Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. Sony SSCS5 3-Way Speakers

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers Sony SSCS5 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers
$85 $200
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
13.25” × 7.13” × 8.75”
337mm × 181mm × 222mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 53-50,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 4.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 7.2

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of affordable hi-fi, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and Sony SSCS5 bookshelf speakers offer impressive performance for their price. The B652-AIR, with its AMT tweeter, delivers crisp, clear highs and decent imaging, punching above its weight class. The build quality is modest, but the sound-per-dollar ratio is exceptional. Meanwhile, the SSCS5 steps up with a 3-way design, providing richer, more nuanced mids and a broader frequency response. Its construction feels more robust, with a nod to Sony's reputable design. For the budget-conscious audiophile, both offer significant aural delight, but the Sony edges ahead with its fuller soundstage and dynamic range.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to setting up a compact yet sonically rewarding audio system, bookshelf speakers are the go-to solution for many audiophiles – they're capable of delivering rich sound without consuming a lot of space. In the realm of affordable high-performance bookshelf speakers, two models often spark interest among audio enthusiasts: the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the Sony SSCS5. While both have their merits, their design philosophies and sound characteristics cater to different listener preferences.

Design and Build Quality

The Dayton Audio B652-AIR boasts a simplistic, no-frills design that focuses squarely on function over form. With its unassuming black vinyl finish, these speakers blend into the background of most rooms, allowing the sound to take center stage. On the other hand, the Sony SSCS5 showcases a bit more flair with its wood finish and visually striking grilles, which might appeal to those who consider the aesthetic aspect of their sound system as important as its acoustic performance.

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

Sound Signature and Performance

At the heart of the Dayton B652-AIR is the Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeter, a feature that's not commonly found in speakers at this price point. The AMT tweeter is renowned for its crisp detail and quick transient response, giving these speakers a distinctive edge in reproducing the fine details of vocals and high-frequency instruments. Conversely, the Sony SSCS5 uses a 3-way design with a dedicated woofer, tweeter, and super tweeter, aiming to cover a wide frequency range and deliver an even, balanced sound that punches well above its weight.

The bass response of the Dayton B652-AIR is adequate but may not satisfy those looking for room-shaking lows. The speakers handle mids and highs with more finesse, making them well-suited for genres that don't rely heavily on deep bass. Meanwhile, the Sony SSCS5 manages to surprise with its low-end response, thanks to its 5.25-inch woofer and smartly engineered port. It's not going to replace a dedicated subwoofer, but it certainly provides a fuller sound that can handle a diverse range of musical genres more robustly.

Imaging and Soundstage

Imaging is another forte for the Dayton B652-AIR. The AMT tweeter provides a precise and focused soundstage, allowing listeners to easily place instruments within an airy and open sound field. This makes them particularly delightful for live recordings or classical music where the placement of instruments is key. The Sony SSCS5, with its 3-way design, also provides a commendable soundstage, though it might not have the same pinpoint imaging accuracy. However, it compensates with a sense of depth and layering that brings an immersive experience to movie watching or playing expansive, atmospheric tracks.

Ultimately, the decision between the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the Sony SSCS5 may come down to personal taste and the specific requirements of the listener's audio setup. The B652-AIR shines with detailed highs and a clear midrange, ideal for listeners who prioritize clarity and detail in their music. The Sony SSCS5, being the more versatile of the two, offers a balanced sound that can adapt to a wider variety of content, making it a solid choice for general use, from music listening to home theater applications.

In conclusion, both the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the Sony SSCS5 bookshelf speakers offer remarkable value for the price, each with a unique set of strengths. The B652-AIR's AMT tweeter introduces audiophiles to high-fidelity sound on a budget, while the SSCS5's 3-way design delivers a more rounded sonic experience. As is often the case in the world of audio, the best speaker is not the one that is objectively superior, but the one that resonates most with the individual's auditory preferences and the context in which they'll be used.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Sony SSCS5 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers
Sony SSCS5 3-Way 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.