MartinLogan Motion 2i vs. Wharfedale Denton 85th

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
$200 $1000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
10.00” × 4.70” × 4.60”
254mm × 119mm × 117mm
13.44” × 9.44” × 11.94”
341mm × 240mm × 303mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
110-23,000 Hz 45-20,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The MartinLogan Motion 2i and Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary bookshelf speakers serve as exquisite examples of compact audio engineering. The Motion 2i flaunts an advanced Folded Motion tweeter, delivering an astoundingly precise high-frequency response, while offering a sleek, modern aesthetic. Meanwhile, the Denton 85th Anniversary revels in a nostalgic charm, with a classic design housing its rich and warm-sounding Kevlar woofer and soft dome tweeter. Both spearkers promise an immersive listening experience, but the choice between MartinLogan's detailed soundstage and Wharfedale's vintage warmth depends on the listener's personal audio palate and decor preference.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to the realm of high-fidelity audio, bookshelf speakers hold a coveted spot for both their affordability and their ability to deliver a satisfyingly complete listening experience in a compact form. Today, we're delving into a comparative analysis between two notable contenders: the MartinLogan Motion 2i and Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary bookshelf speakers. Each speaker brings its own unique flavor to the table, promising to enchant both the seasoned audiophile and the casual listener alike.

Design Philosophy & Aesthetics

MartinLogan's Motion 2i speakers are a testament to modern design, with sleek lines and a futuristic aura that is immediately noticeable. They exhibit a minimalist yet bold statement that complements contemporary decor. The Motion 2i's are not just about appearances though; their Folded Motion tweeter technology is a hallmark of innovation in sound reproduction. In contrast, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary speakers hark back to a more classic era of speaker design, with a vintage look that pays homage to Wharfedale's storied heritage. The rich walnut veneer and traditional cloth grilles evoke a sense of nostalgia that is rare in modern speakers.

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

The Sonic Signature

Aurally, the MartinLogan Motion 2i's deliver a highly detailed and precise soundstage, lending themselves to a crisp interpretation of high frequencies thanks to their distinctive tweeter design. They offer an articulate, nuanced performance that can reveal the subtleties in well-recorded material. On the other hand, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary speakers present a warmer, more laid-back sound. Their strength lies in their midrange richness and well-rounded bass response, imbuing vocals and acoustic instruments with a lifelike presence that is both comforting and immersive.

When it comes to power handling and efficiency, the Motion 2i speakers are nimble and less demanding, making them easier to pair with a variety of amplifiers and receivers. This flexibility ensures that they can shine in different setups with relative ease. The Dentons, while not overly power-hungry, do benefit from a more robust amplification to truly unlock their full potential, especially to drive their heftier bass drivers with authority.

Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th arrow (at

Room Integration and Flexibility

Placement and room integration are critical factors in the performance of any speaker. The Motion 2i's are relatively forgiving in terms of placement, their sound character remaining consistent across different listening environments. Their compact size allows them to adapt to various spaces without dominating the room. Conversely, the Denton 85th Anniversary speakers demand a bit more attention to positioning, particularly to avoid bass boominess. When properly set up, however, they can fill a room with a grand and enveloping soundscape that belies their bookshelf stature.

An interesting aspect to consider is how each speaker interacts with its environment. The MartinLogan Motion 2i seems to create a bubble of precision around the listener, ideal for those who like to focus intently on the music. The Wharfedale Denton, with its richer tonal balance, offers a more diffuse and room-filling experience, making it a compelling choice for background music that still maintains a high level of audio fidelity.

The Bottom Line

Deciding between the MartinLogan Motion 2i and the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary bookshelf speakers ultimately comes down to personal preference and listening priorities. If a forward-thinking design and analytical listening are what you seek, the Motion 2i's will not disappoint. For those who prefer a more traditional approach and a sound that gently envelops rather than analyzes, the Dentons stand ready to impress. Both speakers stand as remarkable examples of what modern bookshelf speakers can achieve, each with a distinct voice that offers a different path to auditory bliss.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers

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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.