JBL L52 Classic vs. MartinLogan Motion 60XTi

JBL L52 Classic Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 60XTi Tower Speaker
$1000 $3750
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.00” × 7.74” × 8.51”
330mm × 197mm × 216mm
48.00” × 11.40” × 14.40”
1219mm × 290mm × 366mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
47-24,000 Hz 35-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the arena of high-fidelity audio, JBL's L52 Classic bookshelf speakers offer a nostalgic trip with their retro design and a warm, punchy sound that belies their compact size. Meanwhile, the MartinLogan Motion 60XTi tower speakers stand tall as a testament to modern acoustic engineering, delivering a broad soundstage with astonishing clarity and precision, thanks to their Folded Motion XT tweeters and robust woofers. Choosing between these two is a matter of space, preference, and purpose: the intimate charm and footprint of the L52s against the room-filling prowess and detail of the 60XTis.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to high-fidelity audio, the choice of speakers can make or break the listening experience. It's a matter of not only personal preference but also about understanding the nuances each set brings to the table. In the case of the JBL L52 Classic Bookshelf Speakers versus the MartinLogan Motion 60XTi Tower Speakers, we are looking at two formidable contenders in the realm of home audio. The former brings a nostalgic design with modern acoustics, while the latter offers a more contemporary aesthetic with some innovative audio technology under the hood.

Design and Build

The JBL L52 Classic, as the name suggests, sports a retro look reminiscent of the golden era of hi-fi. Their walnut wood veneer cabinets and Quadrex foam grilles in classic JBL orange or blue not only serve as a visual treat but also provide a certain warmth to the sound. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 60XTi Tower Speakers exude a modern charm with their sleek, tall, and black ash or gloss black finishes. The Motion 60XTi, with its distinctive perforated steel grille and the signature MartinLogan curved design, stands out as a piece of contemporary art in any room.

JBL L52 Classic Bookshelf Speakers
JBL L52 Classic arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Quality

The JBL L52 Classic may be compact, but they pack a punch. Equipped with a 5.25-inch pure pulp cone woofer and a 0.75-inch titanium dome tweeter, these bookshelf speakers deliver a warm, punchy bass and clear highs, bringing a lively presence to the music. On the flip side, the MartinLogan Motion 60XTi uses a larger cabinet to house its impressive driver array, including a 6.5-inch midrange driver, two 8-inch woofers, and MartinLogan’s renowned Folded Motion XT tweeter. This setup offers an expansive soundstage, exceptional clarity, and deep, articulate bass that can fill even large rooms with ease.

One of the most distinctive features of the MartinLogan Motion 60XTi is the Folded Motion XT tweeter, which employs a large surface area to squeeze the air and create sound with minimal distortion, resulting in a highly detailed and precise high-frequency response. JBL's L52 Classic, while not boasting such advanced tweeter technology, still offers a well-balanced and natural sound, with its titanium dome tweeter providing a smooth treble response that complements its warm midrange.

MartinLogan Motion 60XTi Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 60XTi arrow (at Amazon.com)

Compatibility and Placement

When it comes to placement, the JBL L52 Classic's compact size gives it an edge. They are designed to fit into smaller spaces and work well on bookshelves or stands, making them ideal for those with space constraints or who prefer a more understated speaker setup. On the other hand, the MartinLogan Motion 60XTi, with its towering stature, requires more space and careful placement to truly shine. Their sound performance is also somewhat contingent on room acoustics, but when positioned correctly, they can become the centerpiece of a high-end audio system.

In terms of compatibility, both speakers are fairly versatile. However, the JBL L52 Classic, being less power-hungry, can be driven by a wide range of amplifiers and receivers, making them a good choice for those who might not own high-powered equipment. The MartinLogan Motion 60XTi, with their more demanding power requirements, are best matched with a robust amplifier to exploit their full potential and to handle their dynamic range and low impedance dips with grace.


Choosing between the JBL L52 Classic and the MartinLogan Motion 60XTi really comes down to your listening preferences, space considerations, and existing audio equipment. The L52 Classic is ideal for those who appreciate a vintage look and have a more intimate listening space. They are capable of delivering an engaging listening experience without demanding too much from the rest of your audio setup. The MartinLogan Motion 60XTi, on the other hand, is suited for the audiophile with ample space who craves that larger-than-life soundstage and highly detailed sound and has the equipment to drive these towering speakers. Both sets have their charms and strengths, and in the end, it's the music that matters most. Choose the one that makes your favorite tunes sing.

Check Current Prices:

JBL L52 Classic Bookshelf Speakers
JBL L52 Classic Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 60XTi Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 60XTi 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.