Aperion Audio Intimus 5B vs. Dayton Audio B652-AIR

Aperion Audio Intimus 5B Bookshelf Speakers Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
$450 $85
Dimensions (H × W × D)
12.00” × 6.75” × 8.00”
305mm × 171mm × 203mm
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
80-20,000 Hz 70-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 4.6

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In a clash of budget-friendly titans, the Aperion Audio Intimus 5B presents a sophisticated choice with its refined looks and balanced soundstage, perfect for the discerning audiophile who craves a lush, room-filling performance. On the other side, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR, with its remarkable AMT tweeter, offers a surprisingly detailed high-end on a shoestring budget. While the 5B shines with a warmer tone and a sturdier build, the B652-AIR counters with its sheer value proposition, making it a favorite for casual listeners and DIY enthusiasts seeking a cost-effective entry into high-fidelity audio.

Speaker Comparison

When venturing into the enchanted forest of budget-friendly bookshelf speakers, the Aperion Audio Intimus 5B and the Dayton Audio B652-AIR present two fascinating trails. Each path promises an auditory experience that belies their modest entry fee, but the contrast in their deliverance of sound is as stark as the difference between a seasoned symphony and a passionate street performance.

Design and Build Quality

The Aperion Audio Intimus 5B is quite the looker with its luxurious real-wood veneer finish, conveying a sense of upscale style that blends seamlessly into any decor. Construction-wise, the 5B is solid and substantial, exuding a level of quality that speaks volumes of Aperion's commitment to craftsmanship. On the other hand, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR is more utilitarian in appearance, with a simpler black vinyl finish that's more about function than flair. However, despite its more humble aesthetics, the B652-AIR is well-built and presents a no-nonsense approach that some may find refreshingly straightforward.

Aperion Audio Intimus 5B Bookshelf Speakers
Aperion Audio Intimus 5B arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Quality – High Frequencies

At the heart of the Dayton Audio B652-AIR's sound signature is the Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeter, which gives it a distinct advantage when it comes to crisp high frequencies. This innovative design allows for a more nuanced and detailed upper register, making instruments like cymbals and flutes shimmer with clarity. Conversely, the Aperion Intimus 5B employs a more traditional silk dome tweeter, which offers a smooth and refined treble range that's both pleasant and non-fatiguing, even after hours of listening.

Sound Quality – Midrange and Bass

Diving into the midrange, the Aperion Intimus 5B stands out with its warm and rich vocals, which seem to carry a certain weight and presence that's captivating. The 5B's midrange drivers articulate the intricacies of vocal performances in a way that feels almost personal, as if the singer is performing just for you. In contrast, the Dayton B652-AIR's midrange is clear and transparent but lacks the same depth, providing a more straightforward reproduction that, while accurate, doesn't quite envelop the listener in the same manner. As for bass, the Aperion 5B's 5.25-inch woofer delivers a controlled and punchy low end that will satisfy most, without the need for a subwoofer. The Dayton B652-AIR, with its 6.5-inch woofer, produces a respectable bass, but it's somewhat less defined and can be boomy, which may require careful placement or equalization to tame.

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR arrow (at Amazon.com)

Imaging and Soundstage

Imaging is another aspect where the Aperion Intimus 5B shines. The speakers offer a well-defined soundstage that allows each instrument to occupy its own distinct space, resulting in a lifelike and immersive listening experience. The Dayton B652-AIR also provides good stereo imaging, but the soundstage feels somewhat compressed in comparison, lacking the same three-dimensional effect. This may not be a dealbreaker for casual listeners, but for those seeking a truly enveloping sound, the Aperion may edge out its competition.

In the end, both the Aperion Audio Intimus 5B and Dayton Audio B652-AIR offer compelling reasons to take them home. The Aperion is the quintessential audiophile's entry ticket, with its rich, detailed sound and excellent build quality. Meanwhile, the Dayton shines with its distinctive AMT tweeter and surprisingly good performance for its price point. It's clear that, depending on your priorities—be it the aesthetic finesse and full-bodied sound of the Aperion or the exceptional value and crisp highs of the Dayton—either could be the perfect companion for your next musical journey.

Ultimately, the choice between the Aperion Audio Intimus 5B and the Dayton Audio B652-AIR bookshelf speakers will rest on the individual listener's tastes and the characteristics of their listening room. Whether it's the 5B's lush midrange warmth or the B652-AIR's transparent acoustics, each speaker possesses its own brand of audio magic, waiting to be discovered by those embarking on their audiophile adventure.

Check Current Prices:

Aperion Audio Intimus 5B Bookshelf Speakers
Aperion Audio Intimus 5B Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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.