Advertiser Disclosure

Dayton Audio B652 vs. Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

Oct. 17, 2016
Product Comparisons, Shopping
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

For people who aren’t necessarily audiophiles, it might seem easy to select a speaker system based solely on its price tag. But even if you can’t tell the difference between a high and a low frequency, there are other factors to consider before you take home new speakers, such as size, aesthetics and ease of use.

If you’re looking for something that doesn’t occupy a ton of space, is easy on the eyes and is affordable, bookshelf speakers may be a good option. This type of speaker isn’t bulky and isn’t as complicated or as expensive as sound systems or home theaters.

We compared the self-powered Pioneer SP-BS22-LR with the Dayton Audio B652, a speaker that works best within a larger system. Read through to see if these models sound right for you.

The speakers: At a glance

 Dayton Audio B652Pioneer SP-BS22-LR
Price$56.99 (per pair) on Amazon$129.00 (per pair) on Amazon
Dimensions6.4 x 7.1 x 11.8 inches8.4 x 7.1 x 12.6 inches
Weight5 lbs, 8 oz each9 lbs, 2 oz each
Power40 watts80 watts
Speaker components1 tweeter, 1 woofer1 tweeter, 1 woofer
Buy on Amazon

The speakers: Up close and personal

Dayton Audio B652 Dayton Audio B652

NerdWallet takes you shopping: The Dayton Audio B652s are small bookshelf speakers, measuring about a foot tall and weighing 5 pounds apiece. But don’t let the small size of these speakers fool you: Users said high frequencies were presented with clarity and low frequencies were accurate and crisp.

Some reviews said the speakers could benefit by adding a subwoofer, but most were satisfied with the bass levels. The B652s work best for casual listening in small spaces such as home offices, basements and bedrooms.

Good fit for: For the price, you can’t beat the Dayton’s sound quality. These speakers are great for first-time buyers or those working within a budget. You will need to buy a separate amplifier to power the B652s; you can purchase the Dayton Audio DTA-1 for $35 or a mini amp from other brands, such as Lepai, for around the same price.

» MORE: Yamaha YAS-203 speaker review

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

NerdWallet takes you shopping: Most small bookshelf speakers suffer from a lack of bass, but despite its small stature, the Pioneer SP-BS22 can deliver deep, heavy tones. Users said that the speakers, priced under $130, deliver a warm, full sound that can replicate both high and low frequencies.

These speakers are self-powered, so they don’t need an amplifier if used on their own. But they can be connected to additional components — a receiver, a subwoofer, etc. — for enhanced sound quality or as part of a home theater system.

Good fit for: The Pioneer SP-BS22 speakers may cost nearly twice as much as the Dayton B652 monitors, but with the built-in amplifier and more detailed sound, they still qualify as a bargain buy. Another plus for the Pioneers is that they’re versatile: These are great as stand-alone speakers or as pieces within a bigger sound system. Thanks to the SP-BS22s’ sound reproduction, flexibility and price, this set can please casual audiophiles without pulling the plug on their expenses.

More from NerdWallet
Pioneer SP-SB23W Speaker Review: A Stellar Sound System for Under $400
Fluance Fi30 Review: Simple Speaker, Solid Performance
Follow These Tips to Ensure the Best Deal When You Shop Online

Nina Tabios is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected].