In 2017, we’re not hurting for portable Bluetooth speakers that sound really good. There are so many choices out there that the decision of which one to buy often enough comes down to which one looks the coolest. Some do that with rad light shows — Fender is doing it by emulating the look of their famous guitar amps.
Fender is introducing two Bluetooth speakers — the more portable Newport and the larger Monterey, both of which have the same kind of metal grilles you’d find on Fender’s amps. The Newport houses a 30-watt speaker system that includes two full-range driver and a tweeter for highs. Up top you’ll find knobs to adjust volume, treble, and bass, and on the back you’ll find a USB port that can be used to keep your mobile device charged while it streams to the speaker. Battery life is expected to be 12 hours, but it’ll be less than that if you use it to keep another device charged. The Bluetooth range will be a little shorter than you might be used to at 33 feet. The good news is that it features aptX and AAC Bluetooth audio, so music should still sound pretty good over a wireless connection.
The Monterey is the premium option. If you’re looking for more bass response, here it is — the larger speaker has a 120-watt system that includes two 5.12″ woofers and two 1″ tweeters. The same USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and control knobs are here, but there’s a bit more in the way of Fender style. They’re including a Fender ’68 grille cloth with purchase, and have added 1/8 and RCA dual analog inputs for a better wired audio connection. Fender hasn’t yet offered an estimate of battery life for the Monterey.
Both the Newport and the Monterey are shipping out today, and can be purchased at a handful of retailers and online from Fender. They won’t be cheap, though — the Newport goes for $200, while the Monterey goes for $350.