Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. KEF LS50 Meta

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
$85 $1600
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
11.90” × 7.90” × 11.00”
302mm × 201mm × 279mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 79-28,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 4.6
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 6.7

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of bookshelf speakers, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the KEF LS50 Meta stand as stark contrasts in the audiophile landscape. The Dayton offers a taste of high-fidelity on a shoestring budget, featuring a 6-1/2 woofer matched with an AMT tweeter for crisp highs. Conversely, the LS50 Meta, birthed from KEF's storied engineering, boasts proprietary Uni-Q driver technology and Metamaterial Absorption Technology for a sublime, room-filling performance with pristine sound accuracy. Cost versus performance is the crux of this comparison – the Dayton amazes with value, while the KEF seduces with cutting-edge sonic excellence.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to outfitting your listening space with bookshelf speakers, the market offers a wide array of choices that cater to both budget-conscious audio enthusiasts and those seeking premium sound experiences. Dayton Audio's B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers represent an entry-level option that punches above its weight, delivering an accessible gateway into the world of high-fidelity audio. On the other end of the spectrum sits the KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers, which are a testament to the brand's commitment to innovation and acoustic excellence. While these two products might cater to different segments of the audiophile community, a comparative analysis reveals much about what listeners value at various price points.

Design and Build Quality

The Dayton Audio B652-AIR maintains a modest aesthetic with a utilitarian design philosophy that emphasizes functionality over frills. The black ebony pica vinyl cabinet is sturdy enough for its price point, but it doesn’t compete with the more premium materials often found in higher-end speakers. In contrast, the KEF LS50 Meta exudes a sense of luxury with its precision-engineered cabinet and the distinctive Uni-Q driver array, which not only serves an aesthetic purpose but also delivers a unique acoustic advantage. The LS50 Meta’s build quality is immediately apparent, from the high-density polymer cabinet to the seamless integration of its drivers.

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

Sound Performance

At the heart of the Dayton B652-AIR's sound performance is the AMT tweeter (Air Motion Transformer), which distinguishes these speakers from others in their price bracket. The AMT tweeter is known for its clear and detailed high frequencies, which is quite an achievement for speakers at this price point. However, the KEF LS50 Meta operates on another level, boasting the brand’s latest iteration of the Uni-Q driver, which integrates the tweeter and woofer into a seamless point source. This delivers a remarkably cohesive soundstage and imaging that is worlds apart from the more modest Dayton offering. The LS50 Meta’s Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) is a truly groundbreaking approach to sound absorption, resulting in a cleaner, more natural sound that audiophiles would appreciate.

When it comes to bass performance, the Dayton B652-AIR's 6-1/2” woofer delivers a respectable low-end response for its size but lacks the extension and control found in more sophisticated systems. In comparison, the KEF LS50 Meta's 5.25” driver, paired with the ingenious bass port design and the rigidity of the cabinet, produces tight, articulate bass that extends well beyond what one might expect from a speaker of its size. This bass performance is further enhanced by the LS50 Meta's ability to minimize distortion, a feature that’s particularly evident at higher volumes.

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta arrow (at

Value for Money

One cannot discuss the Dayton B652-AIR without mentioning its incredible value for money. For those new to the audiophile world or with a limited budget, these speakers are a compelling proposition, offering a taste of high-fidelity sound at a fraction of the cost typically associated with it. On the other side, the KEF LS50 Meta represents a significant investment, but for the discerning listener, the advanced technology and superior sound quality can justify the price. The LS50 Meta is not just a speaker, but an investment in an acoustic innovation that could be the centerpiece of a high-end audio system for years to come.


Choosing between the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the KEF LS50 Meta hinges on one's priorities and budget. The B652-AIR speakers are an excellent starting point for those dipping their toes into audiophile waters, providing an affordable and respectable sound experience. Meanwhile, the LS50 Meta is a statement piece for the seasoned listener who demands the pinnacle of audio engineering and has the means to invest in such quality. Regardless of one's choice, both speakers stand as proof that there is a perfect match for every audiophile's journey and budget.

In the final analysis, the comparison between the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the KEF LS50 Meta underscores the diverse landscape of bookshelf speakers available today. Whether it’s the entry-level excellence and affordability of Dayton or the uncompromising performance and cutting-edge design of KEF, these speakers offer insights into what makes listening to music a deeply personal and enjoyable experience. Ultimately, the choice between the two will not only reflect one's budget but also an individual's sonic preferences and the importance they place on the nuances of sound.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta 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.