Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. ELAC Debut F6.2

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers ELAC Debut F6.2 Tower Speaker
$85 $1060
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
44.31” × 8.12” × 11.63”
1125mm × 206mm × 295mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 39-35,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the world of budget-friendly Hi-Fi, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR speakers are a revelation for their price, offering a crisp AMT tweeter experience that belies their modest outlay. They deliver a surprisingly clear soundstage and decent dynamics from a compact form. In contrast, the ELAC Debut F6.2 towers stand tall, not just in physical stature but in sonic presence, engineered by the renowned Andrew Jones. They offer deeper bass, richer tonality, and a more expansive soundstage, befitting a higher-end listening experience. However, these towers demand a greater investment, both in space and budget, compared to the Dayton Audios.

Speaker Comparison

In the realm of affordable high-fidelity sound, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the ELAC Debut F6.2 are two contenders that often pique the interest of discerning audiophiles on a budget. At first glance, the most obvious difference lies in their form factor; the B652-AIR is a modestly sized bookshelf speaker, while the ELAC Debut F6.2 stands tall as a floor-standing tower speaker. This distinction alone can significantly influence a listener's choice, depending on room size and aesthetic preferences.

Design and Build Quality

The Dayton Audio B652-AIR sports a no-frills, utilitarian design that's straightforward and functional. The black ebony pica vinyl cabinet is decently constructed for its price point, although it won't be winning any design awards. By contrast, the ELAC Debut F6.2 offers a more refined look with its textured vinyl finish and larger stature, giving it a more commanding presence in a room. The build quality of the F6.2 is a step up, manifesting in the solidity of its cabinet and the overall aesthetic.

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR arrow (at

Sound Quality - Highs and Mids

When it comes to sound, both speakers bring something special to the table. The B652-AIR features Dayton Audio's AMT tweeter (Air Motion Transformer), known for its clear and detailed high-frequency response. The highs are crisp without being fatiguing, allowing for extended listening sessions. Its mids are coherent and balanced, though they may lack some of the richness found in more expensive speakers. In contrast, the ELAC Debut F6.2, designed by the renowned Andrew Jones, delivers exceptional clarity in the highs, courtesy of its custom-designed tweeter, and offers a midrange that is both lush and precise, providing a more three-dimensional soundstage.

Bass Response and Power Handling

The bass response between the two is markedly different due to their size and driver configuration. The B652-AIR, with its 6-1/2” woofer, produces a respectable bass for a bookshelf speaker, but it won't shake the foundations. It's perfect for small to medium-sized rooms, but in larger spaces, it may require the support of a subwoofer. The ELAC Debut F6.2, on the other hand, boasts three 6-1/2” woofers, resulting in a more authoritative and deeper bass that can fill a larger room with ease. Furthermore, the F6.2's superior power handling capacity allows it to reach higher volume levels without distortion, making it suitable for more dynamic and demanding pieces of music.

ELAC Debut F6.2 Tower Speaker
ELAC Debut F6.2 arrow (at

Both speakers, due to their respective price points, exhibit exceptional performance. However, with the ELAC Debut F6.2, there's an undeniable advantage in overall sound quality and power. The B652-AIR, while not as robust in its sonic delivery, still provides a level of clarity that is impressive for such a budget-friendly option. It's a perfect entry point for those dipping their toes into the world of high-fidelity audio without wanting to make a significant investment upfront.

Ultimately, the choice between the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the ELAC Debut F6.2 will hinge on the listener's specific needs and preferences. For those with limited space or a preference for a more minimalist setup, the B652-AIR is an excellent choice that defies its small stature with a clear and vibrant sound. On the flip side, the ELAC Debut F6.2 is a compelling option for audiophiles looking to achieve a full-range sound in a larger room without breaking the bank. Its refined sound and solid construction make it a standout choice in its price bracket.

In conclusion, while both the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the ELAC Debut F6.2 hold their own in the budget speaker category, they cater to different audiences. The B652-AIR is ideal for the space-conscious listener who values clarity and detail, while the F6.2 is designed for the enthusiast seeking a more immersive and powerful audio experience. Regardless of the choice, both speakers are testaments to how far the affordable audio market has come, offering performance that could easily have commanded a premium just a few years ago.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Debut F6.2 Tower Speaker
ELAC Debut F6.2 Tower Speaker

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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.