F&D have been in the market for quite some time now. We’ve tested many multimedia and portable speakers by them and most of them offer good bang for your buck. Some models, like the A111U sound much better than more expensive models by leading brands in the entry-level segment.
Features and Design
The F680 is F&D’s latest offering in the below Rs. 5,000 price band. It’s a 2.1 stereo multimedia speaker system aimed at entertainment and gaming buffs who want a good set of speakers without spending much. The satellites of the F680 closely resemble those of Creative Gigaworks T3 or Bose Companion 3. The trapezoidal plastic shell of each satellite houses a single 2-inch driver with a power rating of 17.5 Watt RMS. The driver is protected by a metal mesh bearing which adds to the overall aesthetic appeal. The height of the satellite’s stand is 70 mm and the speakers are angled slightly upwards to direct the sound to the listener’s ears. A piece of rubber is glued to the base of the stand to prevent the satellites from slipping too easily. For the sake of convenience, holes for wall-mounting satellites have been provided behind the satellites, but they have to be wall-mounted with stands as they are not detachable.
Squared off look
The sub-woofer isn’t too large and it packs a single 5-inch driver for delivering low frequencies. The power output of the subwoofer is 35 Watt RMS, and the total power output of this 2.1 speaker system is 70 Watt RMS. The subwoofer’s driver is front-firing and it sits behind a metal mesh. The cabinet is wooden and ported on the right side for air to move out.
Setting up the speakers is an easy task and you need not refer to the user manual. You first have to hook up the satellites to the left and right outputs behind the subwoofer. Next, you have to connect one end of the control pod with a 3.5 mm jack to the source and the other end to the input jacks on the subwoofer’s I/O panel. You’re done! Hook up the system to the mains and power it on using the switch on the I/O panel.
Knobs for master volume and bass have been provided behind the subwoofer which isn’t an appropriate location should the user need to tweak anything. Thankfully there’s a control pod which has a large volume control dial and jacks for line-in and headphones.
The cable length of the satellites and the control pod is around 1.3 meters. This is sufficient to have the subwoofer placed on the floor and the satellites on either sides of the monitor without straining the cables.
It’s quite challenging for a single driver to deliver both mid-range and high frequencies accurately. In this case the highs aren’t too pronounced and the vocals sound a bit muddled. But you can figure this out only if you listen very carefully. The bass isn’t very tight, but it’s quite warm. Keeping these issues in mind, we found the speakers good for Bollywood, rock, and pop genres of music. House, techno, jazz and classical don’t sound quite impressive, but acceptable for a budget speaker system. The overall sound quality is good, but the listening area for optimal sound quality is confined to a small area. You move around six feet away and the speakers won’t sound as good as they do when you’re sitting close.
Simple connections with no frills
The F&D F680 is quite different from the older models. The design is fresh with a control pod option, the sound quality is decent and it’s not very expensive at Rs. 4,990 (MRP). We feel it would have been better value for money had it featured an FM radio and integrated MP3 player with support for USB flash drives and memory cards as sources. Nevertheless as it is, it’s a decent option for the price.
Updated 21 May, 2013, 8:08 pm IST
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