Dayton Audio T652-AIR (T652 Upgrade) Dual 6.5-inch Floorstanding Tower Speakers Review

Last updated on: Nov 11, 2018
Bottom Line: decently powered tower speakers for the price, but will likely require a better than average receiver to power them. Company’s sales copy re: the bass is a bit exaggerated, but the response floor is decent for a 2-way speaker. Decent aesthetics, but is relatively large and heavy. 3-way tower speakers might be a better choice – see the end for links to some such recommendations.
Dayton Audio T652-AIR Dual 6-1/2' 2-Way Tower Speaker Pair with AMT Tweeter
click to see zoomable image on Amazon (affiliate link)

Important Specs Overview

Speaker type: passive, dual 2-way, front ported
Continuous power handling: 90 W
Peak power handling: 150 W
Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 88 dB/W/m
Frequency response range: 45 – 20k Hz
Driver size: 6.5 in
Unit weight: 31 lbs
Cabinet dimensions: 7 x 9.5 x 30 in (width x depth x height)
Warranty: 5 years

Review And Discussion

The T652-AIR is an upgraded version of the single tower speaker that Dayton currently produces. It’s a budget-tier speaker that has some distinguishing features that are interesting.

90 W of continuous power handling even at a comparatively low 88 efficiency rating is quite decent for the price. These could get plenty loud for most rooms that aren’t exceptionally large. The continuous power rating is an unusually large percentage of the peak power handling, but we’ve noticed this with just about all of Dayton’s speakers, a company which we very much endorse by the way. This is likely possible because of the lower 6 ohm impedance over the more common 8 ohm rating. This means that the speakers both can take and need more power input to function properly, so a better than usual receiver for budget speakers will likely be necessary.

Their sales page says “the T652-AIR model incorporates dual woofers into a compact bass-reflex tower cabinet, for … incredibly deep bass.” We’d say this is a bit exaggerated. “Bass reflex” is just a fancy way of saying ported/vented, which is a relatively standard feature on most passive speakers. And while dual woofers will generally give marginally to significantly better overall sound, it wont really do anything to truly improve the bass because they’re both still tied to the same crossover (with the tweeter to the other) per a standard 2-way design. 2-way speakers will always have limited bass because they’re not really designed to reproduce the full range of sound, rather they do best when paired with an external full-sized subwoofer. The T652-AIR response floor is decent for a 2-way speaker, but not stellar. And so: it might sound fine on its own, but many would find the bass lacking without a subwoofer.

Further reading: can tower speakers be as good or better than bookshelf speakers with a sub?

If you’re looking for tower speakers that are truly designed to be standalone, then we recommend considering a 3-way tower speaker with actual subwoofers built in. There are several decent choices in the same price range – see the end links for some such recommendations.

The main and most apparent upgrade of this speaker is a new and improved AMT tweeter that uses a pleated design. The woofers are fairly standard 6.5 inch plastic polymer, a pretty common choice for budget speakers due to its general reliability and consistency while being inexpensive to manufacture.

The cabinet is a pretty boiler plate MDF with a vinyl finish all around – most Dayton home theater speakers have the same plain-jane look. Perfectly decent, better than crappy speakers that try too hard to look slick. The partial cover with the emblem looks pretty nice in an understated way. These speakers are comparatively large and heavy, yet another commonality amongst Dayton’s speakers. Dayton offers a 5 year warranty on all its passive speakers which is pretty top of the line, especially for less expensive speakers.

Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition

It’s hard to go wrong with Dayton speakers, and the T652-AIRs currently go for a solid price for what you get. But these really don’t offer a whole lot more than a smaller pair of 2-way bookshelf speakers would, and those are generally cheaper, money saved which could be spent on a subwoofer.

But if you really like the look of tower speakers and aren’t a stickler for booming bass, then by all means the T652-AIR are a fine choice.

You always have the option of adding a subwoofer though, and that’s generally very easy to do. Or as we said maybe consider a 3-way speaker instead with subwoofers built in. See the links below for some such recommendations.

Get the T652-Air tower speakers on Amazon

See our current picks for the overall best budget floorstanding tower speakers

See our current picks for the overall best budget home theater subwoofers