MartinLogan Motion 35XTi vs. Monoprice Monolith THX-265B

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers
$1500 $800
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.50” × 7.60” × 11.80”
343mm × 193mm × 300mm
15.40” × 9.70” × 11.40”
391mm × 246mm × 290mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
50-25,000 Hz 65-24,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity audio, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and Monoprice Monolith THX-265B bookshelf speakers represent two distinct philosophies. The Motion 35XTi seduces with its luscious ribbon tweeter, delivering airy, detailed highs and a soundstage that defies the confines of its compact form. Conversely, the Monolith THX-265B, THX-certified and robust, offers a muscular approach to sound with a focus on precision and power. The choice between them is not merely one of budget but of taste: ethereal refinement versus authoritative accuracy, a decision that audiophiles must make with both their ears and their hearts.

Speaker Comparison

When examining the fertile landscape of high-fidelity audio, the discerning listener often finds themselves juxtaposing the sleek, electrostatic hybrid designs of MartinLogan against the certified powerhouse that is the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B bookshelf speaker. The MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and the Monoprice effort are two bookshelf speakers that, while serving a similar segment, diverge significantly in their approach to sound reproduction. With the former, you have the culmination of years of electrostatic design philosophy distilled into a more traditional loudspeaker format, and with the latter, a rigorous THX certification process promises to deliver a no-compromise sound experience.

Design Philosophy: MartinLogan's Innovative Approach

MartinLogan's Motion 35XTi is a testament to the brand's relentless innovation. At the heart of its design lies the Folded Motion XT tweeter, a unique transducer that delivers lightning-fast response with a broad sound dispersion that defies the conventional dome tweeter's performance. This speaker reflects MartinLogan's love affair with high resolution and detail, ensuring that every nuance is captured and presented with an almost tactile clarity. The aesthetics of the Motion 35XTi are equally compelling, with a luxurious finish and a cabinet that exudes an air of sophistication, making it not just a speaker, but a piece of room decor.

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

Monoprice's Powerhouse: THX-265B's Certified Excellence

In contrast, Monoprice's Monolith THX-265B takes a no-frills approach to sound greatness. This speaker is THX certified, meaning it has passed a gamut of rigorous tests to ensure it meets the highest standards for cinema sound reproduction. The THX-265B is built with a focus on achieving a flat frequency response for accuracy and a controlled directivity to create a wide, yet precise soundstage. The design is utilitarian, favoring function over form; it's the workhorse to MartinLogan's show pony, with a robust cabinet that ensures the integrity of its acoustic performance.

Sound Comparison: Clarity Versus Power

The sound signatures of the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B are where the real conversation begins. The Motion 35XTi, with its Folded Motion XT tweeter, provides an incisive clarity that brings out the shimmer in cymbals, the breath in a saxophone, and the space around each musician. The midrange is articulate, with an openness that gives vocals a palpable presence, while the bass, though not earth-shattering, is tight and defined.

On the other hand, the Monolith THX-265B delivers a sound that is powerful and dynamic. Its ability to handle the peaks and valleys of complex soundtracks with ease makes it a favorite for movie buffs and gamers. The bass is deep and impactful, thanks to its well-designed woofer and ported cabinet. When it comes to delivering the cinematic experience the director intended, the THX-265B stands tall, with sound that fills the room without sacrificing detail.

Yet, while the Monoprice offering excels in home theater settings, the MartinLogan shines in the faithful reproduction of music. The finesse with which the Motion 35XTi handles the subtleties of acoustic instruments and the human voice is something to behold. It's this musicality that often sways audiophiles in their direction, offering a listening experience that is as close to a live performance as one can get from a bookshelf speaker.

When considering integration into a multi-channel system, the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B is the clear frontrunner. Its design and sound profile are engineered to work seamlessly with other THX-certified components, promising a balanced and cohesive surround sound experience. The MartinLogan Motion 35XTi, while capable of working within a home theater setup, is inherently designed for purist two-channel stereo listening, where its strengths can be fully appreciated.

Value is another factor that cannot be overlooked. The Motion 35XTi speakers come with a price tag that reflects their high-end pedigree, which might be a stretch for some budgets. The Monoprice Monolith THX-265B, however, offers considerable savings without a significant compromise in sound quality. For those seeking the thrill of high-fidelity audio without the associated financial leap, the Monolith series provides a compelling argument.

In conclusion, the choice between the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B bookshelf speakers is a matter of priorities. If you prize nuanced musicality and the elegance of design, the Motion 35XTi could be your acoustic masterpiece. If, however, you're looking for a speaker that can deliver the full force of a cinematic experience and integrate seamlessly into a THX-certified system, all while keeping an eye on the budget, the Monolith THX-265B is a contender that's hard to ignore. Both speakers stand as testaments to their maker's philosophy and prowess, offering different paths to audio nirvana.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers
Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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.