MartinLogan Motion 2i vs. MartinLogan Motion 35XTi

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
$200 $1500
Dimensions (H × W × D)
10.00” × 4.70” × 4.60”
254mm × 119mm × 117mm
13.50” × 7.60” × 11.80”
343mm × 193mm × 300mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
110-23,000 Hz 50-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity audio, the MartinLogan Motion 2i and 35XTi bookshelf speakers represent distinct tiers of performance. The Motion 2i serves as an accessible entry point, offering the brand's signature clarity and detailed soundstage in a compact form. It features a Folded Motion tweeter for precise highs and a 3.5-inch woofer for articulate mids. Conversely, the 35XTi steps up as a premium option, with a larger Folded Motion XT tweeter for expansive dynamics and a 6.5-inch aluminum cone woofer for deeper bass. It's built for the discerning audiophile seeking a more robust and immersive sonic experience.

Speaker Comparison

When we talk about high-fidelity sound, few brands resonate with the audiophile community quite like MartinLogan. Known for their electrostatic speakers, they also have a significant presence in the more traditional speaker realm. Today, we're looking at two of their bookshelf offerings: the Motion 2i and the Motion 35XTi. While both belong to the esteemed Motion series, they cater to different auditory sensibilities and budgets, making this comparison as intriguing as it is essential for anyone looking to invest in their soundscapes.

The Aesthetic and Build

The MartinLogan Motion 2i and the Motion 35XTi share a family resemblance, but closer inspection reveals their distinct personalities. The Motion 2i, compact and unassuming, settles into a room with an understated grace. It is the speaker that doesn't scream for attention yet manages to turn heads with its sleek lines and glossy finishes. The Motion 35XTi, on the other hand, is more of a statement piece. Larger and more assertive in its presence, it boasts a luxurious real-wood veneer and a more robust construction that speaks of its higher-end lineage. It's the sort of speaker that audiophiles proudly display as a focal point in their listening rooms.

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i arrow (at

Sound Signature and Performance

Delving into sound, the Motion 2i is the humble workhorse that delivers MartinLogan's signature clarity and openness, much like its larger siblings. The sound is balanced, with a Folded Motion tweeter offering a sweet, detailed top-end that never gets fatiguing. The bass is respectable for its size but, unsurprisingly, it won't shake the rafters. Transitioning to the Motion 35XTi, the soundstage widens, and there is a palpable step-up in dynamics. The larger Folded Motion XT tweeter presents an even more refined high-frequency response, and the added heft in the low end is courtesy of the 6.5-inch aluminum cone woofer that brings authority and depth worthy of more discerning ears.

For the audiophile who loves to dissect the layers of a complex orchestral piece, the Motion 35XTi showcases its superiority with ease. Each instrument is rendered with precision, and there's a sense of airiness that makes live recordings come alive. In contrast, the Motion 2i, while impressive in its right, is more suited for smaller rooms and those who prefer a more intimate listening experience. It does well with vocal-centric tracks and smaller-scale music but might not satisfy those craving cinematic scale and impact.

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

Bang for Your Buck

Price is always a consideration, and the Motion 2i emerges as the more budget-friendly contender. It brings the essence of MartinLogan's sound to a more affordable price point, making high-fidelity audio attainable for a broader audience. For newcomers to high-end audio or those with spatial constraints, the Motion 2i is a solid investment that won't disappoint. The Motion 35XTi, while pricier, justifies its cost with enhanced performance and build quality that could be seen as a long-term investment for the serious listener. It's a speaker that could very well be the last one you feel compelled to purchase for many years, thanks to its ability to deliver a near-audiophile experience in a bookshelf form factor.

In conclusion, choosing between the MartinLogan Motion 2i and the Motion 35XTi comes down to personal needs and preferences. The Motion 2i excels as a compact, more affordable option that punches above its weight, offering the MartinLogan experience without the typical MartinLogan price tag. The Motion 35XTi, on the other hand, is the choice for the discerning ear, for whom the details matter and the investment is in more than just sound—it's in an audio experience. Whichever route you take, one thing is clear: MartinLogan's commitment to quality sound is evident in both models.

As a parting note, let's not forget that the beauty of the MartinLogan Motion series is its versatility. Whether you're building a dedicated two-channel system or rounding out a multi-channel home theater, both the Motion 2i and the Motion 35XTi offer the coherence and timbral accuracy that ensure they'll play well with other members of the MartinLogan family. It's this flexibility combined with performance that makes these speakers not just purchases, but pathways to a deeper appreciation of music and sound.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i 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.