Emotiva Airmotiv XT2 Tower Loudspeaker Review

Since the inception of our channel, we’ve been repeatedly asked to review Emotiva speakers. Today, we finally have their new Airmotiv XT2 Tower loudspeaker in hand.
Emotiva Airmotiv XT2 Tower Loudspeaker Review

One thing is immediately apparent: Emotiva has completely redesigned their Airmotiv series from the ground up. Gone is the old stealth fighter aesthetic, replaced with a more refined and contemporary look.

Design and Build

Visually, the XT2 bears a striking resemblance to Martin Logan’s Motion series, which is a departure from Emotiva’s previous design language. Personally, I wasn’t particularly fond of their older style, so I’m pleased to see Emotiva taking a new direction here. The XT2 features a sleek black box with a leather texture on the top and sides, adding a touch of sophistication to its appearance.

Emotiva Airmotiv XT2 Tower Loudspeaker Review

Specifications and Features

Now, let’s delve into the specifications. The XT2 is part of Emotiva’s updated Airmotiv series, which includes three towers, bookshelf speakers, center channels, surround speakers, and several subwoofers, providing a comprehensive home theater solution. Positioned as the middle child among the towers, the XT2 boasts an impressive array of drivers: three 6-inch woofers, a 5.25-inch mid-range driver, and a 1-inch folded ribbon tweeter. Coupled with its rear-facing port, the XT2 claims a frequency response of 40 Hz to 27 kHz and an efficiency rating of 90 dB. However, it’s important to note that despite the seemingly high sensitivity rating, these speakers have a 4-ohm impedance, which demands substantial power. Emotiva recommends amplifiers with at least 100 watts per channel to adequately drive any speaker in the Airmotiv series.

Performance and Testing

In my testing, I initially paired the XT2 with Emotiva’s XC2 center speaker and Sony’s 5000 ES receiver, a setup that seemed logical for a home theater environment. However, this combination proved problematic, as the speakers sounded strained and the receiver became uncomfortably hot within minutes. Switching to a Primare A35.2 stereo amplifier, with 400 watts per channel into 4 ohms, delivered a noticeable improvement in performance. But it wasn’t until I connected the XT2 to a Primare A60 amplifier that the speakers truly came into their own, delivering a powerful and immersive cinematic experience.

Emotiva Airmotiv XT2 Tower Loudspeaker Review in room with tv and other speakers

Placement Sensitivity and Sound Quality

One of the critical aspects of using the XT2 is its sensitivity to placement. Due to its narrow dispersion pattern, proper speaker placement significantly impacts the sound quality, affecting everything from the width of the soundstage to the clarity of the treble frequencies. Whether for movies or music, finding the optimal placement is crucial. Off-axis positioning resulted in a softer treble response, while towing the speakers in increased brightness but at the expense of some imaging precision.

Sound Quality and Comparisons

In terms of sound quality, the XT2 excelled in the midrange frequencies, offering a neutral and detailed performance. However, the tweeter’s inconsistency, particularly off-axis, occasionally led to sibilance in vocals and variable clarity in instrumentals. The bass response, while punchy, lacked the depth expected from a three-way tower speaker, necessitating the use of a subwoofer for full-range audio reproduction.

Comparing the XT2 to competitors such as Martin Logan’s Motion series (Martin Logan Motion 40i,..) and Klipsch’s 8000f, the XT2 held its ground but did not excel in every aspect. Martin Logan speakers offered superior dispersion and a more expansive soundstage, while Klipsch speakers outperformed in bass response and overall room presence.


For enthusiasts looking to upgrade from Emotiva’s previous generation speakers, the XT2 represents a significant leap forward in terms of design and midrange performance. However, its demanding power requirements and directional sound characteristics may pose challenges in terms of setup and pairing with other components. While the XT2 delivers impressive aesthetics and midrange clarity, prospective buyers should carefully consider their room acoustics and listening preferences before making a decision.

Emotiva Airmotiv XT2 Tower Loudspeaker Review

In conclusion, the Emotiva Airmotiv XT2 Tower loudspeaker marks a bold evolution for the brand, showcasing improved aesthetics and commendable midrange performance. However, its directional sound characteristics and power demands necessitate meticulous setup and consideration of system compatibility. Auditioning the XT2 in your own space is advisable to determine if it aligns with your audio preferences and room dynamics.


Founded in July 2014, 7Review is a free audio resource for beginners, and we're dedicated to helping you create the ultimate movie-watching experience right at home. We pull insights from top audio magazines and trusted industry sources to bring you well-researched, reliable reviews and tips. Whether you're a home cinema pro or just starting out, we aim to give you the info you need to make the best choices for your setup.

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