Dayton Audio T652-AIR vs. MartinLogan Motion 40i

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
$250 $2600
Dimensions (H × W × D)
30.00” × 7.10” × 9.50”
762mm × 180mm × 241mm
42.50” × 7.60” × 12.80”
1080mm × 193mm × 325mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
45-20,000 Hz 40-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: Dayton Audio's T652-AIR tower speakers offer budget-conscious audiophiles a taste of high-fidelity with their Air Motion Transformer tweeters delivering crisp highs, while dual 6.5-inch woofers ensure a solid bass response. At an accessible price point, they present remarkable value in the entry-level market. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 40i speakers, with their signature Folded Motion tweeters and elegant design, ascend into a higher echelon of sound purity and aesthetics. The Motion 40i caters to the discerning listener seeking a refined audio experience with detailed imaging and a spacious soundstage, but at a premium cost. Both choices reflect a commitment to quality, with the defining factor being budget and auditory preference.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to high-fidelity audio, enthusiasts often find themselves weighing the virtues of affordability against the allure of premium quality. In the tower speaker arena, Dayton Audio's T652-AIR and MartinLogan's Motion 40i represent two distinct approaches to home audio excellence. The Dayton offers a budget-friendly entry point to floor-standing speakers, while the MartinLogan is a high-end option that promises an audiophile-grade experience. Both, however, aim to deliver an immersive listening experience, albeit through very different means.

Design and Build Quality

The Dayton Audio T652-AIR sports a no-frills, utilitarian design that focuses on delivering sound without the aesthetic embellishments found in more expensive models. The black wood-grain vinyl finish is understated, allowing the speakers to blend into the background of most rooms. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 40i exudes a premium presence, with its distinctively sleek, furniture-grade finish and the iconic MartinLogan curved design that's both visually striking and acoustically beneficial. The Motion 40i not only serves as a sonic centerpiece but also as a statement piece of decor.

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

Sound Quality

At the heart of the T652-AIR's sound reproduction is the Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeter, which offers a crisp and extended high-frequency response that is quite impressive for its price range. The dual 6.5-inch woofers round out the low and midrange, delivering a performance that punches well above its weight class. The Motion 40i, however, brings an entirely different level of sonic finesse, featuring MartinLogan's renowned Folded Motion Tweeter that provides astoundingly detailed highs, paired with aluminum cone woofers and a dedicated midrange driver that together produce a beautifully cohesive and articulate soundstage.

Bass response is another area where these two contenders diverge. The T652-AIR manages to offer a commendable low-end presence, but it can't compete with the depth and control exhibited by the Motion 40i. The MartinLogan's bass is tight, well defined, and seamlessly integrated with the mids and highs, thanks in no small part to the speaker's well-engineered cabinet and advanced crossover design.

MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i arrow (at

Value and Performance

The Dayton Audio T652-AIR represents an outstanding value proposition, bringing true tower speaker performance to a price point that is accessible to a wide audience. Audiophiles on a budget will appreciate the T652-AIR's ability to deliver a large soundstage and engaging dynamics without the need for a high-end amplifier. On the other end, the MartinLogan Motion 40i demands a higher investment but rewards listeners with a transcendent audio experience that justifies its premium price. The detail, clarity, and musicality of the Motion 40i place it in a class that's often reserved for the most discerning ears and luxurious sound systems.

In the realm of compatibility and ease of use, the Dayton Audio T652-AIR is exceptionally accommodating, working well with a variety of electronics, from entry-level receivers to more sophisticated amplifiers. Its forgiving nature allows it to shine even in less-than-ideal setups, making it a fantastic choice for those just starting their audiophile journey. The MartinLogan Motion 40i, while still versatile, benefits from careful system matching and higher-quality components to unleash its full potential, which could imply an additional investment for the optimal audio experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the Dayton Audio T652-AIR and the MartinLogan Motion 40i comes down to personal priorities and budgetary considerations. The T652-AIR is a champion of affordability, bringing a high level of enjoyment to those who yearn for the tower speaker experience without financial strain. The Motion 40i, however, is a purchase for the passionate audiophile who seeks an exceptional and uncompromising listening experience, where the investment is measured not just in dollars but in moments of sonic bliss.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower 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.