MartinLogan Motion 60XTi vs. Polk Signature Elite ES20

MartinLogan Motion 60XTi Tower Speaker Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
$3750 $400
Dimensions (H × W × D)
48.00” × 11.40” × 14.40”
1219mm × 290mm × 366mm
14.80” × 8.50” × 13.80”
376mm × 216mm × 351mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
35-25,000 Hz 44-40,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the pursuit of audio perfection, the MartinLogan Motion 60XTi towers deliver a compelling soundscape with their electrostatic transducers, offering an expansive soundstage and precise imaging. Conversely, the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 bookshelf speakers provide a more accessible entry point for the enthusiast with their Dynamic Balance acoustic array. While the Polks offer versatility and value, the MartinLogans cater to the purist seeking an enveloping experience. Ultimately, the choice boils down to one's space, budget, and sonic preference—towering clarity or bookshelf charm?

Speaker Comparison

When we talk about high-fidelity audio, the conversation often leads us to the choice between floorstanding and bookshelf speakers, each offering their unique contributions to the soundscape of our homes. In this comparison, we'll take a closer look at two distinct offerings: the MartinLogan Motion 60XTi Tower Speaker and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speaker. Both promise to deliver an immersive audio experience, but they cater to different desires, room sizes, and listening preferences.

The Majestic Presence: MartinLogan Motion 60XTi Towers

Standing tall, the MartinLogan Motion 60XTi towers make a statement both visually and sonically. They are designed to take center stage in a listening room. The Motion 60XTi features a Folded Motion XT tweeter which, true to the MartinLogan heritage, delivers exceptional high-frequency detail and dispersion. Paired with a robust set of bass drivers, these towers fill the room with a sound that is not only expansive but also precise and clear. They thrive in a larger room where they can breathe and fully express the nuances of the audio.

MartinLogan Motion 60XTi Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 60XTi arrow (at

Compact Precision: Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers

In contrast, the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 bookshelf speakers are more compact and versatile in placement, suited for smaller spaces or as part of a larger surround system. Don't let their size fool you, though; Polk has packed these speakers with technology like their proprietary Dynamic Balance drivers and Power Port technology for deeper bass response. They deliver a warm and detailed sound that defies their stature, offering an audio performance that is both rich and balanced.

Soundstage and Imaging

The soundstage, that is, the three-dimensional space that the speakers can recreate, differs notably between these two models. The MartinLogan Motion 60XTi towers, with their larger cabinet and driver arrangement, project a broad and enveloping soundstage that can place instruments and vocals distinctly in a room, creating a live performance feel. The Polk ES20s, while still impressive, offer a more intimate soundstage that excels in detail and focus, ideal for close listening sessions where every detail is savored.

Imaging, the ability of speakers to pinpoint the location of instruments within the soundstage, is another area where these two contenders show their strengths. The Motion 60XTi's meticulous design and tweeter technology provide exemplary imaging, allowing for precise localization that audiophiles will appreciate. The ES20s, meanwhile, present a coherent and stable image, ensuring a satisfying listening experience within the constraints of their smaller form factor.

Power and Efficiency

Power handling is another key difference. The MartinLogan Motion 60XTi towers can handle more power and therefore can play louder without distortion, which could be an important factor for those wanting to fill a larger space or who crave a more visceral listening experience. On the other hand, the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20s are more efficient speakers, requiring less power to achieve optimal performance, making them a great pairing with a wider range of amplification, from modest receivers to high-end integrated amps.

Ultimately, the choice between the MartinLogan Motion 60XTi tower speakers and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 bookshelf speakers boils down to the listener's space, budget, and sound preference. The Motion 60XTis are an investment in high-end audio with a physical presence to match, while the ES20s offer outstanding performance in a more compact package that can easily integrate into any room or system. Both models stand as testaments to their manufacturers' commitment to audio excellence, and either would be a worthy addition to the home of any discerning listener.

Check Current Prices:

MartinLogan Motion 60XTi Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 60XTi Tower Speaker
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 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.