Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. Sony SSCS3

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers Sony SSCS3 3-Way Tower Speakers
$85 $460
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
36.30” × 9.00” × 10.25”
922mm × 229mm × 260mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 45-50,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the arena of budget-friendly audio, Dayton Audio's B652-AIR bookshelf speakers boast a compact form with their AMT tweeters delivering crisp highs, facing off against Sony's SSCS3 tower speakers, which command presence with a 3-way design for a broader soundstage. The B652-AIR shines in small spaces with intimate clarity, while the Sony towers fill larger rooms, their added bass driver and mid-range unit providing richer, fuller audio. The choice hinges on spatial acoustics and listener preference—airy precision from Dayton's bookshelf model, or the immersive, robust performance of Sony's floor-standing contender.

Speaker Comparison

When exploring the vast landscape of affordable audio, the journey leads us to two intriguing contenders: the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the Sony SSCS3. Both models boast a reputation for delivering sound that punches above their weight class, yet they approach their design philosophies from different angles. The Dayton Audio B652-AIR is a compact bookshelf speaker that promises a no-frills approach to sound, utilizing a 6-1/2” woofer paired with an AMT tweeter. On the other side, the Sony SSCS3 is a slender tower speaker, featuring a 3-way design, including a 5.12” woofer, and a unique tapered faceplate to optimize sound directivity and dispersion.

Design & Build Quality

Comparing the physical attributes of these speakers unveils their distinct intentions. The Dayton Audio B652-AIR is unassuming in its appearance, with a modest black-woodgrain vinyl finish that blends into most environments. The build quality is solid for the price, though certainly utilitarian in its aesthetic. Meanwhile, the Sony SSCS3 stands tall with its elegant, high-resolution audio design. Sony has implemented a meticulous attention to detail, from the rich black finish to the sturdy construction that exudes a more premium feel, making it a statement piece in any listening space.

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

Sound Characteristics

When it comes to sound, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR offers an intriguing audio experience, thanks to its Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeter, which delivers clear and detailed highs. The overall sound profile is balanced, with a lean towards brightness, which shines in acoustic and vocal-heavy tracks. On the flip side, the Sony SSCS3's 3-way configuration, including a dedicated super tweeter, extends the high-frequency response, creating a spacious and airy soundstage. The midrange is well-defined, providing textured vocals, while the bass, though not earth-shattering, is more pronounced than the Dayton owing to the larger cabinet and dedicated woofer.

Performance & Efficiency

Efficiency is another critical aspect to consider. The Dayton Audio B652-AIRs are moderately efficient, pairing well with a variety of amplifiers and AV receivers without demanding excessive power. However, they may not reach the same volume levels as some of their competitors. Conversely, the Sony SSCS3s are designed to make the most out of every watt, delivering a higher sensitivity and an ability to fill larger rooms with ease. This makes the Sony towers more suitable for those looking to achieve concert-like levels in their own living room.

Sony SSCS3 3-Way Tower Speakers
Sony SSCS3 arrow (at

When evaluating stereo imaging and soundstage, the Dayton B652-AIR's compact nature and AMT tweeters carve out a surprisingly precise and focused soundstage, ideal for nearfield listening setups. Meanwhile, the Sony SSCS3, with its taller profile and 3-way design, casts a wider net, creating a more immersive experience in medium to large rooms. The Sony's ability to layer sound allows listeners to pinpoint instruments within an orchestral piece with relative ease, a feature that is less pronounced in the Dayton speakers.

Regarding compatibility and versatility, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR's small footprint allows them to integrate seamlessly into various settings – from desktop systems to smaller living spaces. They can be easily driven by most entry-level receivers, making them an attractive option for those just starting their audiophile journey. The Sony SSCS3, with its demanding physical presence, is more suited for dedicated listening rooms or as part of a more complex home theater setup, requiring some planning regarding placement and room acoustics to truly shine.

In conclusion, both the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the Sony SSCS3 offer unique advantages to the entry-level audiophile. The Daytons excel in intimate listening environments and boast high clarity, while the Sonys offer a full-bodied sound suitable for larger spaces and diverse content. Choosing between the two ultimately comes down to individual preferences in sound signature, aesthetic, and the specifics of the listening environment. Regardless of the choice, both speakers stand as testaments to the attainable quality in the budget-friendly audio gear market, ensuring that great sound can be enjoyed by enthusiasts on any budget.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Sony SSCS3 3-Way Tower Speakers
Sony SSCS3 3-Way Tower 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.