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Customer Review

68 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Fine Sounding Speakers - Amazing at their Price, December 23, 2009
This review is from: Dayton Audio B652 6-1/2-Inch 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker Pair (Electronics)
I received these Dayton B652 6-1/2" 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker Pair speakers recently and I have played them for many hours. The amplifier I used mostly is the Dayton DTA-1 Class T Digital Amplifier 15 WPC which works beautifully with them; this versatile and excellent amplifier can be powered by AC or by batteries. (I can also highly recommend the Dayton Audio DTA-100a Class-T Digital Amplifier 50 WPC, which, though somewhat more expensive, is more powerful - no battery operation though.)

I am currently using this Stanton S.300 Tabletop CD Player with MP3 Compatibility as my source and I have played a large number of classical CDs.

The sound is quite amazing for such inexpensive speakers. It would be amazing if the cost were four times their low price. No kidding!

They do seem to work best in a near-field arrangement but they also easily fill up my bedroom with fine sound. I have them placed on these Dayton SSMB24 24" Speaker Stand Pair Square Steel Base, about six feet apart, and four feet from the rear wall (and more than that from the side walls).

The bass is not going to "knock your socks off" - but it is certainly not lacking either. I am pretty picky when it comes to my audio equipment and, believe me, this entire system, which cost less than $235.00 (or $289.00) all told, is amazing in quality and value.

It's quite a sound system!

If you want absolute top quality equipment and sound, you must be willing to pay commensurate prices. But this small system, which could not function nearly as well without these speakers and still cost so little, is all most people need for normal-sized rooms. In my opinion, the sound quality from these speakers is very smooth and very pleasant. Listening for several hours induced no "listener fatigue" whatsoever.

These speakers, along with the other components I mentioned, would also be an ideal choice for a child's first sound system. He/she will appreciate the sound quality and, in fact, the fortunate child who is given a pair of these speakers will never "outgrow" them. Even if the child obtains "better" speakers some year down the road, that child will ALWAYS find a place for these.

At their current price, I give them my highest recommendation - and I also recommend the other components I mention; this is an excellent small sound system, one of which anyone would be proud.

(I should mention that I now own FOUR (4) sets of these speakers, all bought at different times, and all purchased directly from Parts Express; all four perform equally well with absolutely no sonic differences.)


Update: December 20, 2012

This speaker has been reviewed in the January 2013 issue of STEREOPHILE. It is the least costly speaker they have ever reviewed and is now one of their "recommended" components. The actual review of these Dayton B652 speakers, by Stephen Mejias, and the technical measurements, by John Atkinson, show just how good it is (and can be found online merely by 'Googling' < Dayton Audio B652 Stereophile >). I think that both reviewers were very surprised. They shouldn't have been - all they had to do was to read most of the reviews here. (My review was written three years before theirs!)

I suggest that anyone interested order a pair and carefully listen to them; make sure that you use a reasonably good and clean-sounding (low-distortion) amplifier (of about 15 - 30 W/channel).

Remember - if you don't like what you hear, you can always return them (and at no charge to you if you buy through Amazon).

But I'll bet you won't return them!

Thank you very much for reading this and for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 24, 2011 11:17:36 PM PDT
AK says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 7:56:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2011 8:17:48 AM PDT
>>AK Says:
Absurd, B652's have no bass and only a capacitor for a crossover. Sony speakers in the same price range destroy these things.<<

Dear AK,

If you actually own a pair of these speakers, you are certainly entitled to your opinion which would be as valid as mine.

I do not think, however, that my opinion is absurd. I have been listening to these speakers for many months now and I find that most of the time, when listening to classical music, the bass response is fine.

Will it 'knock your socks off'? Certainly not -- but what speaker of approximately the same physical size will? For its intended use, I think that this speaker is one of the best around considering its "absurdly" low price (the only thing about it that IS absurd, again in my opinion).

Thank you for writing to me.


In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2011 3:42:14 PM PDT
Hey already got your 15 minutes when you wrote your own review. We get don't like them. Fine. But no need to cut down other peoples' reviews. That isn't helpful in the slightest.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2011 3:07:08 AM PDT
AK says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Oct 25, 2011 8:29:15 AM PDT
To Anyone Interested:

I stand by my review. If you were to buy a pair of these Dayton B652 6-1/2" 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker Pair from Amazon (or Parts Express) and if you did not like them, or if they were defective in some way, you could return them at no cost to you for exchange or refund.

I use mine regularly, I have had no problems with them, and, as part of the system I describe in my review, they continue to sound very fine indeed. And, in my opinion, the price is amazing. I do not think that you could fabricate a speaker pair of this quality (including sound quality) from scratch for this small amount of money.

I continue to give them my highest recommendation.

Lawrence H. Bulk

Posted on Dec 25, 2012 9:31:23 AM PST
Strat says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 8:03:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2012 10:52:57 AM PST
Dear Strat,

Did you not notice the date of my review? I wrote it THREE YEARS AGO, long before Stephen Mejias reviewed this speaker (and John Atkinson tested it with instruments and printed the results) in the January 2013 issue of STEREOPHILE. I merely added this information to let people know that I (and the other reviewers who like the speaker) have been (for want of a better term) vindicated by a "professional" reviewer.

As I hope you have also observed, there are currently 113 Amazon reviews of this speaker; only 17 of them are three stars or less. As you can also see, most of the reviews were written long before STEREOPHILE got around to reviewing them so it should be obvious that none of these earlier reviewers were influenced in any way by the magazine.

Are they "great" speakers? Of course not. They are very good low-priced speakers. I would go even further: they are better than any other small inexpensive speakers I have personally heard until you get into the $300.00/pair range. I should let you know that I own quite a few speaker systems (they do tend to accumulate) and my "main" speakers are Klipschorns; I know what "great sound" is like (I listen almost exclusively to classical music recordings on CD, SACD, and LP). My point (and I assume Stephen Mejias's) is that, FOR THE MONEY, this speaker system is fantastic. I have heard quite a few low-cost speakers and, as I stated, I have never heard anything quite like these anywhere near their price. They are very smooth and, at least for me, they induce no "listener-fatigue" whatsoever, no matter for how long I listen.

Is my hearing still good? Well, according to the audiologist who tested it within the last several years, the answer is yes.

Do you own a pair of these Dayton Audio B652 speakers?

Did you perhaps buy a pair and return them?

Have you ever even heard them?

If so, your "tinny to say the least" comment is valid, reflecting your own honest opinion. But if not, then I'm afraid that your comment is not worth very much. As you do not say that having tried them you do not like them, I think it's safe to assume that you have NOT heard them. Please correct me if I am wrong - and please let me know the ancillary equipment you use with them (as I did in my review).

This reply ought to tell you that I DO have a "mind and ears of [my] own."


"Strat says:

"If Stereophile would've given these "GREAT" (good lord) speakers a bad review you would see nothing but 1 and 2 star reviews on here. They're tinny to say the least and if someone can't hear that their hearing is shot, because the first thing you lose as you get older is the ability to hear the high frequencies. If Stereophile told people that water tastes better when you drink it out of the toilet, there would be a lot of people doing just that. It's no different than this Andrew Jones craze since Stereophile reviewed the Pioneer bookshelf speakers. Nobody even knew who he was until that review. Now all of a sudden he has thousands of fans and long lost relatives that absolutely love everything he has ever done or will do. Get a mind and ears of your own."

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 10:57:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 2, 2013 7:47:30 AM PST
In my reply to Strat (above) I should have indicated that I also listen extensively to classical recordings in the FLAC format via my computers. Though I do have a few MP3s (320 kbps VBR), the vast
majority of my computer music files are FLAC. While I listen to them primarily via my Klipschorns, I also often listen (especially when travelling) via these Dayton Audio B652s.

Certainly there is a difference in sound quality but I can honestly say there is no difference in my enjoyment of the music.


Posted on Mar 2, 2013 6:58:29 AM PST
Acoustic suspension speakers (non-ported) work best on a shelf against a back wall. The bass will really be enhanced. This has been known for a long time, but is lost on the younger generation. before ported speakers there was only suspended speakers.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2013 4:52:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2013 4:58:01 AM PDT
Backpacker says:
Replying to WRC - This is a quote from an experienced sound engineer, please Google Zaph Audio, he has done a review on these; "Can people please stop mounting rectangular speakers on the wall. This system comes with a wall hanging hook on the back. Don't use it if you care at all about sound quality. As is always typical when placing a rectangular speaker on a wall, the lower mids disappear and the upper mids get peaky. Where this happens depends on the depth of the enclosure. I tried to listen to this system mounted on a wall and it was horribly colored. The real problem is that the primary reflection is early and dominates the room response. With typical mounting on a stand, this is not nearly as much of a problem."

I own these and done the mods that Zaph has mentioned and the difference is noticeable, and worth the money. I will be upgrading the tweeters soon.
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