F & D (Fenda) A510 Speaker System – is it any good ?

Review of one of the best computer speakers in budget category. F&D A510 remains top selling models in 2.1 speakers segment & best sounding PC speakers. A bang for the buck !

The Three Mistakes of my ‘acoustic’ Life !

When the Power Adapter of my Creative Speaker (Inspire) breathed its last for the 3rd time (yes 3 times in a row), I thought it is worthwhile to scrap the whole set to the trash can and find a new alternative. Though the decision came little late and somewhat insane. But buying it for the fourth time was to exceed the total cost of the Speaker itself – and this is when inner-self of a smart buyer came into the being.

Realized it late – Mistake One !!!

Since I’m more into music than movies, my only preference was multimedia speaker with 2.1 channel output. Also, considering it my temporary buyout (for the reason that I stay in hostel), I was in no mood to spent a fortune over the sets which boasts of acoustic nirvana. Instead, I was to settle with the one which would give me bang for the buck in shoestring budget. And by the time this article has been written, one can have a decent speaker system for somewhere around Rs 2000-3000.

Now came the question that which model to go for – Logitech or Altec Lancing (I’ve given up with Creative)  ? Then decided that Ill better judge it at the store.

When at shop, I inquired with the aforesaid brands of speaker and the vendor with all his marketing skills persuaded me for F&D (Fenda).

(F&D) Fenda A510 Multimedia Speaker System
(F&D) Fenda A510 2.1 Channel

I dont know why, my preference for brands like Frontech, Intex, iBall, Zebronics etc are wee bit prejudiced with the fact that they happen to be a cheaper but sub standard goods. And I thought Fenda must be one of them which was a major discerning factor. But the shopkeeper still insisted to give them a try. He also made me an offer that I found hard to resist. I was told that I can keep them as a trial piece and if not satisfied, they would replace it with the model of my choice. I agreed thinking that if speakers don’t lives up to my expectation, Ill get myself Logitech or Altec Lancing giving me the chance to review two speakers for the price of one !  Was hellbent for pricier options – Mistake Two !!!

Finally comes in the melodious cacophony. Below is my experience with F&D (Fenda) A510 Speaker System which turned out to be an aural treat for measly Rs. 1800.


Package Content :

I was impatient to unwrap that semi-huge carton when reached my place (though I saw it at the shop too but couldn’t resist anymore to get it connected to my laptop). The whole unit came to be a no-frills system neatly packaged in carton & cushions. It had 2 sattelites and a bulky Sub Woofer. I was also impressed to see a pair of  RCA Audio connectors. Plus, a wire with standard 3.5mm pin was also there but RCA inclusion gives you an advantage of coupling it with the standalone CD/DVD players at home.

Build Quality :

The sub-woofer is more of a massive cube made of wooden enclosures. The satellite is a hemispherical plastic (with cushioned base) big enough to house 4 inch drivers for mids & highs. Both woofer and satellite is covered with good metallic grills. But I wished the whole system was little heavy with cabinet being thicker. Aesthetically average, but sturdy for the price it comes for.

Features & Specifications :

As I’ve already stated that this one is a no frills equipment. But Fenda I think has devoted the resources more into other department to get the best possible sound in its category, which is quite evident from its specifications. The sub-woofer of A510 came out to be a front firing with bass port in the rear. The right side sports all the connections and controls like volume,bass and power switch. The 6.5 inch dimension of woofer driver seemed to be convincing to pronounce it as a Bass Heavy unit. One thing I liked from its spec-sheet was Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR Circuit built in) for wide main operating voltage range i.e. 88~264V AC.

But Fenda I think have devoted the resources more into other departments to get the best possible sound in its category, which is quite evident from its specifications…

And this I guess to have gone missing in my previous Creative Speakers which was the possible reason of their unwarranted demise – every now and then. The whole system also boasts of 5000 PMPO output which is nothing but a fancy figure. I then checked its RMS output power which was of 52 watt (16Watt x 2 + 20Watt). This is more than enough to fill 10″ x 10″ room with all octaves and commendable fidelity. Though I didn’t find any SNR (signal to noise ratio) figure anywhere which could have made me more than a happy soul. Though frequency response of 20Hz~120Hz (Subs) and 120 Hz~20KHz (Satellite) came to its little rescue. So far so good !


Installation :

Since, it doesn’t comes with wired remote or discrete volume knobs, the installation was as easy as Granny’s affair as it needed no multiple connections. So it was hassle free and was done in a minute flat. Though the wire lengths were little short as compared to other counterparts, but will not pose any problem for typical desktop placement. The satellite is upward aligned with some degree which is permanent, I wish it was flexible/swiveled. Finally, the whole unit sits over respective cushioned bed with good damping of vibration factors.

Performance :

Showtime !

For my audio test, I pulled up following tracks from my music folders :

  • Sadness from Enigma (FLAC) – A bass laden number with rich orchestra and cymbals. To exploit sub-woofer’s  ability to deliver fuller bass.
  • Lover’s Call from Tarun Bhattacharya (FLAC)- Strings Instruments at its best with Santoor & Guitar being played in a nice sync. To test the mids & highs and the speaker fidelity.
  • Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevay from Pt. Jasraj (mp3) – To test vocals and Indian Classical.
  • Shepherd’s Call from Pt. Ronu Majumdar (mp3) – To test overall tonal range and ability.
  • Hysteria from Deff Lepard & I Can’t Tell You Now from Eagles (mp3) – To test western numbers.
  • Beautiful World from ATB & Halcyon from Chicane (FLAC) – To test Trance tracks.

With everything in my arsenal, I test fired above mentioned track one by one. And to my utter surprise, the speakers started showing its true colors. The first word of reaction was – WOW ! and the next iterative compliment was – this is the best piece a money could buy.

The speakers also bore a tag of distortion free sound even at maximum volume, to testify the claim, I twisted the volume to maximum – lo and behold – again a surprise !!!

There was no hint of distortion even at the maximum volume. The bass out of subs was rich and well-defined and wasn’t overemphasizing itself over mids & highs. The treble and mids coming out of satellite were at their own business for which they were made for. The clarity it delivered was commendable. Harshness or shrillness was almost non existent. And both sub-woofer and satellite in tandem was delivering a good sound-stage with a great listening pleasure to me. That 52 RMS of power rating seemed to be in its full glory. I then out of awe, frantically started throwing more out of my music library as if I wanted to listen them all at one go. And these black babies handled all the music genres with aplomb. But I noticed that mp3 tracks were sounding little weak over its lossless siblings (FLAC), which also meant that these speakers were good at decoding the lossy & lossless feeds. Though normal listeners wont perceive much of the difference.

Another fact that I observed with these units was that they sounded best when listener at Sweetspot. Not a drawback though, but I’m more of a listener who likes to enjoy music while on roaming within the room. But a smart placement of the same can provide good enveloping sound.

To sum it all up, the performance was just jaw dropping and more than satisfactory.


The Verdict :

Model F&D (Fenda) A510
Features ★ ★ ★
Build Quality ★ ★ ★ ½
Performance ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Value for Money ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

I’ve already spoken volumes of its performance. And the feelgood factor goes above for a bliss when price comes into the picture. Fenda A510 packs great value for money with impressive performance index.

This one unarguably is the best in breed. And Fenda must pronounce this as their flagship product.

Fenda aint any good – my Third Mistake !!!


Buy F&D A510 from Amazon | Flipkart |  Snapdeal

88 Comments

    • I wish I could too !!! I also admit the satellites being more aesthetically pleasing than A510, but woofer are power rating is all same (52 RMS). Got to know about that model just after my purchase, and since I was so in love with the piece, I didn’t feel like asking for the replacement. You can go ahead with A520 because of the fact that it has identical performance index.

    • I received f&d A510 speakers today from snap deal for 2036 ,sir please tell me whether mobile phones can be connected to this music system and which mp3 player you recommend my budget is 2500 to 3000 want a small display and shuffle.

  • This is the best review i have ever read about speakers. You surpassed those professional hardware reviews we see in youtube. Keep up the great work! By the way i am also going the a520 way for my pc from my current measly frontech 2.1 (880 pmpo) and my wife (not interested about pcs) wants the f6000 5.1 as a home theater setup.

    • You can definitely go for F&D A520 because of its visually pleasing satellites with the advantage of wooden cabinets for them (A510’s is made of Plastic but still sounds great). And make sure you tweak the bass & volume settings at optimal level to milk out the best from Subs. I knew both had same performance because of the identical core components, but my hostel-mate bought the above piece (A520) confirming my belief. Just go for it !!!

      As for F6000, here is more enlightenment:
      http://www.thinkdigit.com/forum/audio/137550-f-d-f6000-home-theater.html

      • I was also thinking of how to not annoy my downstairs neighbours with my audio operations..u know if i keep the subwoofer on the floor, they are bound to get the vibrations and my neighbours are really sensitive to vibrations..any ideas what to do ?

        • If you are talking about F6000, then as per the reviews I’ve read and rated power, let alone neighbors, I’m afraid that you’ll be getting complains from the whole colony !!!

          Jokes apart, it is the woofer diaphragms which vibrates and produces the rumbling bass deep down the table (Subs are best placed over the floors only). But if you still feel that the Subs don’t have enough weight to keep themselves firm over the ground while playing, then have it seated over the even cushions or the rubbery pads. This will shock-absorb all the vibrations (if any). Make sure that you do it beneath the 4 standing points only (though they already come with the one, but you can add more with greater or thicker base).

          Also, make sure that you don’t put the whole base area touching the cushion (there is one more configuration where speaker base comes up with metal spikes to maintain the area in contact – as less as it can). Furthermore, you can tinker with different cushioning arrangements until you come up with optimum level of vibration free arrangements.

          Last but not the least, you can also try adding some more weight over the Sub-woofer itself. Though a crude method, but I’ve seen few people having a piece of brick or heavy material sitting atop. This will also minimize the speaker vibrations with floors. Combine both tricks – Cushion within + Weight atop with proper ratio and do let me know if it worked.

          And your last ditch attempt will be to offer your neighbor a pair of ear-buds if they are too sensitive out of envy !!!

  • I will be buying it in 7 days. Actually i have an old philips stereo system (LP) with 2 wall speakers having 6.5″ drivers. They are mounted 5′ high in the wall with custom made wooden racks. They are set about 4′ distance with 90 degree angle to each other. 2 days ago i connected them to my pc and was listening to Akon songs using foobar..with the equalizer of 55hz and 77hz set to very high. Not only was the window panes in that room was resonating (like there is a hurricane outside) the floor in the other adjoining room was vibrating too. I was thinking if the speakers are set at 5 feet high in the walls, why would the floor in the other room vibrate too ? But if i listened the songs with normal eq settings, not vibration at all.

    • Well, resonance with a typical sonic formation in environment is one thing, and physical vibration of the speaker itself is another. The solution provided in above comment was to prevent physical vibrations. Your case reminds of the ruggedness and performance of the old system that Philips used to have in its heydays. Now a days, it is churning out mediocre audio systems with no acoustic appeal.
      To prevent Sonic boom in the room, you have no option but to lower down the volume or compromise with equalizer settings. Or studio grade room with sound dampers will be too much to ask. F&D A510 & A520 also makes my window panes vibrate at max volume but plays blissfully at normal listening settings.

  • Good Passionate review!
    Kudos!

    Im thinking of going in for d A520 as well
    Just a bit confused between the F&D A520 and Creative SBS A335
    Your suggestion wud be helpful.

    and also im thinking of mouting d satellites on separate corners of the wall in my room
    So im concerned bout how long the connecting cables are.

    Cheers!

    • Glad it helped !
      If you are concerned about the sound quality and the power packed performance, Creative SBS A335 is worth the MISS !!! Also, as far as I know, SBS happens to be an inferior counterpart of Creative’s productline (Inspire is somewhat better). Secondly, SBS A335’s total power output is somewhere around 21W against 52W of F&D A510 & A520.

      Yes, but the wire length can be a minor issue with F&D, my Creative Inspire had it more than enough. But you can check it manually to observe if this suits your need. Satellites are wall mountable though in both the models.

      Last but not the least, there is a price difference of Rs. 400-500 between the two (SBS being cheaper). To sum it up :
      Price – SBS
      Performance – F&D

      so the decision is yours !!!

  • My main concern is d sound quality nd most importantly good bass
    Ive been using cheap panasonic speakers worth Rs.600 or so with no hint of bass at all
    The experience of listening to music wid crisp vocals,no distortion nd powerful bass is what im looking for now!

    So im guessing i shud go with the A520?
    Was planning to buy it off flipkart..its being offered for Rs.1684

    • Then A520/A510 should be your preferable pick. And Flipkart is doing to much of price jugglery here. It was around 1680, then 1950 and now again 1684. So the difference is now even less than what I quoted above. Happy Buying !!!

  • Hi,

    Your’s review is very helpful.

    I was looking for a speakers under budget from Rs.2000 to Rs.5000,
    but lots of popular brands I had searched for my next 2.1 speakers, Like logitech, creative, iball, frontech, altec lansing etc, None of them has good sound quality and price matched to my budget, if price matched, but sound quality not according to me, What I am looking for. I already have creative 2.1 M2600 speaker, but not satisfied with the sound quality, I am using creative xtremegamer 7.1 soundcard, This soundcard is awesome but my creative M2600 speakers are not, creative speakers generally has superb build in quality, but sound quality is not.

    Now come to the point,
    Finally, I bought the F&D(Fenda) A520 2.1 speakers. It’s sound quality is better than creative M2600 2.1 speakers, I had test this speakers with lots of songs, In English genres,

    Rock = Takida – Give into me.
    Trance = Basshunter – Now You’re Gone.
    Pop = MLTR – Romatic Balcony.
    Country = brad paisley – find yourself (disney pixar cars).
    and many more.

    All the above mentioned tracks I had listened in F&D A520, its surprised me, the highs, mids, and lows every frequencies are balanced. I think I got the best 2.1 speakers in this Budget. And I use this product for music listening every day atleast 1 hour or more. I pump up the volume upto 100% and it hasn’t distorted, and this speakers will start shaking every thing almost, but the best thing is that, this has a best sound quality in this budget, Now about the specification of F&D A520,

    Subwoofer Speaker : 6.5″ , 20W RMS.
    Satellites Speakers : 4″ driver , 16*2 RMS.
    Total power output : 52 RMS.
    PMPO : 5000W.

    What’s come in the Package Contents?
    2 Satellites Speakers.
    1 Subwoofer Speaker.
    2 cables.(one is for pc 3.5mm pin to RCA & another is RCA cable for DVD or some other devices).

    This product may available on price Rs.2000 in my town. And last but not the least, This is value for money products, If you listen this you definitely want this.

    • You almost wrote yet another review confirming my experience with those units !!!

      And what I have found as the conclusion in sharp contrast with Creative/Logitech Speakers is that they will tax almost double than it, but would still deliver mediocre sound. None of the speakers in this category and budget (sub 2K by this time, I got it for Rs. 1800 but my friends latter on purchased it for Rs. 1650) has performed this well. Creative, Logitech & Altec can still compete with this, but maybe they would perhaps charge anywhere between 3-5K for such an output.

      • Yes, brother I know Creative, Logitech & Altec Lansing will be beat F&D A520 2.1 speakers, but we have to pay more than Rs.5000 to Rs.15000, If we look into creative 2.1 speakers, I definitely go with GIGAWORKS T3 2.1 speakers, It’s cost around Rs. 16000, but it will delivery great quality, And we look into Logitech, We have to pay more than Rs. 8500, For Logitech Z 2300, But Logitech Z 2300 it will be soon discontinued by Logitech, And we look into Altec Lansing, We have to pay around Rs. 7000, For Altec Lansing MX5021, but Altec Lansing MX5021 is discontinued. But I am always in search of good sound quality as well as good build in quality of 2.1 speakers in cheap prices.

        And in the end, If we have good budget for 2.1 speakers than definitely we have good speakers for our computer and for other devices.

        • Logitech Z2300 will be succeeded by Z623 (the unit I was willing to buy). MX5021 has been succeeded by MX6021(Expressionist Series), but the previous one had no match. It was still the best speaker in my opinion, but I don’t know why Altec discontinued it. It would be interesting to see if F&D launches anything for the budget around 7-15K in 2.1 series as the premium product. I wonder what would be the quality then !!!

        • Yes, I will be also interested to see if F&D launches any 2.1 speakers around Rs. 7000 to Rs. 15000.

  • hey i just got a f and d a510 in just 2 hours of playing the brand new system its power supply became irregular and the green light kept flickering and produced contionus blasting(boom soun)from subwoofer?.. what should be the problem..should i buy them again or other product??,,i liked its sound though

  • If you purchased it from Local vendor, the you must ask for the replacement as you received a faulty piece which went malfunctioning just after 2 Hrs of playing. Though they may insist for “warranty” stuffs, but as the speaker went dead in the same day, you must convince them for a replacement.

  • ya i m gettin the refund but wondering if i should buy it again or some different stuff.. my query is can this happen again..was the prob in subwoofer or my electricity as it was playing good in the starting and suddenly picked the problem

    • Make sure you have constant electricity feeds (though this comes equipped with AVR) . And this hold true for every other electrical or electronic components, not only F&D. I guess you must have got a defective piece (My Nokia phone ceased to work after a week, so shall I count it as a mediocre company or not?) – so maybe a matter of chance. And if this happens again, you always have a warranty with you.

  • Hey Amit, I am looking to buy a 2.1 speaker system for my hostel room. Right now I am considering F&D A520,Creative SBS A335 and Altec Lansing VS2621 Speaker. Do you have any views on the other two speakers ? The internet is filled with positive reviews for them but I don’t find many reviews of F&D. I only found 2 reviews, one on NDTV and other yours. I didn’t even hear about this speaker before today. Are they really this good ?

    • Well, Ankur … I was in the same doubt as you when it came to brandname and reputation (have mentioned it above in my review too). But it was the stellar performance of Fenda Speakers which blew me apart (and great value for money too). So personally speaking, you can anyways go for F&D stuffs. I wont suggest SBS series from creatives because they deliver mediocre performance and is the inferior counterpart of their own Inspire series. As far as Altec Lansing VS2621 is concerned, this no doubt delivers a good performance, but when compared with F&D A510 or A520, this again falls short before it. Also, the RMS values of both the speakers has a marginal difference where F&D has an edge with great power packed within. Again, the decision is yours !

  • Amit,
    Your review is superb….. its better than any professional review. Many professional take money to write positive review about any brand. Its rare to find such a neat review from a person who is not a professional reviewer. Great work….

    Thanks,
    Manjunath Nayak

  • Hi Amit
    Which one is better philips spa5300 (price rs2071) or f&d A520 (price rs1722) on timtara after 500 discount coupon on purchase of above 2000 on icici netbanking.

    For which one i should go? can u explain if fenda speaker gets damaged then how to get cover under warranty considering fenda has office in new delhi only.

    • I’m afraid if I can help you on this juncture. Actually I’ve not auditioned Philips spa5300, so it will be unfair to make any comment. But you can google further & read reviews for them.
      Personally, I wont go for Philips & Sony in this budget as they charge more as a Brand NOT for the performance. I’ve auditioned Sony speakers which comes for around 2-3K but left me disappointed as it sounded poorer than everything. So, I no more fall on brand values now.

    • I think, they don’t fall in similar category at all. Logitech z623 is THX based stuff whereas MX6021 from Altec itself comes in premium category speakers. Performance of A510, no doubt is stellar, but PRICE will the issue here to decide between them. The models mentioned by you comes for at least 3-4 times against what would you pay for A510. If money is not the constraint, then definitely go for them and if you are looking out for the one which gives you the best value for money inclusive of performance, then A510/A520 .

  • Hi, I own An Acer Laptop (Acer Aspire 5738G) with internal speakers. The laptop has Dolby Home Theatre but laptop speaker is completely sh8. I am looking for small, mid-range (2K most)good bass sound speakers. I read your review of F&DA510. I was impressed with the review & was thinking to make purchase of F7DA520 from Flipkart. However, reading from earlier comments posted, it seems flipkart has raised prices from 1684 to 1980 now!!. Is it worth buying from flipkart or from a local city vendor where I can haggle prices to 1600 level. Second thing, Is this speaker good for my laptop & Android Tablets? (Smasung Galaxy Tab 10.1). I don’t have a P.C. Many Thanks for your feedback.

    • Like a typical customer, just head towards the one which is offering you a better bargain. If local vendor is offering you the piece with marginal difference then you should definitely go for them (service wont be the hassle too). For your second question, well, my Speaker is hooked with Laptop only and shall play equally good with all those device which has 3.5mm standard audio output – be it Desktops, Mobiles, iPods, mp3players etc …

  • Hi Amit. Thx for the quick/valuable nuggets. Will check out local dealers for F&D. Regarding audio drivers. I think I have Realtek as the default audio drivers on my laptop. Do the quality of Audio Drivers also affect the performance of attached sound systems? Pls recommend free downloadable audio drivers for a 2.1.

    Many Thanks once again.

    • Audio drivers are primarily hardware dependent (or vice versa) and are proprietary in nature. So, you can’t install just any other drivers of your choice. But, you can install some additional equalizers and sound enhancement software like DFX, SRS Wow or the music players internal equalizer itself to tweak for the best audio output. You can also refer to the following article for more details and there we can discuss more :
      Alternative Music Players

  • I want to buy F&D A510 after reading your review.I saw a deal in Tradus.in For rs1723 and after 10% discount they came to rs1550 do you recommend to buy at this price ??? and A520 are also price just a 50rs high than these .. which one to go for a510 or a520 ?????

    • Both are acoustically same with different satellites (read my separate review on A520 & and comments above to make the final decision, its all upto you). As for the price, I got it for Rs. 1800 few month ago in local market, so you are indeed getting a cheap deal !!!

  • Hi Amit,

    An excellent piece of writing.. I believe the company (f and d) itself must have not taken so much pain to explain their product for the marketing purpose. You have explored it to its peak…

    I have bought the product yesterday only and absolutely happy with it. The only thing which I felt missing is the treble control (i knew before buying also, but with my budget I preferred this); though it can actually be adjusted by the mediaplayer/vlc equalizer.

    Before buying this speaker I was in a mind to get a usb/mmc built in speaker (f&d A111) otherwise every time I have to connect my lappy..But later I found none of then give the o/p like this one (in this budget) and further your review confirmed me.

    But I wanted to know 2 things related to it:

    1. I connected the speakers through my mobile, the sound quality was pretty bad – more of a bass and the bass was making it dull. Later I connected it through my laptop and adjusted with treble, it worked wonders with the vol and equalizer control of the vlc. Why there is such a difference?

    2. If there any sound quality difference between a usb/mmc built-in speakers and a normal speakers without usb. (Assumption: Both the speakers have the same o/p)

    Appreciate your expertise on the above points.

    • Ans 1 : Well, I’ve plugged and played it with multiple input sources like Apple iPod (Touch), Mobiles, other MP3 players etc and none disappointed me or sounded anything different. It wasn’t anything like it is sounding normal with headphones but radically different and out of the order with these speakers connected. Maybe you can tweak down the equalizer settings (if any) of your cellphone to minimize the boom. And make sure your cellphone supports 3.5 mm standard output.

      Ans 2 : USB/MMC input has got nothing to do with driver’s (speaker) performance. Though built-in decoder might not be competent to your laptop or other stand alone players’ output which can make it sound inferior. And if you are taking A111 for your assumption, then it is power rating difference here which is setting A510 apart i.e. 35 RMS vs 52 RMS.

  • Dear Amit,
    Need help.
    How to find Mobiles which supports 3.5mm Output by checking its tech specs?
    Eg. Portable player ZEB CINEMA 3.0+ 2.8k has output for headphone & a/v out & output is wonderful when connected to better speakers/headphones
    But, too good Sandisk Sansa xxxx has amazing output for headphones & if connected to 2.1/2.0 speakers the output quality is below average & bad.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Hi Amit,
    very impressive review dude.
    Now i’m well confident to buy fenda speakers but in Fenda itself i am confused amongst A520, A555U and F-330U all of these are available at around 2-2.5k.
    could you please help me in my decision.
    sound quality would be my first preference.. but extra features may add up some spice to them.
    thanks in advance dude.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *