber sound system. When afforded this attention, it reveals its full potential and transforms the listening room into a sanctuary of sound.

In conclusion, choosing between the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi comes down to where you stand on your audio journey and what you're willing to invest, both financially and in terms of system synergy. The B652-AIR is the practical, impressive choice for the emerging audiophile or the seasoned listener looking for an economical solution. The Motion 35XTi is a statement piece, a testament to the glory of high-end audio and a beacon for those who seek the zenith of sonic achievement. As always, the true judge will be your ears, your room, and your personal taste in music.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf 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.