Fender Newport Bluetooth Speaker: Nostalgia has a great sound

My family loves music. We are constantly listening to a playlist in our house. So, we know a good speaker when we hear one, and Fender has our attention with the Newport Bluetooth Speaker. Can the Bluetooth speaker hold up to the strong lineage of Fender speakers and amps? Fender was generous enough to send a unit to get a better look, or should I say, listen, to their new wireless speaker.

Design

The design of this speaker is awesome. I love it. The way that Fender has implemented the look and feel of their classic amps into this unit is priceless. Down to even the details of dedicated dials for treble and bass simply show the heritage that Fender brings here. From the dual tones of the metallic grill and black surrounds to the dedicated physical switches for power, pair, and talk, they are all a throwback to the days of hardcore wired audio. There are also knobs for treble, bass, and volume. This thing screams analog meets digital. And just in case you couldn’t recognize it on sight, there’s a prominent Fender logo on the front grill.

Around the back of the speaker are a few I/O ports. A 15-volt DC power port charges the unit with an LED indicator for letting you know it’s charging. Next to it is 3.5mm audio in jack for hooking up your phone. Finally, there’s a USB port for charging your phone, or tablet, while on the go.

Sound

Sounds quality is where the Fender namesake shines through. I don’t know how else to explain it other than smooth. The highs are good without being shrieky. The mids are solid without moving out of their comfort zone. And the bass is punchy without drowning out the rest. The volume is very good as well. It easily fills a room and can be quite loud when you crank it all the way up using the volume knob. You’ll find a small easter egg each time you start up the speaker and each time it’s connected via Bluetooth. There’s a strum of guitar riffs each time. It’s a subtle detail that makes this speaker unique.



Battery Life and Connectivity

The Fender Newport is rated for 12 hours of battery life and in my usage, I’d put it as spot on. Afterwards, it takes around 2 hours to recharge the unit back to full power. While it’s not groundbreaking, for the size of the speaker, the extended use time is surprising. Even more surprising is the Bluetooth tech in this monster. You’ll find aptX and AAC capable drivers for high-quality music as well as echo cancellation for the internal mic while making calls. I did take a few test calls and both ends of the line were more than acceptable for the casual conversations.

Final Thoughts

Portable Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen these days. You can’t go to Walgreens without seeing one. Fender has built an excellent speaker that stands out in the crowd with the Newport. It offers a solid build quality, above average sound, and great design. At $199 it’s on the higher end of the market, but you really do get a pretty sweet speaker that’s immediately recognized in a room.

Fender Newport at Amazon Fender Newport at Fender Shop