Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. Presonus Eris E3.5

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
$85 $100
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
10.24” × 7.00” × 7.68”
260mm × 178mm × 195mm
Power Type
Passive Powered
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 80-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 4.3

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The Dayton Audio B652-Air and Presonus Eris E3.5 cater to budget-conscious audiophiles but differ in design and sound. The B652-Air, with its 6-1/2” woofer and AMT tweeter, offers a more spacious soundstage ideal for casual listening. In contrast, the Eris E3.5, with a 3.5” woofer, is a true studio monitor, presenting accurate, flat response, perfect for content creators. The larger Dayton drivers deliver more bass presence, while the Presonus shines in midrange clarity. Each has its strengths—a choice between immersive sound or precision for mixing and editing.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to budget-conscious audiophiles and music enthusiasts, the quest for affordable, yet high-quality speakers is a never-ending journey. Today, we're honing in on two particularly compelling options: the Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers and the PreSonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitors. Both have made a splash in the market for delivering sound that punches above their modest price points. But how do they stack up against each other when we delve into the nuances of their performance?

Design and Build Quality

The Dayton Audio B652-AIR speakers carry a traditional aesthetic with a no-frills, black wood-grain vinyl finish that is as unassuming as it is functional. They are larger in size, which allows for a bigger 6-1/2” woofer that promises more substantial bass response. On the flip side, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 has a more modern design with a sleek black body complemented by a blue-colored woofer that adds a touch of studio flair to the mix. They're compact and would sit comfortably on a crowded desk or tight spaces.

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

Sound Quality

Boasting its signature AMT tweeter (Air Motion Transformer), the Dayton Audio B652-AIR aims to deliver crisp, clear highs with a level of detail that is quite impressive for speakers at this price point. The larger woofers lend themselves to a warmer, fuller bass response, although they may lack a bit of the tightness and definition that more discerning ears might crave. In contrast, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 monitors, designed for near field listening, present a more balanced soundstage with a focus on flat frequency response for accuracy. They're particularly well-suited for audio editing and mixing, where detail across the frequency spectrum is critical.

However, the Eris E3.5, with its smaller 3.5" woofer, has its limitations in the lower end; the bass is present but won't shake the room. But the overall clarity throughout the mids and highs is commendable. The Eris E3.5's strength lies in its transparent and uncolored sound, which makes it an outstanding choice for those who want to hear music and audio content as it was intended in the production studio.

Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
Presonus Eris E3.5 arrow (at

Functionality and Connectivity

The Dayton Audio B652-AIR keeps it straightforward when it comes to connectivity, with regular speaker wire terminals being the only input option. This simplicity may appeal to traditionalists who prefer a basic setup without the fuss of additional features. The PreSonus Eris E3.5, on the other hand, offers a range of connections, including TRS and RCA inputs, making them more versatile for different audio setups. Furthermore, they feature front-panel controls for volume and a convenient aux input for mobile devices, along with a headphone jack for private listening, which makes them more adaptable for varied use cases.

In terms of functionality, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 edges out with more user-friendly features. For instance, the Acoustic Tuning controls allow users to tailor the monitors to their room's acoustics, which can dramatically improve the listening experience. The Dayton Audio B652-AIR, being passive speakers, require pairing with an amplifier or receiver, which adds to the overall cost and complexity, but also offers a degree of flexibility to match them with an amp that suits one's taste.

Value Proposition

Ultimately, choosing between the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the PreSonus Eris E3.5 comes down to what you value more in your audio experience. The Dayton offers a more traditional bookshelf speaker experience with a focus on a warm sound and a simple setup, which might be more appealing for casual listening in a living room or bedroom setting. The Eris E3.5, with its detailed and flat response, is targeted more towards audio professionals or enthusiasts who demand precision in their sound for critical listening or content creation.

Considering the price-to-performance ratio, both options present incredible value, but they cater to different segments of the audio market. The B652-AIR is a standout for those looking for an easy, plug-and-play option that improves on standard built-in speakers or soundbars. The Eris E3.5 appeals to those with a more critical ear who need control over their sound environment and appreciate the fine-tuning capabilities. Whichever path one chooses, both Dayton Audio and PreSonus have proven that high-quality sound doesn't have to come with a high price tag.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor

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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.