Fender's Newport speaker looks classy and sounds great

The Bluetooth speaker also comes with old-school physical knobs for your inner hipster.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read

If you fancy yourself an old-school rocker, you'd be hard pressed not to like Fender's take on this bluetooth speaker .

Inspired by the looks of guitar amps, the Newport has beautiful metal grills and physical knobs to adjust the volume, treble and bass. It's a nice touch, given that so many speakers on the market simply use touch-sensitive buttons. But all those metal parts do add up, and the speaker can be heavy to lug around.

The Fender Newport packs lots of sound for its size, thanks to its two woofers and one tweeter. The sound is bold and balanced. It's not too bass heavy, but you can turn that up if you like. The highs are clear with no cracking even at full volume -- which, I might add, is loud enough to hear clearly two rooms away. 

I tried a variety of tracks, from Korean pop (don't judge me) to classical to rock and came away impressed at how the sound holds up. And because you can adjust the treble and bass to your liking, the Newport makes it simple to adjust to your own tastes. Even at full bass, the speaker held up without distortion, but the sound felt too heavy for me.


The Newport packs 12 hours of playback, and can charge your phone as well, though its a shame you'll need to use the provided power adapter to charge, making it less portable than say if it used a USB Type-C port.

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Besides being a portable Bluetooth speaker, the Fender can also charge your phone through a USB port at the rear. The Fender can easily last 12 hours, though less if you're charging a phone at the same time of course.

If there's one thing to dislike about the Fender, it's that it uses a proprietary charger and power brick. This makes charging on the go inconvenient. A USB Type-C charging solution may have been the better optimal choice.

The Fender Newport is sold online for $199 or £195, which converts to about AU$340.