Dayton Audio B452 review: Dayton Audio B452 speakers pack a punch at a bargain price

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The Good Dayton Audio's diminutive B452 speaker sports a 4.5-inch woofer and even a 0.6-inch polycarbonate dome tweeter. Build quality standards are decent, there's not a lot of plastic, and the medium-density fiberboard cabinet and cloth grille are neatly finished.

The Bad Spring-clip wire connectors don't provide a secure grip on the cables.

The Bottom Line While Dayton Audio's entry-level B452 bookshelf speaker's sound won't seduce too many audiophiles, it's remarkably satisfying for a speaker in its ultrabargain price class.

7.5 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 6
  • Sound 7
  • Value 9

We first reviewed the Dayton Audio B652 stereo speakers back in 2010, and were thrilled to note the bookshelf speakers' sound went toe to toe with speakers that sold for three or four times its rock bottom $40 (for the pair) price. Now, joining the Dayton line we have the smaller B452, so we were eager to compare the two speakers side by side.

At about $30 USD (plus $8 shipping), this is about as cheap as you'll ever see a set of decent bookshelf speakers. They're not available in the UK (though the price would translate to around £20), and there is a not-so-subtle "Antipodean tax" for Australian consumers, who can find them closer to AU$86.

Design and features

Sarah Tew/CNET

While we love the $40 Dayton Audio B652 , if you find it to be too big, this smaller and cheaper B452 is a great alternative. Each B452 measures 9.5 inches by 5.5 inches by 5.7 inches (24 cm by 14 cm by 15 cm), while the larger B652 is 11.8 x 7.1 x 6.6 inches.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The B452 is a sealed-box design, so it doesn't have a rear bass port. That frees up placement possibilities compared with ported speakers. You can put the B452s right up against a wall if need be, but we'd still recommend leaving at least a few inches of clearance between the wall and speakers for best sound. Impedance is rated at 8 ohms.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It's worth noting that the B452 has a 4.5-inch woofer and a 0.6-inch polycarbonate dome tweeter; we regularly test sound bars and bases that sell for 10 times more than these speakers that make do without any tweeters! Meanwhile, you get a nice cosmetic touch, too: The B452's black cloth grille is removable.