Dayton Audio T652-AIR vs. MartinLogan Motion 2i

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
$250 $200
Dimensions (H × W × D)
30.00” × 7.10” × 9.50”
762mm × 180mm × 241mm
10.00” × 4.70” × 4.60”
254mm × 119mm × 117mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
45-20,000 Hz 110-23,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the battle of budget versus boutique, the Dayton Audio T652-AIR towers pack a punch with Dual 6.5-inch woofers and AMT tweeters, offering a spacious soundstage at an entry-level price. Contrastingly, the MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speakers, with their Folded Motion tweeters and exquisite craftsmanship, deliver articulate highs and a nuanced midrange, catering to the discerning listener. The T652-AIRs impress with their size and power, while the Motion 2i's excel in clarity and detail, each befitting different spaces and preferences in the eternal quest for audio nirvana.

Speaker Comparison

When we delve into the realm of audiophile equipment, we often find ourselves at the crossroads of budget and performance, a balancing act that can be as delicate as the soundstage of an orchestral piece. In this exploration of sonic delivery, we're comparing two very different contenders: the modestly priced Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers and the more premium MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers. Both have their merits, but how do they stack up in a head-to-head comparison?

Design and Build Quality

The Dayton Audio T652-AIR stands tall, literally, as a floor-standing speaker that offers a substantial physical presence in any room. Its dual 6.5-inch woofers promise robust bass and a larger-than-life soundstage. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 2i, with its luxurious high-gloss finish and the iconic folded motion tweeter, commands a sense of refinement and high-end allure, despite its petite bookshelf form factor. The build quality of the MartinLogan is undeniably superior, with materials and craftsmanship that speak to a more discerning audience.

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

Sound Performance

Sound is where things get interesting. The T652-AIR, with its 'AIR' moniker, highlights the use of an AMT tweeter (Air Motion Transformer) which is typically reserved for headphones and high-end speakers. This results in crisp, clear highs that are quite astonishing for the price point. However, when it comes to the Motion 2i, the folded motion tweeter steals the show with an effortless delivery of transparent highs and a remarkable speed that articulate nuances with pristine clarity. The bass response, while limited by its size, is still accurate and well-integrated with the midrange.

Midrange on both speakers is commendable, with the T652-AIR offering a warm and full-bodied sound that’s particularly forgiving on less-than-perfect recordings. The Motion 2i, on the other hand, has a more neutral midrange that excels in delivering detailed vocal performances and a clear, uncolored sound. It's a matter of preference, but the MartinLogan tends to reveal the intricacies in music that the Dayton Audio might gloss over.

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i arrow (at

Value and Versatility

Speaking of value, the Dayton Audio T652-AIR is a clear winner for those wanting a full-range speaker without the full-range price. It's versatile enough to serve in a home theater setup or stand alone in a stereo configuration. Meanwhile, the MartinLogan Motion 2i, while significantly pricier, offers an audiophile experience in a compact package. It shines as part of a high-fidelity 2.0 system or as an addition to a surround setup, provided you're willing to invest in quality across the board.

The versatility of the MartinLogan extends beyond its sound. Its form factor allows it to be placed in tighter spaces, mounted on walls, or perch elegantly on stands, making it a better choice for those with more challenging room dynamics. The Dayton Audio, due to its tower design, requires more space and may not be as accommodating to smaller rooms.

In conclusion, the Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers cater to two distinct audiences. The former offers an affordable pathway to high-fidelity sound, ideal for the burgeoning audiophile or budget-conscious music lover. The latter, with its exquisite detail and high-end components, is a splurge-worthy investment for those seeking an intimate, revealing listening experience. Your choice between the two will hinge on what you value most in your sonic adventures—scale and value or refinement and detail.

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Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers

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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.