F&D has been manufacturing (mostly) speakers since 2006. My only previous experience with an F&D device was when I reviewed the A180, a 2.1 speaker system which, if I remember correctly, sounded good enough but was unimpressive in the design department. With that in mind, I wasn’t expecting big aesthetic statements as I unboxed the HW110. Thankfully, this pair of wireless headphones took a more conservative design approach.
Low-key design. Unlike most other wireless headphones in the market, the F&D HW110 draws little attention to itself. Other than the gray brand logos printed on glossy plastic on each ear cup cover, the Bluetooth headset is predominantly matte black. It almost disappears over the wearer’s head. Black faux leather upholstered cushions and an adjustable headband allow for a comfortable fit; even during those all-night Netflix marathons. All of the HW110’s functions can be accessed through three buttons on the right ear cup; as do the connection points for power and wired audio.
Interface hiccups. If the HW110 hasn’t been previously paired with any device, it automatically goes to pairing mode once powered up. Once successfully paired, it will connect to the last paired device every time it is switched on. This feature is convenient if you use the headphones with only one device, say your phone. If you want to use it with, say your TV, you’ll have to unpair it from your phone before you can link it to your TV. The volume buttons also serve as track forward/back buttons which can get quite frustrating when you accidentally move to another track when all you wanted was to increase the volume. Being multifunctional, the power button also has its share of surprises—like unintended dial outs.
Pleasant listening. Once you’ve gotten the hang of the interface, the HW110 is quite pleasant to use. The headphones’ tonal character favors the low end of the spectrum slightly, which provides for an ample bass experience at low to moderate listening levels. Depending on the genre you’re listening to, this low frequency compensation may seem to be a bit much if volume is pushed to the upper limits. Personally, I tend to push volume levels towards the maximum and it doesn’t bother me. The HW110 sound signature also suits TV/movie watching quite well.
Truly wireless. Each iteration of the Bluetooth standard improves signal stability. This is evident with the F&D HW110. The HW110 maintains a stable, noise-free link with its paired device around solid walls in my home; the same walls which would have dropped the signals from devices running on earlier Bluetooth versions. Taking a phone call while doing chores from room to room is a breeze.
I must admit I don’t get excited over wireless headsets; which I often find to offer little value for the money you must shell out. The F&D HW110 strikes a good balance between price and performance. While these are far from the best headsets, wireless or otherwise, I’ve put on, they can certainly hold their own.
Frequency response: 90Hz–20kHz
Driver size: 40mm
Speaker impedance: 32Ω
Operation range: 8-10m
Mic sensitivity: -36dB @ 1kHz
Cord length: 1.2m
Music play / talk time: 10 hours
Standby time: 22 hours