Dayton Audio T652-AIR vs. MartinLogan Motion 20i

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
$250 $2000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
30.00” × 7.10” × 9.50”
762mm × 180mm × 241mm
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
45-20,000 Hz 46-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of affordable tower speakers, the Dayton Audio T652-AIR presents an unrivaled value proposition, boasting its remarkable AMT tweeter for crisp highs. They're a solid choice for budget-conscious audiophiles seeking an impressive stereo image. On the other hand, the MartinLogan Motion 20i, a step up both in price and prestige, comes equipped with the brand's acclaimed Folded Motion XT tweeter, delivering an exceptionally detailed soundstage and nuanced transparency. Their refined build and sophisticated design cater to listeners who prioritize audio fidelity and luxury aesthetics in their sonic sanctuary. Both offer distinct experiences tailored to different ends of the audiophile spectrum.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to affordable tower speakers, few brands stir the pot of high-quality audio quite like Dayton Audio, especially with their T652-AIR model. This speaker brings to the table a no-frills approach, focusing on delivering the best sound for your buck. On the flip side, the MartinLogan Motion 20i speaks to a more refined taste, aiming to blend aesthetic elegance with its signature sound performance. Both tower speakers court audiophiles with open arms, yet their approach and resulting soundscapes are markedly different.

Design Philosophy and Build Quality

The Dayton Audio T652-AIR is the epitome of practical design, featuring a straightforward, somewhat utilitarian aesthetic. The focus here is clearly not on fancy materials or intricate design cues but on a solid, functional build that promises durability. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 20i exudes a sense of luxury, with its sleek lines, high-gloss finish, and the iconic MartinLogan perforated grille. It's a speaker that makes a statement in any room not just with its sound, but with its presence.

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
Dayton Audio T652-AIR arrow (at

Sound Signature and Performance

Dayton Audio's T652-AIR packs a punch with its dual 6.5-inch woofers, providing a surprisingly rich and full-bodied sound that can fill a room with ease. The 'AIR' in its name indicates the inclusion of an AMT tweeter (Air Motion Transformer), known for its clear and detailed high-frequency response. The MartinLogan Motion 20i, on the other hand, is a testament to the brand's dedication to audio purity. The Motion 20i's Folded Motion Tweeter ensures an incredibly fast and precise response, leading to a crisp and articulate high-end that can breathe life into delicate nuances in music.

When it comes to the low end, the MartinLogan Motion 20i exhibits a refined and tight bass, courtesy of its aluminum cone woofers set in a non-resonant asymmetrical chamber format. It doesn't dig quite as deep as some larger tower speakers but emphasizes quality over quantity. The Dayton, while not as articulate in the bass department, offers a more aggressive and punchy low-end which can be very satisfying, particularly in modern music genres and home theater applications.

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i arrow (at

Imaging and Soundstage

The MartinLogan Motion 20i is an absolute stunner in terms of imaging and soundstage. Its precision-engineered components work cohesively to produce a soundstage that is expansive, with pin-point imaging that allows for an almost tangible placement of instruments and vocals within a three-dimensional space. The Dayton Audio T652-AIR, while not as holographic in its presentation, still provides a commendable soundstage for its price point. The imaging is reasonably accurate, offering a pleasant listening experience that is well-suited to casual listening and movie watching.

Another key aspect to consider is how these speakers perform at various listening volumes. The Motion 20i maintains its composure even at lower volume levels, with the details remaining intact and audible. The T652-AIR, while impressive at moderate to high volumes, tends to lose some of its magic in the subtleties when played softly. This could be an essential factor for those who enjoy late-night listening sessions or live in environments where low-volume listening is often necessary.

Value Proposition

In terms of value, the Dayton Audio T652-AIR is hard to beat. It offers an engaging listening experience at a fraction of the cost of many competitors, including the MartinLogan Motion 20i. The latter, however, justifies its higher price tag with premium materials, superior craftsmanship, and a level of sonic fineship that appeals to the discerning ear. For the budget-conscious music lover, Dayton delivers an undeniable bargain. Conversely, for the audiophile willing to invest more for aural excellence, the Motion 20i is a compelling choice.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker

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

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.