Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. MartinLogan Motion 2i

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
$85 $200
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
10.00” × 4.70” × 4.60”
254mm × 119mm × 117mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 110-23,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of affordable hi-fi, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR speakers deliver surprisingly spacious sound with a noteworthy AMT tweeter providing crisp treble. They represent outstanding value for budget-conscious audiophiles. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 2i, a higher-end contender, boasts an advanced Folded Motion tweeter for articulate highs and a luxurious, detailed midrange. The build quality and sonic finesse of the Motion 2i are superior, justifying its premium price tag. Both speakers cater to different segments of the market, with the Daytons being the go-to for the frugal, and the MartinLogans appealing to those seeking a more refined acoustic experience.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to the world of bookshelf speakers, the playing field is as varied as the listeners who crave them. Today, we're taking a look at two distinct offerings from the realms of budget and high-end audio. On one side of the ring, we have the Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers – the budget-friendly champs that have been punching well above their weight class. On the other, the MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers stand as svelte pugilists from the high-end echelons of sound reproduction. It's a clash that promises to highlight the vast differences one can expect when scaling the price ladder in audiophile territory.

An Overview of the Contenders

The Dayton Audio B652-AIR is the no-frills, get-the-job-done speaker that has garnered a following among those looking to dip their toes into the world of quality sound without draining the bank account. Their design is simple, functional, and without the bells and whistles that often adorn their more expensive counterparts. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 2i is a speaker that exudes premium vibes, with aesthetics that match its superior build quality. It's a product that appeals to both the eyes and the ears, boasting advanced technology like the renowned Folded Motion tweeter that has become a staple of the brand's identity.

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

Sound Quality: The Heart of the Matter

When it comes to sound, the Dayton B652-AIRs are surprisingly competent. They deliver a wide soundstage and the signature AMT tweeter adds a crispness to the highs that is rarely found at this price point. However, they can struggle with bass, and the midrange can sometimes feel overshadowed. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 2i shines brightly across the spectrum. The highs are not just detailed but have a lifelike quality that is almost tactile, thanks to that Folded Motion tweeter. The bass is tight and accurate, and the midrange is lush and full, creating an immersive listening experience.

Build Quality and Aesthetics: More Than Meets the Eye

With the Dayton Audio B652-AIR, the budget nature comes through in its build quality. It's solid, yes, but the cabinets and overall finish don't scream luxury. They're more about substance over style, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, depending on your priorities. MartinLogan's Motion 2i, however, is built like a piece of fine furniture, with a flawless finish and materials that feel like they belong in a higher tax bracket. The craftsmanship is apparent, and it's clear that these speakers are designed to be a visual statement as much as an auditory one.

MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i arrow (at

Connectivity and Compatibility are key areas where both speakers play nice with most setups. The Dayton B652-AIR's straightforward design means they're easy to drive with a wide range of amplifiers and AV receivers, making them a versatile choice for the casual listener or the enthusiast on a budget. The MartinLogan Motion 2i, while still accommodating, may benefit from higher-quality amplification to truly shine, somewhat limiting their plug-and-play nature—but for the audiophile with a curated setup, they're a match made in heaven.

When discussing value, one must consider what is being sought after. The Dayton Audio B652-AIR represents an incredible value for those who want decent sound at a very approachable price. They're the workhorse that will satisfy without breaking the bank. The MartinLogan Motion 2i, on the other hand, commands a premium but offers a commensurate level of performance and quality. They're an investment in sonic excellence and a testament to the adage "you get what you pay for."

In closing, choosing between the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the MartinLogan Motion 2i bookshelf speakers comes down to personal priorities and budget. The B652-AIRs are perfect for the budding audiophile or the cost-conscious listener who still wants a taste of high-fidelity sound. The Motion 2i speaks to the discerning ear, one that seeks the pinnacle of audio finesse and is willing to invest in aural artistry. Both sets have their place in the audio pantheon, serving different gods of sound, and offering distinct blessings upon their listeners.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 2i 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.