MartinLogan Motion 35XTi vs. Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
$1500 $160
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.50” × 7.60” × 11.80”
343mm × 193mm × 300mm
12.56” × 7.13” × 8.44”
319mm × 181mm × 214mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
50-25,000 Hz 55-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 5.0
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 7.5

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of high-fidelity audio, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and Pioneer SP-BS22-LR represent two disparate approaches. The 35XTi exudes premium artistry with its Folded Motion XT tweeter, promising an airy and detailed soundstage for the discerning audiophile. The SP-BS22-LR, designed by the renowned Andrew Jones, offers a remarkable value, delivering a balanced and dynamic performance that belies its modest price. While the 35XTi aims at the luxury market with its superior build and sonic clarity, the Pioneer makes high-quality audio accessible, ensuring a robust listening experience for budget-conscious enthusiasts.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to the realm of high-fidelity audio, the speakers you choose are the final arbitrators of sound quality. Today, we're taking a keen audiophile's ear to the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers—a tale of two philosophies in sound reproduction. The former represents a statement of audiophile ambition, while the latter speaks to the heart of budget-conscious performance.

The Aesthetics and Build Quality

The MartinLogan Motion 35XTi, with its sleek and modern design, exudes a premium feel that catches the eye before it even sings a note. The luxurious real-wood veneer finish and the distinctive Folded Motion XT tweeters speak to a level of craftsmanship aimed at the discerning listener. On the other hand, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, designed by the revered Andrew Jones, offers a more modest aesthetic. It's a speaker that focuses less on flash and more on function, with a simple, no-frills design that belies its sonic capabilities.

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

Sound Signature and Performance

The Motion 35XTi demonstrates a remarkable resolution and clarity, thanks in no small part to its Folded Motion XT tweeters. These are capable of reproducing highs with a level of detail that is nothing short of astonishing. The bass response is tight and precise, if not earth-shaking, which is to be expected from a speaker of this size. In contrast, the SP-BS22-LR brings a well-balanced and coherent sound, with a warmer midrange that makes them particularly forgiving on less-than-perfect recordings. The highs are smooth, avoiding any hint of sibilance, while the bass is surprisingly full-bodied for a speaker in its class.

Imaging and soundstage are areas where the Motion 35XTi truly excels; it creates a palpable sense of space that feels both expansive and accurately mapped. Listeners can expect pinpoint placement of instruments and a layering effect that brings a live-like quality to performances. The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, while not as holographic in its imaging, still presents a soundstage that is impressive for its price point—the music has room to breathe, and there's a sense of dimensionality that punches above its weight.

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR arrow (at

The Question of Value

Value is often subjective in the world of hi-fi audio, but it's an important factor for many. The MartinLogan Motion 35XTi sits at a higher price bracket, positioning itself as a premium option. It's an investment meant for the audiophile who is willing to pay for an elevated audio experience. Conversely, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR offers incredible performance at a price that's hard to argue with. For the budget-minded listener or someone dipping their toe into high-fidelity sound, these speakers represent an outstanding return on investment.

Ultimately, the choice between these two fine examples of audio engineering comes down to personal preference and intended use. The MartinLogan Motion 35XTi is the speaker for those seeking a transcendent listening experience, ready to analyze every nuance of their audiophile-grade recordings. The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, meanwhile, is the workhorse; reliable, enjoyable, and remarkably capable of delivering a high-quality sound experience to those who might not yet be ready to venture into the upper echelons of audiophilia.

In the end, both the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR have their place in the pantheon of bookshelf speakers. One represents the pursuit of acoustic perfection, while the other embodies the democratization of high-quality sound. Whichever path you choose, rest assured that both will guide you to a deeper appreciation of the music you love.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR 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.