Sony's new bass-boosted ULT range includes affordable WH-1000XM5 alternative and portable Bluetooth speakers

Sony ULT Wear held in front of a bar
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Sony never sleeps, and it's back again with a brand new line of products that all have one thing in common: going big on bass. The new ULT range currently consists of four debuts: the ULT Wear over-ear wireless headphones, the ULT Field 7 and Field 1 portable Bluetooth speakers, and the Tower 10 party speaker module. Aimed towards today's hip-hop-loving, bass-craving youth, the Sony ULT line's products are united by bold, punchy sound and a heavy focus on that all-important sonic lower-end.

To serve this aim, the products listed above feature bass-boosting profiles that can easily be accessed depending on how you want those lower registers to come through. The ULT Wear wireless headphones, for instance, feature a large, shiny button on the left ear cup which toggles between three sonic modes: a standard non-boosted sound profile, "attack bass" for greater bass punch and then "deep bass" for more resonance in those crucial lower frequencies. We've tried it for ourselves, and while we'll need more testing time, there were certainly three distinct sonic flavours when we cycled through the various modes mentioned above. 

Sony ULT Field 1 held in the hand

The smaller, lighter ULT Field 1 is much easier on the biceps than the rather whopping Field 7. (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

On the subject of the ULT Wear, Sony's new headphones aren't a one-note gimmick. Similar in size and form to the flagship WH-1000XM5 and sporting the same V1 noise-cancelling processor as those current Award-winners, the more affordable ULT Wear offer up to 50 hours of battery life with the ANC turned off and around 30 with it switched on. They also support Bluetooth Multipoint, voice calls and fast pair for Android, and while you can simply use that ULT button for toggling between bass modes, you can also access the Sony mobile app for greater customisation and precision. With swivelling, foldable earcups and a well-padded headband, we're excited to see what the ULT Wear headphones can do when we get our hands on a test pair.

The ULT Wear certainly grabbed our attention during Sony's recent hands-on demo in the heart of Central London, but there's a lot more to the ULT range than wearable audio. Sony has unveiled two portable Bluetooth speakers to add to its arsenal, even if one of those new additions is slightly stretching the definition of "portable".

The burly ULT Field 7 sports similar dimensions to a gym's workout sandbag and offers two in-built carry handles on either side. Yes, it's portable, but rather aptly, you'd have to put in some decent upper body work before you could carry the Field 7 for a few hundred metres before your arms turned to jelly. Think of the JBL Xtreme 3, roughly double it, and you'll be in the right sort of area. 

Sony ULT Tower 10

The ULT Tower 10 goes earth-shatteringly loud, but more importantly, it lights up! (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Accompanying the Field 7 is the Field 1, a slimline, handheld model that could be a potential rival for the JBL Flip 6. This smaller unit offers 12 hours of battery life alongside voice call capabilities and fast pair for Android users, as well as shock-proofing for when those on-the-go accidents inevitably occur. It doesn't have on-unit lights, sadly, something which the Field 7 does offer thanks to its glowing concentric rings surrounding the unit's oval radiators.  

Both portable speakers feature impressive IP67 waterproof ratings, with the larger Field 7 offering two bass modes – 'attack' and 'deep' bass – over the Field 1's single "power sound" booster button. The larger Field 7 also beats its smaller sibling for battery life, offering 30 hours from a single charge, plus soundfield optimisation which allows the speaker to assess the noise of its surroundings and adjust its output accordingly. Party Connect mode is also available for when you want to wirelessly connect your Field 7 to other compatible Sony models, akin to JBL's handy PartyBoost feature.

There's one more member of the ULT family to mention: the rather whopping ULT Tower 10. At just over three feet (around 110cm) tall, the gargantuan Tower 10 speaker packs in four tweeters, two midrange drivers and a main speaker unit to provide powerful 360 audio for events, parties or even budding home DJs. With a provided Sony microphone and 360 lighting, it's just the thing to get the karaoke party started.

The new Sony ULT range is available from April 2024 at the following prices:

- ULT Wear over-ear headphones: £180 / €200 / $200 / AU$440
- ULT Field 7 Bluetooth speaker: £400 / €450 / $499 / AU$649
- ULT Field 1 Bluetooth speaker: £120 / €140 / $129 / AU$229
- ULT Tower 10 party speaker: £1000 / €1400 / $1199 / AU$1499


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Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.