Dayton Audio B652-AIR vs. Wharfedale Denton 85th

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
$85 $1000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.81” × 7.06” × 6.44”
300mm × 179mm × 164mm
13.44” × 9.44” × 11.94”
341mm × 240mm × 303mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
70-20,000 Hz 45-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.5 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.6 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of budget-friendly versus heritage-rich speakers, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR presents an unbeatable value with its AMT tweeter producing crisp highs, while the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary edition oozes classic charm, offering a warm, lush sound signature from its woven Kevlar drivers. Dayton packs a punch for cost-conscious enthusiasts, but Denton's refined construction and nuanced acoustic performance cater to audiophiles seeking a touch of nostalgia. Choosing between them hinges on balancing price against acoustic pedigree and aesthetic preference.

Speaker Comparison

Bookshelf speakers are an intriguing segment of the hi-fi world, offering a tantalizing balance of convenience, aesthetics, and performance. Within this realm, two notable contenders are the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary speakers. Both have garnered attention for their unique value propositions in their respective price brackets. The B652-AIR, known for its affordability, and the Denton 85th, praised for its blend of retro charm and modern acoustics, create a riveting comparison for audiophiles on a quest for that perfect sound.

Design and Build Quality

The Dayton Audio B652-AIR presents a straightforward, no-nonsense build with a focus on functionality. Its unassuming black-ash vinyl finish is more about utility than high design. In contrast, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary speakers exude a vintage character with a beautiful wood-veneer finish, celebrating the long-standing British heritage of the brand. The Denton's not only pay homage to Wharfedale's past through their classic look but also boast superior build quality with their weighty and solid construction.

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

Sound Signature and Performance

When it comes to sound, the B652-AIR houses a 6-1/2” woofer paired with an AMT tweeter (Air Motion Transformer), which creates a surprisingly clean and detailed high-frequency response considering its price point. The bass is present but lacks the depth and control found in more premium models. On the other side of the spectrum, the Denton 85th Anniversary speakers are equipped with a 6.5-inch woven Kevlar cone woofer and a soft dome tweeter that together deliver a warm, rich, and nuanced sound signature. Wharfedale's attention to crossover design ensures that the Denton's provide an exceptionally well-judged balance, making them a delight for long listening sessions.

Undoubtedly, the Dayton B652-AIR speakers are impressive in their ability to deliver clarity, especially in the mids and highs. They are particularly suited for those dipping their toes into the audiophile world, or as secondary speakers in a larger setup. On the other hand, the Denton 85th Anniversary speakers offer an inviting soundstage with a fuller, more rounded musical experience. The bass is tight and authoritative without overshadowing the mids, which are lush and the highs, which are crisp but never harsh. This makes them well-suited to a wide range of music genres, from classical to rock, jazz to electronic.

Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th arrow (at

Value and Versatility

Considering value, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR speakers punch above their weight class. They're an excellent way for budget-conscious consumers to get a taste of high-fidelity sound without breaking the bank. In contrast, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary speakers, while more expensive, represent a significant step up in quality and an investment in aural pleasure. They offer a compelling balance of performance, build, and heritage that justifies their higher price tag.

The B652-AIR, with their unpretentious design, are versatile enough to fit into most room sizes and systems without drawing too much attention. They're an ideal match for someone looking for a no-frills speaker that focuses solely on sound. The Denton 85th, meanwhile, demands a bit more space to breathe and perform optimally. Their classic styling makes them a statement piece in any room, appealing to those who value aesthetics as much as acoustics.

In the final analysis, the Dayton Audio B652-AIR and the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary bookshelf speakers cater to different audiences. The B652-AIR is for the cost-conscious consumer who wants a solid performer, whereas the Denton 85th caters to the discerning audiophile seeking a blend of tradition, quality, and a richer, more engaging listening experience. In the vibrant world of audiophile gear, both sets of speakers stand out for their respective strengths, reaffirming that in the end, the right choice depends on personal preference, budget, and the unique relationship each listener has with their music.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Dayton Audio B652-AIR 6-1/2” Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary 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.