MartinLogan Motion 35XTi vs. Wharfedale Denton 85th

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
$1500 $1000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.50” × 7.60” × 11.80”
343mm × 193mm × 300mm
13.44” × 9.44” × 11.94”
341mm × 240mm × 303mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
50-25,000 Hz 45-20,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the audiophile realm, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary speakers represent a clash of innovation versus tradition. The Motion 35XTi brings a modern flair with its Folded Motion XT tweeter, producing crisp and detailed highs, while the Denton 85th Anniversary offers a warm, vintage sound through its classic woven Kevlar woofers. MartinLogan's design aims for precision and soundstage depth, whereas the Denton's nod to its heritage with wood veneer cabinets appeals to those seeking a lush, inviting midrange. Choosing between the two is less about superiority and more about personal preference in listening experience.

Speaker Comparison

In the realm of high-fidelity audio, the quest for the perfect bookshelf speaker can be a deeply personal journey, one that takes into account not just the raw specs, but the nuances in sound that resonate with our individual preferences. Two notables in this bustling arena are the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary bookshelf speakers. Both have their roots deeply embedded in the audiophile tradition, but approach the task of creating that perfect soundstage in very different ways.

The Heritage and Design Aesthetics

The Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary edition pays homage to its storied past with a design that's as much a tribute to classic speaker craftsmanship as it is a nod to modern acoustics. Wrapped in mahogany veneer and topped with a handsome tweed grille, it exudes a vintage charm that's hard to come by in today's market. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi opts for a sleek, modern look with its high-gloss finishes and distinctive curved design that's more at home in a contemporary audio setup.

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

Technological Innovation and Sound Philosophy

MartinLogan's Motion 35XTi boasts a Folded Motion XT tweeter, which provides an incredibly light and efficient diaphragm capable of producing precise and nuanced high frequencies. It's this kind of technological innovation that defines the MartinLogan's approach – a relentless pursuit of clarity and detail. The Wharfedale Dentons, on the other hand, feature a more traditional soft-dome tweeter, paired with a woven Kevlar woofer that offers a warm, lush midrange, evoking a sense of nostalgia in its sound signature that's reminiscent of the golden age of hi-fi.

Comparing Sound Characteristics

When it comes to performance, the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi delivers an expansive soundstage with pinpoint imaging, lending itself well to the details in complex arrangements, making it ideal for acoustic jazz or classical music where every breath or bow stroke is part of the experience. The highs are crisp without being sibilant, and the bass, while not overpowering, is tight and articulate. The Wharfedale Dentons, with their rich and warm timbre, excel with vocal performances and instrumentals where a smooth, rounded sound is prized. There's a certain full-bodied character that they bring to rock and blues tracks, making for an engaging and toe-tapping listening session.

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

Another aspect where these two diverge is in their handling of dynamics. The Motion 35XTis manage dynamic swings with aplomb, offering a lively and responsive listening experience that captures the ebb and flow of live music. The Dentons, by contrast, provide a more relaxed presentation, one that might not snap to attention quite as sharply but instead offers a comforting consistency that many listeners will find appealing.

In terms of power handling and efficiency, the MartinLogans are also a bit more demanding, requiring a robust amplifier to truly shine. The Wharfedales are less finicky, more forgiving of the partner equipment, and are likely to perform admirably with a wider range of amplification, which is worth considering for those who don't have the luxury of high-powered, audiophile-grade amplifiers.

Ultimately, the choice between the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi and the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary bookshelf speakers hinges on personal preference and the specific requirements of one's listening environment. The Motion 35XTi's excel in revealing the finer details of recordings, suited for the audiophile who craves precision and articulation. The Dentons, with their warm, enveloping sound, are ideal for those seeking a more laid-back listening experience. Whichever path one chooses, both speakers stand as testaments to their makers' commitment to quality sound—a choice between two interpretations of what it means to be truly immersed in music.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Bookshelf Speaker
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.