Klipsch Reference R-820F vs. MartinLogan Motion 35XTi

Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
$1000 $1500
Dimensions (H × W × D)
43.00” × 10.94” × 17.50”
1092mm × 278mm × 444mm
13.50” × 7.60” × 11.80”
343mm × 193mm × 300mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
35-21,000 Hz 50-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The Klipsch Reference R-820F towers dominate the room with their imposing stature and dynamic presence, delivering the brand's signature efficiency and punchy bass. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi bookshelf speakers, while more compact, exude refinement, showcasing their Air Motion Transformer tweeter's articulate highs and nuanced soundstage. Both demand attention, but the Klipsch excels in sheer power and scale, ideal for larger spaces and cinematic experiences. In contrast, the MartinLogan excels in detailed sound reproduction and may suit more intimate listening sessions or those with a taste for subtlety in their music's textures.

Speaker Comparison

The Klipsch Reference R-820F tower speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi bookshelf speakers are both stellar performers in their respective categories, but they target different segments of the audio enthusiast market. The R-820F, standing tall, is designed to deliver a commanding presence both in physical stature and sound delivery. On the other hand, the Motion 35XTi, while more compact, aims to provide an audio experience that is both detailed and spatially precise, catering to those with limited space or a preference for a subtler aesthetic.

Design Aesthetics and Build Quality

The Klipsch R-820F makes a statement with its traditional boxy silhouette enhanced by the brand's signature copper-spun woofers and textured wood grain vinyl finish. It exudes a classic charm that is hard to overlook in any room. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi boasts a more modern and minimalist design with its sleek, high-gloss finish and distinctive perforated steel grille, appealing to a contemporary design sensibility. In terms of build quality, both manufacturers have a reputation for using high-quality materials that ensure durability and longevity.

Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-820F arrow (at Amazon.com)

Performance and Sound Characteristics

When it comes to performance, the R-820F towers leverage their larger size to move more air, thus providing a more powerful bass response and an overall fuller soundstage. The dual 8-inch woofers in tandem with their trademark Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter guarantee that trademark Klipsch efficiency and dynamic range. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi relies on advanced technology like the Folded Motion XT tweeter for crisp highs and a sophisticated midrange, despite its smaller form factor. The 6.5-inch aluminum cone woofer paired with a rear-firing bass port ensures that bass is tight and well-defined.

Listeners who prioritize volume and energy in their listening experience will likely gravitate towards the Klipsch R-820F. These speakers are built to fill a large room with ease, making them ideal for movie buffs and party hosts alike. The MartinLogan Motion 35XTi, on the other hand, excels in delivering a transparent and articulate sound that audiophiles favor, especially in a more intimate listening environment or when paired with a subwoofer to complete the low-end response.

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 35XTi arrow (at Amazon.com)

Placement Flexibility and Room Integration

Due to their differing sizes, the Klipsch R-820F and the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi offer unique placement possibilities. The R-820F towers are inherently more dominating and will require adequate floor space and some distance from walls to perform optimally. The Motion 35XTi speakers are more versatile in terms of placement—being bookshelf speakers, they can be accommodated on stands, shelves, or even mounted on walls, providing greater flexibility for those with space constraints.

One cannot overlook room integration when discussing speaker performance. The larger Klipsch towers may demand careful attention to room acoustics to avoid overwhelming bass or reflections. Conversely, the MartinLogan bookshelf speakers, with their controlled dispersion and detailed imaging, can integrate more seamlessly into a wider variety of spaces without as much fine-tuning.

In conclusion, both the Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker offer compelling listening experiences, yet cater to different preferences and room dynamics. The R-820F is the go-to option for those seeking impactful and room-filling sound, while the Motion 35XTi provides a refined and precise audio landscape, perfect for the discerning listener. Ultimately, the choice between the two will come down to personal taste, room size, and intended use—be it for cinematic home theater setups or critical music listening sessions.

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Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower 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.