Sony's new Ult headphones and Bluetooth speaker series blew me away with powerful bass

Sony ULT Field 1 speakers on black bacground
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has been going hard on bass for some time, and its Ult-series announced today (April 11) is designed to take low-end sound to the next level. The new lineup introduces four models including the Ult Wear headphones ($199 / £179), two portable speakers with the Ult Field 1 ($129 / £119) and Ult Field 7 ($499 / £399), while the largest and loudest Bluetooth speaker system in the series is the Ult Tower 10 ($1,199 / £999).

All of the models in the Ult series are designed to deliver emphasized bass levels via a Ult button that can switch the sound signature through two levels of emphasized bass. Although the its Ult name and sonic signature clearly point to terms like 'ultimate' or 'ultra' being associated with its heavy bass output, Sony U.K. told me that the series name doesn't stand for anything at all. Either way, it's a refreshing departure from Sony's traditional numeric naming convention. 

Bass levels are even more powerful than I expected and literally shake the room.

I got to listen to all four models at the U.K. launch event held in London earlier this week. Bass levels across all products in the series were even more powerful than I expected, with an enhanced sub-bass sound that literally shakes the room and my ears.

All Sony Ult models are expected to start rolling out in April and are already listed on Sony's website, with pre-orders estimated to arrive by the end of the month. 

Sony Ult Wear headphones

Sony Ult Wear in black and silver on table at Sony U.K. press event

(Image credit: Future)

Sony's Ult Wear wireless headphones are said to have custom 40mm drivers and use the same V1 chip as found on the flagship Sony WH-1000XM5. The tech giant says the headphones are Bluetooth 5.2 equipped with AAC and SBC support, but there's no mention of Sony's LDAC for higher-quality streams when connected to compatible playback devices. It's expected that the Wear will support LC3 after a software update but not aptX or aptX HD. 

The new wireless headphones are said to use beam forming mics for strong voice calls. There are dual noise-canceling microphones with plastic wind filter mesh.

In terms of battery life, Sony tells us that the Wear will offer 30 hours with ANC turned on and up to 50 hours with ANC turned off, which is stronger than the WH-1000XM5. 

Prices are $199 / £179 and color options run to black, off white, and forest gray.

Sony Ult Field 1 and Field 7 portable speakers  

Sony Ult Field 1 and Field 7 on show at UK press event

(Image credit: Future)

The Sony Ult Field 1 and Ult Field 7 portable Bluetooth speakers go on sale later this month. 

Both speakers are built on a portable yet rugged design. They have an IP67 rating for durability, meaning they're protected from water, dust, shock (from falling), and even rust. Sony mentioned that they're the perfect partner for the poolside, a trip to the beach, or festival. 

Both can be placed either vertically or horizontally, whichever fits your situation. They can stand up like a tower, or hang it by the carry strap, or just place it on the table. Additionally, the Ult Field 7 incorporates Sony's Sound Field Optimization, which detects noise and automatically changes the sound setting to deliver clear music even when you are surrounded by other sounds.

Sony Ult Field 1 in off-whit, black, forest gray, and orange.

(Image credit: Sony)

The Ult Field 1 claims up to 12 hours of battery life, while the Ult Field 7 claims 30-hour battery life and can act as a power bank for USB-C connected devices. Quick charging gets you 3 hours of playing time from a 10-minute charge.

Users can pair two of the same speakers in stereo or connect and sync with up to 100 speakers for large music installations. Both models have mood-enhancing ambient lights. 

Prices for the Ult Field 1 are expected to be around $129 / £119, while the Ult Field 7 will retail at $499 / £399. Both models are available in black, off white, forest gray, and orange color options.

Sony Ult Tower 10 speaker 

Sony Ult Tower 10

(Image credit: Sony)

The Ult Tower 10 is the largest and loudest Bluetooth speaker system in the series. It looks similar to the SRS-XV900 that's perfect for large gatherings. 

Karaoke fans can make the most of singalongs with a jack socket provided for a microphone and another for a guitar, and Sony says the ULT Tower 10's omnidirectional speaker arrangement can even boost your TV sound. 

Thankfully, (given its size and 64lbs/29kg weight) it comes with a handle and has two castors at the back of the base to allow it to be tipped and rolled into position just like a wheelie trash cart (wheelie bin for U.K. readers), enabling the speaker to be easily maneuvered into position wherever you want to deliver a big sound.

As with the Ult Field 7 speakers, the Ult Tower 10 has Sound Field Optimization to detect noise and automatically change the sound setting to deliver clear music even when you are surrounded by other sounds. 

The Ult Tower 10 will cost $1,199 / £999 and will be on sale by the end of April.

Look out for our full reviews coming soon.

Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.