Fender has today announced the introduction of two new Bluetooth-streaming speakers, the Newport and the Monterey. Not only are these new Bluetooth speakers, but they essentially mark the debut of Fender in the Bluetooth-streaming speaker market. With these being Fender products, they also adopt the iconic look and feel of Fender amplifiers, and so if you have ever dreamed of a Fender-made Bluetooth streaming speaker that looks just like a Fender guitar amplifier (albeit a little smaller), than that time has come. As a taster, some of the Fender-themed design aspects include metal grilles, custom grille cloths, and guitar amp-style volume knobs.
Of the two, the Newport is designed to be the more portable (and affordable) speaker while the Monterey is the more premium option. Starting of with the Newport though, this is a Bluetooth speaker which comes equipped with a battery that is rated to offer up to 12 hours of usage before needing to be recharged. Even though this one is touted as the more compact and affordable option, it is still one which looks to deliver on the audio side, as the Newport boasts a total output of 30-watts, provided by two full-range drivers, along with a dedicated tweeter. In addition, with this being a modern Bluetooth speaker, it also comes with a number of software enhancements and features, such as support for aptX and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), among other things. While on the connection side of things, in addition to Bluetooth support, the Newport comes equipped with a 3.5mm jack port for direct device connecting, as well as a USB port which has the ability to charge connected devices - such as a smartphone.
The Monterey on the other hand is all about the sound, which is evident by some of the clear differences between it and the Newport. Firstly, this is not a speaker that is designed to be used on-the-go and instead requires a consistent connection to a power supply. However, in return for that, the Monterey comes equipped with a significantly higher 120-watt total output. Which comes courtesy of two 5.12-inch woofers, along with two 1-inch dedicated tweeters. So this speaker will not only provide a louder output, but will also provide a much cleaner and clearer audio output as well. As to be expected, the same software tweaks are in place, including support for aptX and AAC. Although this one does come with a built-in EQ to help fine-tune the sound a little more. On the connection side, and again in addition to Bluetooth support, the Monterey also comes loaded with a 3.5mm jack port for direct device connections. Although, this unit also comes loaded with RCA ports, which will allow a pre-amped turntable to be directly connected. So this one really does seem like a solid all-round option for the home.
In terms of the availability, Fender has confirmed that both the Newport and Monterey Bluetooth speakers are now available to buy from a number of retailers, as well as directly from Fender online. In terms of the price, the Newport comes in at $199.99 while the Monterey - with its additional power, features, and functionality - comes in at $349.99.