Fender Newport Bluetooth speaker review
Fender is known for making guitars and amplifiers that are easily recognized by nearly anyone. So it’s no surprise that the company is getting into Bluetooth speakers. The Newport is the cheaper of the pair, offering the classic guitar amp look paired with most of the Bluetooth basics.
Battery: 12 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX, 3.5mm aux, USB port for charging other devices
Dimensions: 7.25 x 5.25 x 3 inches
Weight: 3.2 lbs
Charging port: Proprietary barrel connector 2.8A/16V
Where to buy: Fender
The main housing is made out of a textured plastic. It’s thick and solid with no flex or hollow feel. The front grille is metal with a large Fender logo on it.
The top is beautifully designed, though it’s missing features. The three knobs control volume, bass, and treble. There is also this amazing on/off switch, a talk button, and a pair button along with a light. The two buttons also have lights underneath them.
Shockingly, there are no buttons for controlling your media. You can’t pause or change track. This is a baffling decision as these functions are standard on almost every Bluetooth speaker, no matter the price or size. It’s an inconvenience but not a deal breaker.
The back has the barrel charging port (with a separate LED just for the charging indicator, which seems unnecessary), 3.5mm aux port, and full-size USB port for charging your phone.
The overall build quality is great. The low point is the plastic used, though it’s far from low quality. It feels very solid and thick with a nice texture, making it feel premium, but the details are so much better.
The three knobs at the top are stiff and have an amazing feel. The on/off switch is a pleasure to flick and it clicks loudly. The two buttons are a bit too stiff but still feel very nice.
The bottom of the speaker has amazing rubber feet which keep it in place very well. This is a detail often ignored by many companies.
It’s a beautifully designed and expertly crafted speaker that easily lives up to its price tag. This also makes it heavy.
This is something where Fender is expected to exceed, and exceed it does. The sound is fairly balanced but warm, pleasant, and far from harsh.
The highs are detailed and smooth. They’re not “sparkly” which I consider to be a huge plus. The mids and bass are also detailed while remaining relatively balanced. The bass in particular is very nice, creating a warm tone to the sound without being rumbly in the least. There isn’t much bass impact, but the low end is very nice.
The volume is fantastic, getting very loud and easily filling a room beyond regular conversation. It gets extremely loud for its size. And up until the top end of the volume, there’s no distortion. Full volume does produce a bit of distortion, but easing it back just a little fixes this.
One thing worth mentioning is the start up and connection sound. They’re Fender guitar riffs and make the speaker a real experience to turn on. Not only is it unique, but it’s also pleasant and the furthest thing from annoying. Many startup sounds are plain annoying, but Fender managed to make it awesome.
The battery life is rated at 12 hours, depending on volume. While not amazing, it’s a very good figure. At lower volumes it can last a bit longer. Longevity is no issue.
There’s also a USB port on the back for charging your phone. Of course, this will lessen battery life, but it’s a great feature to have when your phone is dying.
The only real feature this speaker has is a mic and an accompanying talk button for answering and ending calls. People reported that I sound fantastic over the mic, much better than other speakers.
The Newport occupies the midrange of Bluetooth speakers price-wise, but it performs as well as many of the higher end portable Bluetooth speakers. It pairs this with great build quality and some stunning old school looks. Whether you’re a fan of Fender or not, you can appreciate how this speaker looks.