Dayton Audio T652-AIR vs. Klipsch Reference R-51M

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
$250 $350
Dimensions (H × W × D)
30.00” × 7.10” × 9.50”
762mm × 180mm × 241mm
13.00” × 7.00” × 8.56”
330mm × 178mm × 217mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
45-20,000 Hz 62-21,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the entry-level speaker arena, Dayton Audio's T652-AIR tower speakers bring affordability with a punch, featuring their signature AMT tweeter for detailed highs. Contrastingly, the Klipsch Reference R-51M bookshelf monitors blend a smaller footprint with dynamic sound, courtesy of their proprietary Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter. The T652-AIRs impress with a fuller bottom end and a physical presence that belies their price, while the R-51Ms offer a lively, detailed performance with a broad soundstage. Preference boils down to space, budget, and whether you prioritize the authoritative stature of floorstanders or the placement flexibility of bookshelves.

Speaker Comparison

When you're in the market for new speakers, the journey can be as thrilling as it is daunting. Among the plethora of options, two stand out for those on a budget, yet unwilling to compromise on quality: the Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers and the Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers. Each brings its own flavor to the table, appealing to different facets of the audiophile's palette.

Design and Build

The Dayton Audio T652-AIR stands tall with a sleek, unassuming design that can blend seamlessly into any room decor. As tower speakers, they command more presence simply by their size, standing at about 30 inches in height. Their dual 6.5-inch woofers promise robust bass response and physical impact. On the other hand, the Klipsch R-51M sports a more compact and traditional bookshelf design, which is ideal for smaller spaces. The iconic Klipsch copper-colored drivers and Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter give it a distinctive look that is instantly recognizable among enthusiasts.

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
Dayton Audio T652-AIR arrow (at

Sound Quality

The key difference between these two contenders lies in their sound signature. The T652-AIR's Air Motion Transformer tweeter offers a crisp, detailed high-end that can reveal the nuances in a recording without being overly sharp. The dual woofers work in harmony to deliver a surprisingly spacious soundstage that belies their affordable price point. In contrast, the Klipsch R-51M, with its horn-loaded tweeter, offers a lively and dynamic presentation. It's a speaker that plays with an energy and enthusiasm that can breathe life into rock, pop, and other rhythmically driven music. The bass reflex design also ensures that the low end is tight and punches well above its weight class.

Power Handling and Efficiency

Efficiency is another aspect that sets these speakers apart. The Klipsch R-51M has a sensitivity rating of 93 dB, making it highly efficient and easily driven by even lower-powered amplifiers or receivers. This characteristic can be a significant advantage if you're not looking to invest in high-output equipment. In contrast, the Dayton Audio T652-AIR has a modest sensitivity rating of 87 dB, requiring a bit more power to perform at its best. However, when given the appropriate power, it can fill a room with ease, creating an immersive listening experience.

Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-51M arrow (at

The Dayton Audio T652-AIR is a fantastic value proposition for someone seeking the full-bodied experience of floor-standing speakers without breaking the bank. Whether you're enjoying movies or listening to music, they offer a balanced performance that can satisfy many listeners. Conversely, the Klipsch R-51M shines in its ability to engage the listener with its forward sound profile. It's a speaker that demands attention and rarely fails to deliver a toe-tapping experience.


Ultimately, choosing between the Dayton Audio T652-AIR and the Klipsch Reference R-51M comes down to personal preference and listening habits. If you prefer a more direct and lively sound and have space constraints, the Klipsch might be the way to go. But if you want the physical presence and soundstage that only floorstanders can provide, and you have a bit more space to fill, the Dayton Audio T652-AIR could be the perfect match. Both offer exceptional value and are capable of delivering a quality audio experience that belies their price tags.

Regardless of which you choose, both the Dayton Audio T652-AIR and the Klipsch R-51M stand as testaments to the fact that great sound doesn't have to come with a high-end price tag. They underscore the idea that with careful engineering and design, affordable speakers can still create an engaging and enjoyable listening experience for audiophiles and casual listeners alike.

Check Current Prices:

Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
Dayton Audio T652-AIR Tower Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-51M 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.