Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. MartinLogan Motion 4i

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
$85 $250
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
12.60” × 5.60” × 5.70”
320mm × 142mm × 145mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 70-23,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 5.1

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of budget-friendliness meets high-fidelity, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR speakers present an unbeatable value proposition, featuring an AMT tweeter that delivers smooth treble. However, they're outshone by the MartinLogan Motion 4i in terms of sheer audio refinement and build quality. The Motion 4i's signature Folded Motion tweeter produces exquisitely detailed highs that cater to the discerning ear, while its well-crafted enclosure ensures a more sophisticated sonic presence. Those with a keen audiophile bent and more flexible budget might gravitate towards the MartinLogans, while the Daytons serve as a solid entry point for the casual listener.

Speaker Comparison

In the realm of bookshelf speakers, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the MartinLogan Motion 4i represent two contrasting approaches to high-fidelity sound reproduction within a compact format. On one hand, the B652-AIR hits the market as a budget-friendly option, known for its incredible value. On the other hand, the Motion 4i enters the fray as a premium speaker, boasting advanced technology and refined design. While they both serve the same purpose, the experience they offer to the listener varies as much as their price point.

Design and Build Quality

The Dayton Audio B652-AIR, with its utilitarian design, is a no-frills speaker that prioritizes function over form. The black ebony pica vinyl cabinet is modest, yet adequate for its price range. Conversely, the MartinLogan Motion 4i exudes a level of sophistication that is apparent in its sleek, high-gloss finish and the elegant curves of the cabinet. The build quality of the Motion 4i clearly signals its high-end lineage, with attention to detail that justifies its higher cost.

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

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound, the B652-AIR holds its own with a surprisingly clear and open soundstage, thanks in part to its Air Motion Transformer tweeter—a feature typically reserved for more expensive speakers. The high frequencies are crisp, although they can sometimes lack the refinement found in the upper echelons of bookshelf speakers. In contrast, the Motion 4i showcases MartinLogan's renowned Folded Motion tweeter, which delivers exceptionally detailed highs and a smooth midrange that truly shines with acoustic and vocal-centric music. The Motion 4i's sound is not just detailed; it's palpably textured and dimensional.

Bass Response

Delving deeper into the low end, the B652-AIR has adequate bass for its size, but it doesn't quite plumb the depths or maintain the tight control that one might desire for bass-heavy music. It's commendable for its price, but the bass is where the budget constraints show most. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Motion 4i is surprisingly capable for its compact size. Its innovative bass port design and high-quality drivers enable it to deliver a fuller, more articulate bass response. While it won't replace a subwoofer, the 4i provides a balanced low-end that integrates smoothly with the mids and highs.

MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i arrow (at

Imaging and Soundstage

Imaging is another aspect where these two speakers diverge. The B652-AIR's soundstage is broader than expected, creating an enjoyable sense of space, although the imaging can be somewhat diffuse. The Motion 4i, however, excels in this area, casting an expansive and precise soundstage that allows each instrument and voice to occupy its own distinct space. With the Motion 4i, the listener can close their eyes and point to the location of each element in the recording—a testament to its superior imaging capabilities.

The disparities between the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the MartinLogan Motion 4i also extend to their intended applications. The B652-AIR is well-suited for those who are venturing into the audiophile territory with a limited budget or for use in applications where critical listening is not the main focus, such as in a garage or a dorm room. The Motion 4i, with its refined audio performance, is ideal for a dedicated listening room where the listener can appreciate the nuances of premium sound reproduction.

In conclusion, while both the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the MartinLogan Motion 4i serve the purpose of reproducing sound within a compact space, the experience they offer is catered to different audiences. The B652-AIR stands as a gateway into the audiophile world, offering a high return on investment for the budget-conscious listener. The Motion 4i, on the other hand, is aimed at discerning ears that seek a more premium listening experience. Budget constraints will guide many, but for those who can afford the leap, the MartinLogan Motion 4i is a clear step up in the world of high-fidelity audio.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i Bookshelf Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 4i 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.