Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. MartinLogan Motion 40i

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
$85 $2600
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
42.50” × 7.60” × 12.80”
1080mm × 193mm × 325mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 40-25,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of affordable high-fidelity, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR bookshelf speakers deliver pristine sound with a surprising punch, courtesy of their AMT tweeters. They're an exceptional value for budget-conscious audiophiles. In stark contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 40i tower speakers ascend to audio luxury, boasting lush, room-filling acoustics with their exquisite Folded Motion tweeters and robust bass performance. While the Daytons excel in value and simplicity, the MartinLogans offer an immersive, high-end sonic experience for those willing to invest in auditory opulence. Choosing between them comes down to budget, space, and the level of audio nirvana one seeks.

Speaker Comparison

When entering the realm of high-fidelity audio, one encounters a range of products that can either serve as a modest entry point or catapult you into the echelons of sonic nirvana. The Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers and the MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speakers represent these contrasting poles. Despite both being designed to deliver a pleasurable listening experience, they cater to vastly different audiences with their own unique set of features and, of course, price points.

The Entry-Level Challenger: Dayton Audio B652-AIR

On one hand, we have the Dayton Audio B652-AIR, a speaker that's long been lauded for delivering surprising performance at an entry-level price. These compact bookshelf speakers feature a 6-1/2” woofer coupled with an AMT tweeter, the latter of which is Dayton Audio’s answer to bringing the acclaimed airy and detailed highs of ribbon tweeters to a more budget-conscious audience. The B652-AIRs are not just about affordability; they are also about introducing the uninitiated to the pleasures of high-resolution audio without breaking the bank.

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

The Audiophile Contender: MartinLogan Motion 40i

On the other side of the spectrum, the MartinLogan Motion 40i speakers are a testament to the brand's commitment to audiophile-grade performance. Towering both literally and figuratively over the B652-AIR, the Motion 40i features MartinLogan's signature Folded Motion tweeter, a piece of audio engineering aimed at delivering lightning-fast response with precise control to replicate the most delicate of high frequencies. Combine this with the dual 6-1/2” aluminum cone woofers and a 5-1/2” midrange driver, and you have a speaker that commands attention and respect in any listening room.

Sound Signature and Room Presence

When it comes to sound, the Dayton Audio B652-AIRs punch well above their weight class, offering a lively and robust soundstage that belies their modest size. The AMT tweeter contributes a crisp and extended high-end that can sometimes edge towards brightness, particularly at higher volumes. The bass, while not earth-shattering, is commendable for a speaker of this size and price. In contrast, the MartinLogan Motion 40i commands a presence that can fill a room with ease, thanks to its larger drivers and superior cabinet design. It delivers a more refined and balanced sound profile, with a bass response that is both deeper and more articulate, mids that have a natural warmth and richness, and highs that shimmer with detail and nuance.

MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i arrow (at

The differences between these two speakers aren't confined just to their sound. Aesthetically, the B652-AIRs are unassuming, their straightforward design meant to be unobtrusive and functional. The MartinLogan Motion 40i, however, is crafted to stand out as a piece of art, with its elegant curves, superb build quality, and high-end finishes that make it as much a visual statement as an auditory one.

Choosing the Right Speaker for You

Choosing between the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the MartinLogan Motion 40i ultimately comes down to one's priorities and budget. If you are just stepping into the world of high-quality sound or are outfitting a small room where space is at a premium, the B652-AIRs offer an excellent starting point. They are also ideal for someone on a tight budget who still wants a taste of what audiophile sound can offer.

However, if you are ready to invest in a speaker that will be the centerpiece of your audio system, cater to a larger space, and provide a listening experience that is rich and immersive, the MartinLogan Motion 40i is the clear choice. These speakers are built to satisfy discerning ears and are likely to be a long-term investment in your audio journey.

In conclusion, whether you opt for the humble yet surprisingly capable Dayton Audio B652-AIR or the sophisticated and powerful MartinLogan Motion 40i, both will lead you to a deeper appreciation for music. Just keep in mind that your selection should be informed by not only your financial considerations but also your sonic preferences, room dynamics, and long-term commitment to the art of listening.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 40i Tower Speaker
MartinLogan Motion 40i 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.