MartinLogan Motion 35XTi vs. MartinLogan Motion 40i

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
$1500 $2600
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.50” × 7.60” × 11.80”
343mm × 193mm × 300mm
42.50” × 7.60” × 12.80”
1080mm × 193mm × 325mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
50-25,000 Hz 40-25,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity audio, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi bookshelf and Motion 40i tower speakers both deliver exquisite sound, but they cater to different spatial and acoustic preferences. The 35XTi offers a compact form, ideal for smaller rooms, with its Folded Motion XT tweeter providing detailed highs. The larger 40i, with its commanding presence, brings deeper bass and a fuller soundstage, suited for more expansive areas. Both feature MartinLogan's renowned precision and clarity, but your choice depends on room size, desired bass performance, and aesthetic appeal.

Speaker Comparison

When we talk about high-fidelity audio, the conversation inevitably leads to speakers that can deliver clarity, depth, and a true-to-life soundstage. MartinLogan is a brand that commands respect in the audiophile community, with a reputation for producing speakers that provide an immersive listening experience. Today, we take a closer look at two of this esteemed company's offerings: the Motion 35XTi bookshelf speaker and the Motion 40i tower speaker. Both units are designed to cater to serious listeners, but they bring their unique strengths to the table in the quest to deliver sonic perfection.

Design Philosophy and Build Quality

The MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and the Motion 40i share a lineage that's evident in their design philosophy and attention to detail. Both speakers boast a sleek, modern look that's accented by the distinctive MartinLogan perforated steel grille. The Motion 35XTi, as a bookshelf speaker, is compact and versatile, suitable for smaller spaces or as part of a larger audio setup. Meanwhile, the Motion 40i is a floor-standing speaker that commands its presence in a room, with a larger cabinet that contributes to its more powerful and expansive sound.

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

Sound Performance: Clarity and Detail

For audiophiles who prioritize clarity and detail, the Motion 35XTi is a revelation. Its Folded Motion tweeter offers a crisp high-frequency performance that is as detailed as it is nuanced. This bookshelf speaker shines with vocals and acoustic instruments, presenting them with an intimate and immediate presence. In contrast, the Motion 40i, with its larger cabinet and additional bass drivers, provides a fuller and richer sound. The detail is still there, but it's accompanied by a weightier bass response and a more enveloping soundstage that can fill a room with ease.

Bass Response and Dynamics

The Motion 40i's larger form factor gives it a natural advantage when it comes to bass response. The dual woofers deliver a deep and controlled bass that bookshelf speakers like the 35XTi struggle to match. However, what the 35XTi lacks in raw power, it makes up for in tightness and speed. The bass is punchy and articulate, which may appeal to listeners who prefer precision over sheer force. In dynamic passages, both speakers perform admirably, with the 40i providing a more dramatic contrast between soft and loud, thanks to its greater scale and power handling capabilities.

MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i arrow (at

In the context of a home theater setup, the differences between these two models become more pronounced. The Motion 40i can stand alone as front speakers in a surround sound system, providing a wide and engaging soundstage without the immediate need for a subwoofer. The 35XTi, while capable of impressive performance, will often benefit from pairing with a subwoofer to fill in the lower frequencies, especially in larger rooms or when cinematic impact is desired.

Imaging and Soundstage

Imaging is another area where these speakers differentiate themselves. The Motion 35XTi, with its compact design, excels at creating a precise and focused soundstage, making it easier to pinpoint the location of instruments and vocalists within an audio track. The Motion 40i, with its bigger drivers and cabinet, provides a more diffuse and room-filling soundstage. This can be advantageous when trying to create a more immersive listening experience, as the sound seems to emanate from beyond the physical boundaries of the speakers themselves.

In the end, choosing between the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and the Motion 40i comes down to personal preference and the specifics of the listening environment. The 35XTi thrives in intimate settings where detail and clarity are paramount, while the 40i is at home in larger rooms where its full-range capabilities can be fully appreciated. Both are superbly crafted and capable of delivering exquisite audio performance, but your choice should align with your listening habits, room characteristics, and the types of audio experiences you value most.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower 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.