KEF LS50 Meta vs. MartinLogan Motion 35XTi

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
$1600 $1500
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.90” × 7.90” × 11.00”
302mm × 201mm × 279mm
13.50” × 7.60” × 11.80”
343mm × 193mm × 300mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
79-28,000 Hz 50-25,000 Hz
ASR Score
4.6 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
6.7 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The KEF LS50 Meta and MartinLogan Motion 35XTi represent the pinnacle of bookshelf speaker design, each with unique strengths. The LS50 Meta, with its innovative Uni-Q driver, delivers impeccably timed audio with a three-dimensional soundstage, while the 35XTi shines with its Folded Motion tweeter, offering an articulate high-end and dynamic presence. The LS50 Meta excels in nuanced detail and cohesive sound across frequencies, whereas the 35XTi brings an effortless transparency and superb imaging. Both are exceptional, but your choice may hinge on whether you prioritize the LS50 Meta's seamless integration or the 35XTi's astonishing clarity.

Speaker Comparison

When you're peering into the realms of high-fidelity audio, the experience is nothing short of a grand, intimate concert performed just for you in the comfort of your home. Two titans in the audiophile speaker world, KEF LS50 Meta and MartinLogan Motion 35XTi, offer distinctly different approaches to achieving sonic perfection. Both are bookshelf speakers, yet their design philosophies and resulting auditory experiences diverge in fascinating ways, which will be the focus of our comparative journey today.

Design & Build Quality

The KEF LS50 Meta is a marvel of modern speaker design, with its Uni-Q driver array taking center stage, both aesthetically and functionally. The concentric layout allows for a more dispersed and even sound that fills the room. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi exudes a sleek sophistication with its distinct folded motion tweeter, which promises a lightning-fast response time. Both speakers are built with exceptional quality, but their designs suggest different priorities: KEF's point-source clarity versus MartinLogan's speed and detail.

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta arrow (at

Sound Signature & Performance

When it comes to how they perform, the LS50 Meta speakers offer a beautifully balanced soundstage with a warmth that invites extended listening sessions. The refinement in the midrange makes vocals stand out with a natural timbre that is hard to come by. In comparison, the Motion 35XTi speakers exhibit a crisp, articulate character, thanks in part to their innovative tweeter design. The high frequencies are delivered with a precision and airiness that can make acoustic instruments sparkle in a way that feels almost tangible.

The bass response between the two also marks a point of divergence. The LS50 Meta manages to deliver a tight and controlled low-end that belies its compact size, while the Motion 35XTi, with its larger woofer and rear-firing bass port, extends deeper, offering a more pronounced rumble that can be felt as much as heard. This may give the MartinLogan an edge in rooms that can handle the extra bass energy without becoming boomy.

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

Imaging & Soundstage

Imaging is another critical aspect of the listening experience. KEF's LS50 Meta speakers, with their Uni-Q driver, produce a holographic imaging that allows each instrument to occupy a distinct space within the sound field. It's an immersive experience that draws you into the performance. The MartinLogan Motion 35XTi, meanwhile, delivers an incredibly wide soundstage that seems to stretch beyond the physical limits of the speakers themselves. The precise imaging and separation is a hallmark of the Motion series, and the 35XTi does not disappoint in laying out a grand auditory landscape.

Both speakers excel at different aspects of the auditory experience, and this is perhaps most noticeable in complex musical passages. The LS50 Meta maintains its composure, presenting each layer of the music with equanimity. The MartinLogan Motion 35XTi, on the other hand, revels in the details, bringing forth subtleties that may otherwise go unnoticed. It's a speaker that encourages active listening, as there's always something new to discover in your favorite tracks.

Value & Verdict

In the end, choosing between the KEF LS50 Meta and the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi comes down to personal preference and the type of listening experience you're seeking. The LS50 Meta is a jack-of-all-trades with a performance that is as pleasing to the audiophile ear as it is approachable for the casual listener. The Motion 35XTi, conversely, is a detail-oriented speaker that might appeal more to those who want to critically listen and unpack the layers of their music. Whichever way you lean, you'll be getting a speaker that represents the pinnacle of what is achievable in the world of bookshelf speakers.

Ultimately, whether you're swayed by the KEF LS50 Meta's uni-directional prowess and sonic warmth or the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi's detail-rich and expansive sound, your listening space will be graced with an aural landscape that is both enchanting and revealing. These speakers are not just tools for sound reproduction; they are instruments that play the music with as much soul and character as the artists who recorded it.

Check Current Prices:

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta 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.