I actually just did the comparison over the last few days.c
Dayton B652 VS Monoprice 8250 (3 inches away from the wall)
Laptop with Behringer UCA202 USB DAC
Speakers are powered by a Sony STR-DH130 (which at $75 refurbished on Newegg has worked out great)
No Sub is being used during any testing.
The Heavy – Short Change hero
Monoprice are much louder in the lower mid-range, not muddy but hallow sounding. Almost like its been ported to give a false idea of not needing a sub. All the bass notes seem to sound the same. Not a good start to the listening tests. Gunrzerking the Monoprices almost seems like a good idea.
Blue Man Group - PVC IV
The Monoprice actually sounded very good during the first 2 minutes of the song when its just the PVC pipes being played. Very similar to the Dayton in most respects. Again there is an increase in volume, probably from being slightly more efficient and ported. Makes me think that the driver itself isn't total garbage, but that box size and random porting isn't helping anything As the song gets musically more complicated as does the speakers character start to lessen. The mid-range one the Monoprice really seemed to drown out much of the higher registers of the electric guitar and remained hallow sounding.
Collective Soul – Precious Declaration
Again the Monoprice doesn't sound bad during the intro of the song, louder and noticeably different. I felt like there was better stereo separation on the daytons. After some repeated listening it sounded like the Monoprice didn't handle the heavy distortion on the guitar all the way.
Metallica - S&M Ecstasy of Gold
First thing I noticed is the horns in the intro sounded very similar. When trying to focus in on the horn, to my ears they were almost identical. Still the preserved increased volume from mid-range were still very clearly there. This maybe a song where the random port isn't too terrible, and gives the intro a rather pleasant sound. Particularly form the 2:00 to the end of the track. Strangely I may have preferred to Monoprice on this track. I think this is due the nature of the track itself and due to the Monoprice seeming to little fuller louder low end possibly because its ported.
Metallica S&M – Fuel
Immediately the Monoprices hollow and loud mid-range becomes apparent. James Hetfields lyrics are WAY in front of the rest of the music and in general sounds confused. Almost every other instrument seems to sit way behind the overall shallow sounding peak in the mid-range. Some noticeable issues with stereo separation.
Anberlin – Feel Good Drag Remix
Again notice some remarkable similarities to the high hat. Possibly the tweeters in each speaker are rather similar. Monoprice is again perceptively louder, probably to the porting. Another song that the Monoprices handled pretty well for the most part.
Anberlin – Feel Good Drag original
Vocals again stomp on on the rest of the music on the Monoprices. The generic Drop D electric is also way to pronounced through the Monoprice. I'm beginning to notice that I'm having a hard time getting sense for any specific tweeter distortion. I'm not sure, if its because of the driver or because the mid-range is so much louder that it is just over powering it. Though I am also playing at pretty moderate volumes.
Huey Lewis and the News – Power of love
Monoprice are holding their own again. Vocals are a little forward but not terribly so. Still a little on the hollow sounding side of things and not as crisp or controlled sounding as the Daytons, but still enjoyable despite the clear differences.. Attributing this to another not overly complicated song where a much of the music benefiting from the random porting.
Andrea Bocelli – The Power of love
Monoprice sound different but not necessarily better or worse than the Dayton.. Primarily a vocal track with some light synth pop backing. Probably not so much as playing to the strengths of the Monoprice but avoiding its weaknesses. The Monoprices are significantly louder and More full sounding as a result form the porting and midrange peak. I couldn’t detect any significant changes in the tonal quality of Bocelli's voice.
Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Daytons sound pretty good. A little lacking in the low end but nothing a sub wont cure. Monoprices immediately sound hallow, almost like listening though a tunnel. The first time the Monoprices very clearly sounded bad.
Justin Bieber – Boyfriend
I know I know I know, shut up. The lower bass sounded clean a tight on the Daytons, not distracting or insufficient. The Monoprice however just dogged it on the bass. Even ported, it didn't seem as low as the Daytons could go. Louder maybe, hollow and sloppy for sure. As far as the a what the Canadian douche bag actually sounds like, vocals were louder and are again well in front of the higher resisters, with the sloppy bass right behind that. Tonally it wasn't too terribly different than Daytons, it sounded like Bieber for better or worse.
Muse – Knights of Cydonia
At this point in time my ears and brain are starting to get fatigued with trying to listen critically and not for fun and enjoyment. Monoprices seem to be really inflating some of the echo in the track. During the vocal break down @ 3:20 the Monoprices seem to handle it just fine and equally enjoyable to the Daytons. I feel like I'm hearing a trend, that pure male vocals seem to sound ok. But once the music become full or complicated the vocals sit way to in font and on top of them.
Overall the Daytons are still very much the winner. They don't seem to possess the artificially strong mid-range, they seem to image slightly better, stereo separation is better. The Monoprices do seem to be louder, probably do to the porting and some level of increased efficiency. I didn't do any high volume listening, but I believe the Daytons will get louder and sound better, the bump in the mid-range the Monoprices have I think will only get more noticeable as the volume goes up. Some song the Monoprice's handled very well, I can only attribute that to accident. I would like to listen to some EDM and Trance to get a comparison, I think that maybe some of the short comings might be less noticeable in different genres of music.
If you really needed a cheap garage speaker the Monoprices wouldn't be bad, they will probably be louder and with vocals seeming to be a up font, sometimes boarderlining on overwhelming maybe they will cut through your band-saw and angle grinder better than others. But if you are making a budget 2.1 system the Daytons win hands down.
I'd also be curious to see what would happen if you switched the Monoprice tweeter into the Dayton. Form the little I could hear out of it, when not drowned out by the mid-range it seemed to be as good as the Daytons. Sealing up that port or making cheap skate frankinspeaker might be fun.