Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. Klipsch Reference R-51M

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
$85 $350
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
13.00” × 7.00” × 8.56”
330mm × 178mm × 217mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 62-21,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the bustling arena of budget audiophile bookshelf speakers, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and Klipsch Reference R-51M stand out for their value. The B652-AIR appeals with its AMT tweeter, delivering crisp, extended highs and surprising finesse for its price point. Meanwhile, the Klipsch R-51M boasts a dynamic, lively sound with its signature Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter and punchy bass that belies its size. While the Daytons offer an incredible bang for the buck with a softer sound signature, the Klipsch commands attention with its more forward and engaging presentation, providing a robust choice for those seeking a bit more excitement.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to filling a room with sound, bookshelf speakers are a popular choice for both the casual listener and the discerning audiophile. Often, the hunt for the perfect pair leads to a face-off between value and reputation, and that's precisely where we find ourselves when comparing the Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers to the Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers. On one hand, we have Dayton Audio's budget-friendly offering that promises high-end performance without breaking the bank. On the other, the Klipsch R-51M emerges from a long lineage of distinguished audio prowess, with a slightly higher price tag to match.

Design and Build Quality

The Dayton Audio B652-AIR speakers feature a no-frills, utilitarian design with a black ebony pica vinyl cabinet finish that is unlikely to turn heads but should blend well into most home decors. Their build quality is decent for the price point, though they don't feel particularly premium. Conversely, the Klipsch R-51M speakers exude a more polished aesthetic with their spun-copper IMG woofers and textured wood grain vinyl wrapping. The build quality here is notably superior, offering a robustness that suggests a longer-lasting investment.

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

Sound Signature and Performance

In terms of sound, the Dayton Audio B652-AIRs are known for their AMT tweeter, which provides a crisp and airy treble response that's quite impressive for their cost. However, they can be somewhat lacking in bass and overall warmth, making them less suitable for genres that rely heavily on the lower end. The Klipsch R-51M, with its trademark Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter, offers a dynamic and lively soundstage with enhanced clarity and precision. The bass response is also more pronounced and controlled, thanks to the larger cabinet and ported design, making these speakers a better all-rounder for different musical tastes.

Power Handling and Efficiency

The Dayton speakers have a modest power handling capability, which makes them a good match for smaller amplifiers or receivers. They're quite efficient too, but not quite to the extent of the Klipsch models. Klipsch speakers are renowned for their high sensitivity, and the R-51M is no exception. With a sensitivity rating that towers over the Dayton B652-AIR, the Klipsch speakers can deliver a larger sound with less power, making them ideal for those looking to maximize output without investing in a hefty amplifier.

Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-51M arrow (at

While both the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and Klipsch R-51M speakers are rear-ported designs, which helps to enhance bass reflex, the placement flexibility is somewhat limited as they perform best with some distance from the wall behind them. This could be a consideration for those with space constraints. Nonetheless, the rear-ported design is a common feature appreciated by audiophiles for the depth it can add to the listening experience.

There's also the question of branding and the warranty. Klipsch has a long-standing reputation for quality and customer service, which is often reflected in their warranties. Dayton Audio, while they offer good customer service, doesn't carry the same weight in the industry as Klipsch. This doesn't necessarily reflect the quality of their product, but for some, the peace of mind that comes with a well-established brand is worth the extra cost.

In conclusion, if budget is your primary concern and you enjoy a brighter treble response, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR speakers present a very compelling offering. On the other hand, if you're looking for robust build quality, a more balanced sound signature, and the backing of a reputable brand, the Klipsch Reference R-51M bookshelf speakers are likely to be the more satisfying choice in the long run. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your listening environment.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-51M 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.