Every desktop PC needs a good set of speakers. Of course, the market is saturated with several options from all the major speaker brands, and there are very few new or unique products in the market. However, there are some companies that offer better value products. One such company is F&D, which has slowly moved up the charts with better offerings. We're looking at the F&D W330 speakers with built-in Bluetooth capability, which of course means the ability to stream music from wireless devices such as your tablet or phone, while the speakers are still plugged in to your PC or other wired source.
Design and build quality
The 2.1 speakers have a decent look to them. The satellites are cubes that rest on one corner and the woofer is no different from some of the models we’ve seen in the past. It’s made of wood, is solid and is shaped like a cube. There’s no fancy design or anything of that sort on it. The side of the woofer has a large dial for the volume and there are two smaller dials for bass and treble and buttons for source selection and Bluetooth pairing on the back. The satellites are lighter and made of plastic. They’re connected to the woofer using RCA cables, which are somewhat flimsy in quality.
Simple, but a rather classy design for the satellites
The base of the satellites have a slightly different material which keeps them from sliding around on a table. The quality of the main volume dial on the woofer isn’t too great. Overall, the entire speaker setup looks decent and won’t look out of place in the living room or in front of your PC.
The key feature of this F&W W330 speakers is the ability to play audio streams using Bluetooth. This enables users to use the same speaker set to play music directly from a phone, a tablet or a notebook without the need to unplug any cables.
Wall mountable satellites
There’s a single source button at the rear, which glows red if you’re using cables to connect to the speakers. If you press it, it’ll glow blue, which denotes Bluetooth. It took us no more than a few seconds to get the speakers hooked up to an Android phone.
We tested the speakers with a number of sources. We connected them to a PC using standard analogue connections, then using Bluetooth. We also tried it on Android phone. In all cases, installation and setup was really simple.
Controls for the Bluetooth feature, at the back of the woofer
There are no issues with a delay in changing volume. For some reason, we noticed a hiss with the speakers connected to a notebook via Bluetooth. The notebook wasn’t connected to a power line, so there wasn’t any chance of external disturbance.
As far as audio quality goes, there was very little to differentiate between audio played over Bluetooth and analogue sources.The tone from the F&D W330 is pretty natural overall. The bass lacks power, so it doesn’t completely fill a large room with sound. The speakers would sound good in smaller rooms. The woofer lacks boom but has a pretty hard beat sound to it.
The large volume control dial on the W330's woofer
The satellites are pretty detailed and sound good. The mids aren’t very rich but they’re good for most genres of music.
Verdict and Price in India
Priced at Rs. 5,990, the F&D W330BT is a bit expensive for just another set of speakers. The performance doesn’t warrant the price, but keeping in mind the convenience of playing music using Bluetooth from your phone or notebook, it makes things a little different. You're likely to find the product in the market for roughly Rs. 3,990, which makes it a more affordable option compared to the traditional Bluetooth speakers in the market.
A tad expensive, but good performance for its price
They’re roughly in the same price range as the other smaller, more stylish speakers around. While those are made for portable use, the F&D W330BT are designed for home use in the living room or with your desktop. If you were looking for speakers to use for your PC and also for your smartphone, then these are decent. If you were looking for the same performance from speakers without Bluetooth, you’ll find cheaper alternatives.
Updated 26 May, 2013, 11:10 am IST
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