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MartinLogan Motion® 35XT

Bookshelf speaker (Gloss Black)

13 Reviews | 8 questions - 14 answers

Item # 839M35XTGB

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Overview

Our take on the MartinLogan Motion® 35XT

With its flawless high-gloss finish, gently tapered cabinet, and handsome perforated magnetic steel grille, one could be forgiven for mistaking the MartinLogan Motion 35XT as a beautiful piece of furniture. But one listen will tell you this speaker's beauty runs far deeper. As MartinLogan's most potent bookshelf speaker, the 35XT dazzles with its dynamic, impactful, and transparent sound. And as a member of MartinLogan's award-winning Motion® series, this speaker takes advantage of advanced technologies like the Folded Motion™ XT tweeter, sophisticated crossovers, and custom bi-wire binding posts.

Beautiful inside and out

MartinLogan Motion 35XT with grille removed

The Motion 35XT uses MartinLogan's innovative Folded Motion XT tweeter and a powerful 6-1/2" aluminum cone woofer.

With its flawless high-gloss finish, gently tapered cabinet, and handsome perforated magnetic steel grille, one could be forgiven for mistaking the MartinLogan Motion 35XT as a beautiful piece of furniture. But one listen will tell you this speaker's beauty runs far deeper. As MartinLogan's most potent bookshelf speaker, the 35XT dazzles with its dynamic, impactful, and transparent sound. And as a member of MartinLogan's award-winning Motion® series, this speaker takes advantage of advanced technologies like the Folded Motion™ XT tweeter, sophisticated crossovers, and custom bi-wire binding posts.

Folded Motion XT tweeter for detailed sound

MartinLogan's innovative Folded Motion XT tweeter uses a pleated diaphragm that works similarly to an accordion by "squeezing" air to create sound. Because it requires almost 90% less excursion than the typical 1" dome tweeter, response time is drastically reduced along with distortion. The diaphragm's increased surface area also provides wide, yet controlled sound dispersion to create a realistic and highly accurate soundstage. Music sounds amazingly detailed, but smooth and effortless, without a trace of harshness. And the XT tweeter boasts a 40% larger radiating surface area than that of ML's standard Folded Motion design, for even greater bandwidth and efficiency.

Bass that keeps pace

The Motion 35XT uses a low-distortion 6-1/2" aluminum cone woofer to supply fast, clean midrange and powerful bass performance that blend in seamlessly with the Folded Motion XT tweeter. A low-turbulence rear-firing port extends bass performance, but keeps it tight and tuneful.

Praise for the MartinLogan Motion® 35XT from The Absolute Sound

The sonic character of the 35XT is first and foremost, refined. There is a relaxed quality to the 35XT that takes a natural acoustic recording like Stravinsky's Pulcinella and delivers wind sections and upper strings with sweetness and openness. Transients, low-level resolution, and micro-dynamics are likewise also very good-I always listen for the soft tapping of the keys of the oboe midway through this ballet. The 35XT never missed a cue.

All told, the Motion 35XT offers some stiff competition to battle-hardened rivals like the Sonus faber Venere 1.5 with its espresso midrange, or the Focal Aria 906 with its punchy bass response and all-around dynamism. But of these contenders only the ML has the virtue of its sweet tweet, and offers such a high level of overall transparency and musicality. The 35XT is a worthy heir to the proud tradition at MartinLogan.

— From Neil Gader's February, 2015 review in The Absolute Sound [Read the full review]

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Product Highlights:

  • 1.25" x 2.4" Folded Motion™ XT tweeter for exceptional musical detail with low distortion
  • 6-1/2" aluminum-cone woofer with cast polymer basket for powerful, accurate bass
  • bass-reflex (ported) enclosure
  • high-precision, audiophile-grade crossover network
  • frequency response: 50-25,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • sensitivity: 92 dB
  • impedance: 4 ohms
  • recommended amplifier power: 20-250 watts
  • custom 5-way bi-wire binding posts
  • perforated steel grille attaches magnetically to cabinet
  • 7-11/16"W x 13-9/16"H x 11-13/16"D
  • weight: 18.5 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years (with product registration)
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Bookshelf loudspeaker
  • Magnetic grille
  • 4 Rubber bumpers
  • User's Manual (En/Fr)
  • Product Registration Card

Awesome speakers and Excellent Service from Crutchfield!

Whitney, Charlotte, NC

Reviews

MartinLogan Motion® 35XT Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(13 Reviews)

MartinLogan Motion® 35XT

Whitney from Charlotte, NC on 2/27/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Awesome speakers and Excellent Service from Crutchfield!

Pros: Great build quality, awesome sound.

Cons:

World-Class Performance!

Cary from Merrick, NY on 2/10/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Having listened with a critical ear to these Martin Logan 35XT speakers for several weeks, I honestly think they are among the best available! I can also agree with the many positive reviews, both professional and consumer, about how well they perform. Due to the amazing motion transformer tweeter, their sonic image is much bigger than their size would have you believe possible. Their neutral character reveals every nuance in the material played, with wonderfully clean detail, depth, and range. They are a joy to listen to with all types of music, and they even sound great at low (dinner party background) volume! The black cherry finish is beautiful and their size makes placement easy in our home. I am using them with 30" speaker stands, a Pioneer sub-woofer (designed by Andrew Jones) and powering them with an Outlaw RR2160 receiver connected with 12 gauge speaker wire. I couldn't be happier with the sound! And, as always, Crutchfield made the buying experience a pleasure!

Pros: Outstanding Design, Build Quality, Excellent Sound.

Cons: None

MartinLogan Motion® 35XT

Anonymous from Poquoson, VA on 11/14/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sounding speakers. Also bought the subwoofer and center channel, can't believe the difference. I called tech support with a question and it went to the good old USA, not offshore. I have had good and bad experiences with offshore tech support. Martin Logan and Marantz are the best.

Pros:

Cons:

Bookshelves that play like floor standers

Doug from Virginia Beach, VA on 10/3/2017

My setup is an NAD D7050 amp, MartinLogan Motion 35XT speakers, SVS SB12-NSD sub and a Miller&Kreisel sub from the 80s. My room is 14x22. The 35XTs are on 12 inch stands. With these speakers being 4 ohms and the subs providing their own power the 50 watts that the D7050 puts out is more than enough to fill the room. Used in a small room/office the bass is adequate but for more intense listening pairing these speakers with subs is the way to go. I compared the 35XTs with the LX16s and despite the price difference the more expensive 35XTs are a better value. These are very natural and musically sounding speakers that handle all genres and will impress with every listen. Long after you've forgotten the extra cost you will have a smile on your face every time you sit down and press play.

Pros: Smooth sounding on the high end, punches above its weight on bass. Efficient, play loud with reasonably powered amps.

Cons: None I can see.

Truly sweet sound

Joel from Santa Monica, CA on 3/21/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Although I am a eclectic listener who gets satisfaction from many genres of music, my highest priority in buying the ML35XTs was to get better reproduction of classical music. I succeeded. There is a more open quality and an almost indefinable sweetness to their sound, in particular when it comes to the human voice and to solo instruments. Also, they succeed in reproducing the sound of the string section of a symphony orchestra as the ensemble that it is, and not as a blended "instrument soup." It is exciting!!! I really liked the pair of Klipsch RB61 II speakers that they replaced, but when I had the chance to actually hear a set of ML35XTs perform I knew that I had to have them. For those who want to feel the bass sounds of a rock band in their guts, they'll have to add a subwoofer to these little gems, but I find the weight and detail of their bass response quite satisfying. Finally, the shape and the high gloss cherry wood finish make these little speakers beautiful objects of art to look at. That adds an extra aspect to the enjoyment.

Pros: Sweet sound, highly detailed

Cons: None

great sound

Mike from Gibbsboro,nj on 2/6/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

the speakers are the best i have ever purchase! and my advisor was the best help in the process thanks again

Pros: Nice looking

Cons: real pricey for bookshelves speakers

MartinLogan Motion® 35XT

Kev H from Sacramento, CA on 5/8/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent Product - did my research and these seemed best for the money I wanted to speed. Wasn't disappointed. Crutchfield service was exceptional

Pros: beautiful clear sound look nice

Cons: Expensive

Sweet Sound at a price

Older_not_Wiser from Pennsylvania on 5/24/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I just bought one of these lately to use as a center channel in my den. I have 2 other 35XT for the L+R sound. I have no need for surround sound in the study but do enjoy the special movement during movies if dialogue can be directed to the center channel. As a engineer, I'm a true believer in the low-mass, fast response time of these tweeters. It isn't just marketing for a change. Sweet, airy, crisp, accurate sound in that range. The bass is as you would expect from a smaller woofer and I use a small Yamaha sub-woofer with these for best effect. As I have space constraints in this room, these were perfect as was the 12" cube Yamaha woofer. Note that these ribbon tweeters do not have a symmetrical sound field. They are designed be installed/situated upright which provides a wide horizontal treble sound field. If you mount them laying down (horizontal) the field is taller than it is wide. I didn't mind and the airiness of the tweeters are worth anything else. Yes, they should be cheaper.

Pros: Crisp, bold sound. no compromises in the treble and midrange.

Cons: Must be upright for best dispersion.

Motion 35xt results

Phillip from Spartanburg, SC on 3/22/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Possibly the sweetest treble I've ever heard. Excellent bass for the size and great midrange performance.

Pros: Superb reproduction of the human voice.

Cons: Their small size will make them a target for thieves.

Unbelievable Sound!

JamesG from Corona,CA on 2/27/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I recently upgraded from the Martin Logan LX-16 speakers which are identical to the motion 15 speakers here at Crutchfield. Had the Martin Logan LX-16 for more than 30 days but was still found wanting for more. The 35XT gives you that extra air and clarity and much deeper bass I was looking for. The LX-16 speakers were very good speakers the price point made it a winner! I wanted to hear if the 35XT would make a difference and when you're talking about 3 times higher in price compared to LX-16 than the million dollar question is? Are they worth it? I have to say yes and the cost factor weighed heavy on me as well. Thats not easy for me to say yes the pessimist in me doubted at first these speakers. I would say these would be what I call a lifetime speakers for you to have and never sell them like my INFINITY KAPPA 9.1 speakers. I have those speakers since I bought them back in 93. So having a speaker like that run by Parasound HCA-3500 amplifier and going to 35XT downstairs run by Harman Kardon AVR-80 MKII. I am a happy man and welcome you to try yourself one of the best bookshelf speakers I have listen to. Crutchfield customer service and their generous return policy needs to be and is appreciated by me.

Pros: Great clarity and a open airy sound that gives the vocals of the artist such a natural and warm dimension. The bass is tight and strong really does not need the aid of a subwoofer for critical listening at all. Now part of a home theater system subwoofer is a must have of course.

Cons: Very expensive Compared to other bookshelf speakers out there! But once you heard these speakers makes it easier to stomach the cost.

A Sound Decision

amarkow from California on 2/22/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Perfect front speakers for a my 5.2.2 speaker array. Compact size, but big sound, A major improvement over my previous front speakers.

Pros: Crisp, clear sound. Big performance from a compact sized speaker.

Cons: A little pricey, but it is a Martin Logan product.

Great Bookshelf Speakers!

JeffW from Bloomfield Hills, MI on 12/18/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I recently moved residences and my prior home had a built in sound system with speakers in the ceilings. While that was nice from an aesthetic point of view, I never really liked the sound coming from above me. In my new home I decided to go with a more traditional set up in my family room (which is fairly large). I wanted speakers that were small enough to fit on actual bookshelves but still be able to fill the room with sound. I couldn't be more pleased with the MartinLogan 35XT's. Excellent sound and beautifully finished, exactly what I was looking for. I use them with a subwoofer but I believe they would do pretty well without the sub if used in a smaller room. I like them so much I just bought a MartinLogan soundbar for my basement TV.

Pros: Excellent sound, beautiful finish, cool front grills, manageable size for true bookshelf positioning.

Cons: None

Martin Logan Motion 35XT

VicAEC from California on 11/30/2014

I just completed my new 2.1 setup mainly for music listening but also for the occasional movie watching experience. I am using a NAD T748v2 to power these ML Motion 35XT speakers. After countless hours of research on system design within my budget, I am very very happy. I took a gamble on these new ML 35XTs since they are new and there weren't many internet reviews let alone any stores that carried them. Being somewhat new to the world of audiophile level equipment, I first tested out the localy available ML 15s and immediately sensed the power of the motion folded tweeter but knew I needed something with more power in the mids and highs overall. I also wanted something with sting imaging and soundstage effect. I was set on purchasing the new B&W CM6 S2s which I heard in a local store but the $$$ made me look for an alternate without sacrificing much in terms of build quality, looks and performance. After connecting all the bits and pieces of my new system together, the ML 35XTs have come to life and have been providing me with great joy with all types of music ranging from classical, jazz, blues, electronic, etc. to action movies on blu-ray. The highs are just perfect crisp level and the mids are powerful and clean. I am using a 8" Infinity subwoofer for anything below 60Hz level and overall it's perfect for my purpose (music/movies). I imagine these would also make for amazing surround speakers in a 5.1 or 7.1 system. Three words to describe 35XTs: Crisp, Clean and Classy

Pros: Price to Value is Amazing compared to $1K < speakers. Sound is very clean yet powerful for the bookshelf size. Fit and finish is very high-quality.

Cons: None so far.

Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Video Shielded No
Tweeter Type Folded Motion XT
Tweeter Size (inches) 1.25 x 2.4
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 6.5
Woofer Composition Aluminum
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range 20-250
Sensitivity 92 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 4
Frequency Response 50-25,k Hz
Connector Type Post
Bi-amp Inputs Yes
Height (inches) 13-9/16
Width (inches) 7-11/16
Depth (inches) 11-13/16
Weight (pounds) 18.5
Mounting Bracket Included No
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 24-28
Parts Warranty 5 Yrs w/Registration
Labor Warranty 5 Yrs w/Registration

Product Research

Features

2-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker: The MartinLogan Motion 35XT bookshelf loudspeaker employs a 2-way speaker design and features MartinLogan's advanced resolution Folded Motion XT tweeter and a single 6.5" aluminum cone midbass woofer. Pairing these two drivers together creates a dynamic full-range sound with an expansive soundstage.

  • Folded Motion Tweeter: MartinLogan's Folded Motion XT tweeter helps give the Motion 35XT bookshelf loudspeaker its natural, realistic high frequency sound. Lightning fast transient response, combined with a large surface area (8x that of a typical 1" dome tweeter) creates clear, dynamic, and precise sound. The 1.25" x 2.4" Folded Motion XT tweeter works by moving air (which creates sound) perpendicular to the folded ridges of the diaphragm, similar to how an accordion works. This extremely low mass diaphragm "squeezes" air and requires almost 90% less excursion than the typical 1" dome tweeter, which drastically minimizes distortion while providing a lightning fast response time. The increased surface area also provides a wide, yet controlled sound dispersion (80°x30°) to create a realistic and carefully etched sound stage.
  • Aluminum Cone Woofer w/ Bass Port: The MartinLogan Motion 35XT bookshelf loudspeaker features a high-excursion 6.5" aluminum cone woofer with a cast basket housed in a non-resonant asymmetrical chamber with a rear-firing bass port. The aluminum cone woofer uses a rigid structured dust cap to reduce cone break-up and distortion. Pairing the 6.5" woofer with a rear-firing bass port provides higher output and audibly richer, deeper bass performance.

Precision Crossover: To seamlessly blend the audio output from the high frequency driver (tweeter) and the midbass driver (woofer), the Motion 35XT loudspeaker features a precision 2,200Hz crossover utilizing custom air core coil and low DCR steel laminate inductors, polyester film capacitors in series, and low DF electrolytic capacitors in parallel.

High-Gloss MDF Cabinet: Complementing the Motion 35XT loudspeaker's sonic accuracy is its solidly constructed 3/4" thick MDF cabinet. The cabinet is finished in either high-gloss piano black or black cherrywood, and includes MartinLogan's signature perforated grille. The Motion 35XT speaker's elegant and timeless look will blend into almost any decor. The speaker cabinet also features rounded edges and a gently tapered top.

Bi-Wiring/Bi-Amping: Using the dual posts, you can bi-wire or bi-amp the speaker. Bi-wiring or bi-amping the speaker provides improved bass & treble performance. If you decide to bi-wire or bi-amp, you must remove the jumpers between the terminal posts (failure to do this could result in damage to your amplifier and loudspeakers).

  • Bi-Wiring: Bi-wiring can provide noticeable improvements in the overall transparency of your loudspeakers. Run separate speaker wires to the low & high frequency drivers from a single amplifier (the upper set of binding posts are for the high frequency drivers; the lower set of binding posts are for the low frequency drivers).
  • Bi-Amping: Bi-amping allows you to use separate amplifiers for the high & low frequency sections of your loudspeaker for greater dynamic range & lower distortion. We recommend that your separate amplifiers have identical gain to preserve the speaker's voicing balance.
Note: MartinLogan's proprietary tool-less binding posts simplify cable connection and management. The binding posts will accept bare wire (16- to 10-gauge), pin-connectors, spade-connectors, and banana plugs (single only).

Break-in Period: Allow approximately 72 hours of break-in at 90 dB (moderate listening levels) before any critical listening.

Mounting Options: The bookshelf loudspeaker comes with 4 rubber self-adhesive feet to help secure them in place on a flat-surface, prevent slippage, and reduce vibration.  The optional PinPoint heavy duty side-grip wall-mounting bracket (121AM41B, sold separately) can be used to wall mount the speakers.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I splurged on these. We'll see if I chose wisely after I get them and listen to some music. I liked the sensitivity levels and the brand reputation is outstanding. [ Alex  Aug 06, 2017 ]
Own other Martin Logan speakers. [ MICHAEL  Jun 08, 2017 ]
Brand reputation, the looks of them. The folded motion tweeter sounds so good I have heard [ Jeff  May 18, 2017 ]
High quality great sound front speakers [ Glen  Mar 26, 2017 ]
Recommendation of superb sound quality [ peter  Nov 07, 2016 ]
I do have other Martin Logan Speakers and was very satisfied with the quality of construction and sound. [ Eliezer  Aug 12, 2016 ]
Have two of these and am going to use this one for the center channel. [ James  Mar 08, 2016 ]

8 questions already asked

No , you don't need an additional amp to use. They also come with jumpers to wire like a standard speaker. They are outstanding speakers!!! [ Glen  Oct 03, 2017 ]
A SHELF. IF YOU WANT SPEAKERS ON A STAND FOR THE FLOOR BUY A LARGER SPEAKER. THE SOUND IS WONDERFUL FOR THEIR SIZE. [ DEBORAH L  Apr 07, 2015 ]
These speakers do not have wall mount or bracket attachment points. There are four self sticking rubber pads included which attach to the flat bottom surface to control vibration and sliding. I set my speakers on a bookshelf. [ Glen  Apr 07, 2015 ]
I'm pretty sure there's no mounting holes on bottom but I don't recall. You should spend for great quality stands because these speakers deserve it. Unless you're good with woodworking and you can make your own. They sound best with the tweeters at ear level. [ PHILLIP  Apr 07, 2015 ]
Any quality 24 inch stands will work. There are no mounting holes on the bottom. I recommend you invest in high quality stands of 24 inches in height. [ PHILLIP  Apr 07, 2015 ]
No but the speakers are quite loud at full volume and can fill a fairly large space with sound [ WILLIAM  Dec 02, 2014 ]
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: There isn't a set amount that you should or shouldn't spend. There are a variety of factors that play into what model would best work for you, including tonal preferences you have. To be able to better recommend a product tailored to your preferences I suggest giving an Advisor a call at 1-800-324-9695 or online chat. Thanks! [ Krissy  Nov 05, 2014 ]  Staff
my experience with the 35xt's is they are efficient but the larger air motion tweeter puts a big load on some amps [marantz 7025] causing them to shut down. i had to unplug it to get it to reset several times - so i think any amp you use with them better have a hefty transformer. [ richard  Dec 28, 2017 ]
These speakers are outstanding to say the least!!! You will not regret your purchase. I love them I think some of the best speakers I've ever owned and not the most expensive. I would highly recommend! [ Glen  Dec 27, 2017 ]
Not sure, however, I have purchased the speakers and love them. I am considering getting a sub-woofer to pair with them for more bass when needed. [ CYNTHIA R  Nov 15, 2016 ]
Not 100% sure - seems a little under powered compared to these excellent ML speakers. I personally use a Hsu Research VTF-15H MK2 and this is awesome [ KEVIN  Nov 15, 2016 ]
No as long as the amp is capable of driving a 4 ohm load without clipping. Check your amps owners manual [ PHILLIP  Jun 24, 2016 ]
That's really a question for the manufacturer, but (as an electrical engineer) I would recommend against it. However, there is probably zero chance of you ever delivering even 100W to these as rear speakers, and probably more like 20W in actuality. Unless you're using these outside, your ears will give out before you get near 300W( or even 100W) actually delivered. [ David  Jun 24, 2016 ]
I would be hesitant to use a 4-ohm speaker with anything that is not rated for 4-ohms. The lower impedance will drive the amp harder, and could result in damaging the receiver. [ Jeff  Nov 05, 2014 ]  Staff
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