MartinLogan Motion 20i vs. MartinLogan Motion 35XTi

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
$2000 $1500
Dimensions (H × W × D)
36.60” × 6.80” × 11.70”
930mm × 173mm × 297mm
13.50” × 7.60” × 11.80”
343mm × 193mm × 300mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
46-25,000 Hz 50-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: Facing off in the MartinLogan arena, the Motion 20i tower speaker brings a dynamic and room-filling presence, courtesy of its larger cabinet and robust drivers. It stands tall, delivering rich bass and the signature clarity of the Motion series. Meanwhile, the Motion 35XTi bookshelf counterpart, compact and versatile, punches above its weight with an astonishingly detailed and articulate performance. Its Folded Motion XT tweeter offers exquisite highs, making it a standout for those intimate listening spaces. Choosing between the 20i's authoritative stature and the 35XTi's refined precision will hinge on room size, aesthetic preference, and the listener's sonic priorities.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to the audiophile journey, the thrill of finding the perfect set of speakers that align with one's personal sound preferences is unparalleled. Today, we delve into the comparison between two of MartinLogan's offerings: the Motion 20i Tower Speaker and the Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker. Both are highly esteemed in the audio world, but they serve different needs and preferences, painting a broad stroke on MartinLogan's canvas of auditory precision.

The Aesthetics and Form Factor

Firstly, let's touch on the aesthetic appeal and physical footprint of these two contenders. The Motion 20i Tower Speaker stands tall with a sleek, floor-standing design that commands presence in any room. This tower design is not just about looks; its larger cabinet volume often contributes to deeper bass response and room-filling sound. On the other hand, the Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker, with its more compact form, offers versatility in placement. It's an ideal choice for those with space constraints or for use as part of a larger multi-channel system.

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i arrow (at

Sound Signature and Performance

Turning our attention to the heart of the matter: sound quality. The Motion 20i, with its dual woofers, caters to listeners who crave a robust, full-range sound capable of delivering a strong bass foundation without the need for a separate subwoofer. These towers tend to fill the room with ease, thanks to their size and driver configuration. In contrast, the Motion 35XTi, though smaller, features MartinLogan's hallmark clarity and precision. It's a standout for those who prefer a more focused and detailed soundstage, which can be particularly rewarding in intimate listening environments.

Both speakers incorporate MartinLogan's signature Folded Motion tweeter, a remarkable piece of technology that offers an incredibly fast transient response and a transparent, lifelike treble. However, despite sharing this technology, the speakers' different implementations yield distinct listening experiences. The larger Motion 20i tends to present a more laid-back treble experience, suited for long listening sessions without fatigue, while the 35XTi's slightly more forward presentation of the high frequencies offers an engaging and detailed performance, especially notable in acoustic and vocal-centric tracks.

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

Integration and Flexibility

Integration within an existing system is another crucial factor to consider. The Motion 20i's size and power make it a standalone performer, ideal for a two-channel setup. It has the muscle to back up its performance, providing a rich soundscape that can negate the necessity for additional components. Meanwhile, the Motion 35XTi shines as part of a more extensive system. These bookshelf speakers can play well with subwoofers and other speakers, making them a flexible option for audiophiles looking to build a custom system piece by piece.

Functionality also extends to room characteristics and speaker positioning. The Motion 20i Tower Speakers, with their imposing stature, need space to breathe and perform optimally, which means they might be overwhelming in smaller rooms or when placed too close to walls. Conversely, the Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speakers are more forgiving with placement and can be adjusted within tighter spaces to maximize their sonic potential.

Ultimately, whether one opts for the Motion 20i or the Motion 35XTi, it's a testament to MartinLogan's dedication to crafting speakers that cater to diverse audiences. The tower's power and presence versus the bookshelf's precision and flexibility demonstrate a manufacturer who understands that the 'right' speaker is not a one-size-fits-all solution. In the end, the decision comes down to personal preference, listening habits, and the physical attributes of the listening space. Both options promise to deliver the immersive and pristine audio that MartinLogan enthusiasts have come to adore.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 20i Tower Speaker
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.