Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. Monoprice Monolith THX-265B

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers
$85 $800
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
15.40” × 9.70” × 11.40”
391mm × 246mm × 290mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 65-24,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of budget audiophilia, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR speakers bring a surprising level of clarity with their AMT tweeters, offering a detailed soundstage for their price. They deliver a solid performance for casual listeners but may lack the refinement for critical ears. Meanwhile, the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B bookshelf speakers are a significant step up, boasting THX certification and a robust build that promises cinematic sound. With a more precise bass and greater dynamic range, these speakers are tailored for enthusiasts seeking a near-professional listening experience without breaking the bank.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to outfitting a personal listening space with quality sound, audiophiles often have to strike a balance between cost and performance. The marketplace offers a broad spectrum of options, from the wallet-friendly Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers to the more premium, performance-oriented Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers. Both serve the needs of discerning listeners but do so in markedly different ways, catering to different segments of the audiophile market.

The Sound of Value: Dayton Audio B652-AIR

The Dayton Audio B652-AIR is an entry-level speaker that surprises with its performance at such an accessible price point. Fitted with a 6-1/2” woofer and a 1” AMT tweeter (Air Motion Transformer), the B652-AIR aims to deliver a wide soundstage and crisp highs. The AMT tweeter is typically found in more expensive speakers, which gives the Dayton a unique edge in its category. These speakers provide an excellent starting point for those dipping their toes into the audiophile pool without causing financial distress.

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

However, the modest price tag does come with its set of limitations. While the B652-AIR offers decent clarity, it can struggle with the nuance and resolution found in more sophisticated and costly speakers. Bass response is limited by design, and while the overall sound can be lively and enjoyable, it may lack the punch and depth needed for a more immersive experience. For casual listening or as part of a budget home theater system, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR is a commendable choice, but serious audiophiles might find themselves yearning for more.

Stepping Up the Game: Monoprice Monolith THX-265B

Moving up the ladder, the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B bookshelf speakers are a testament to engineering and design tailored for the enthusiast. With a THX certification, these speakers promise a level of quality that aligns with professional cinema standards. The Monolith series is engineered to deliver a flat frequency response, exceptional clarity, and powerful dynamics, making these speakers a go-to for those seeking a more serious audio experience.

The heart of the Monolith THX-265B is in its components. With a 6.5” woofer and a 1” silk dome tweeter, these speakers are designed to handle the rigors of high-resolution audio with ease. The cabinet construction is robust, minimizing unwanted resonance and ensuring that the audio is as pure and uncolored as possible. The inclusion of THX certification means these speakers have gone through rigorous testing to meet high standards of performance, which is often reflected in an expanded soundstage and precise imaging.

Comparing the Experiences

Direct comparison between the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B reveals two very different listening experiences. The B652-AIR is light and playful, with an airiness to its sound that can make listening a joyful, if not the most detailed, experience. Alternatively, the Monolith THX-265B brings a sense of gravity and seriousness to playback, with a focus on precision and accuracy that is immediately noticeable and quite gratifying to the trained ear.

The B652-AIR is more forgiving of less-than-perfect source material, making it well-suited for a variety of content, including streaming services and vinyl records with character. On the other hand, the Monolith THX-265B's revealing nature means it pairs best with high-fidelity recordings and uncompromising electronics. These speakers will ruthlessly expose flaws in recordings, a trait that can be both a blessing and a curse depending on the listener's library and preferences.

Another aspect to consider is the visual and tactile experience. The Dayton B652-AIR, with its simpler design and lighter construction, might not be as impressive to look at or touch as the more robust Monolith THX-265B. The Monolith's build quality is evident, with a finish and heft that exudes a high-end feel, suggesting a product that can be as much a centerpiece as it is a sound-emitting device.

Ultimately, the choice between Dayton Audio B652-AIR and Monoprice Monolith THX-265B bookshelf speakers is one of budget versus performance. For those seeking an enjoyable sound at a modest investment, the B652-AIR offers a surprising level of quality. For the audiophile ready to dive into deeper sonic territories, the Monolith THX-265B is a clear stepping stone towards audio nirvana, delivering sound that meets the high bar set by THX standards. Either way, each speaker offers its own brand of aural satisfaction, ensuring that there is no wrong choice, just different paths to auditory bliss.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers
Monoprice Monolith THX-265B 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.