Sony ULT Field 7 review: A solid party speaker with big sound

A big portable Bluetooth speaker at a big price

Sony ULT Field 7 outdoors by a pool
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

Sony’s ULT Field 7 speaker has decent audio quality and some useful special features, but the size and price tag will be too big for some.


  • +

    Excellent sound with big bass

  • +

    Strong waterproof design

  • +

    Numerous inputs that extend functionality

  • +

    Lengthy battery life


  • -

    LED and ULT functions drastically decrease playtime

  • -

    Middling bass modes

  • -

    Large and a bit too heavy to carry far

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Sony ULT Field 7: Specifications

Price: $499 / £399 / (approx. AU$750)
Colors: Black
Size: 20 x 8.8 x 8.7 inches
Weight: 14.1 pounds
Battery life (rated): 30 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC, and LDAC
Durability: IP67-rated

Sony's range of Bluetooth speakers is extensive. There’s the wheelie SRS-XV900 speaker that delivers thunderous omnidirectional sonics. Spatial audio conformists have the luxury SRS-RA5000 for room-scale 3D sound via 360 Reality Audio. Bargain hunters even have the SRS-XB100, which is an outstanding compact speaker that ranks among the best cheap Bluetooth speakers with great bass for its size.

There are so many terrific options, yet Sony felt inclined to launch another speaker line under the recently announced ULT Power Sound Series. Three new speaker models were introduced: the entry-level ULT Field 1, the chunky mid-tier ULT Field 7, and the flagship ULT Field 10. There's a pair of ULT Wear headphones in the series too. All are designed to emphasize bass levels via a ULT button that enhances audio output.

Here, I test the ULT Field 7 speaker, which by first impressions looks like a big portable speaker with an equally big price tag. Robust sound with fun features in a huge, near-indestructible shell are hallmarks that can help overshadow the steep MSRP. Scroll down to read my full review and discover whether the Sony ULT Field 7 is worth the investment.

Sony ULT Field 7 outdoors by a pool listing image

(Image credit: Future)

Sony ULT Field 7 review: Price and availability

This Sony ULT Field 7 retails for $499 / £399 / (approx. AU$750). It's available to buy directly from the Sony website in the U.S. and U.K. but has yet to go on sale in Australia. 

Despite being a new release, the Sony ULT Field 7 is already being discounted and is $100 off on Sony's website. Right now, it can also be found on sale for $398 at Amazon and $399 at Best Buy.

While the smaller and more affordable Sony ULT Field 1 comes in a choice of color options, the ULT Field 7 is available in black only.

Sony ULT Field 7 review: Design

Sony ULT Field 7 on a chair outside with iPhone

(Image credit: Future)
  • Position horizontally or vertically
  • Strong waterproof protection   
  • Too heavy to carry far

Like some of the best Sony headphones, the ULT Field 7 showcases top-tier craftsmanship. The cylindrical design wrapped in hard plastic and rugged mesh weaving is both attractive and highly durable. IP67 certification means the speaker can sustain exposure to dust and high levels of water pressure. A passive radiator is concaved on each side. Details like the buttons and Sony logo are nicely displayed. Most impressive is the rear compartment that is flush when closed and hides a plethora of functions (more on that later).

The handles allow you to transport the speaker wherever you please. However, its large form and notable weight (14 pounds) don’t make the speaker a light carry.

Sony ULT Field 7 review: Controls and connectivity

Sony ULT Field 7 showing controls and connectivity ports

(Image credit: Future)
  • Useful quick controls and inputs on speaker 
  • Guitar and microphone support
  • Easy wireless connectivity

Let’s start with the module on top that houses six buttons: power on/off, Bluetooth, play/pause, volume -, volume +, and ULT. The majority are embossed and simple to identify, while the ULT button is circular and enables Sony’s two bass boost modes. They all produce solid tactility and respond to single/multi-press gestures instantly.

On the back is a compartment housing buttons to toggle the LEDs and battery preservation mode, along with karaoke features like Echo and Key Control for pitch adjustment. The Guitar button indicates whether you’re using a guitar or mic when plugged into the speaker. Rounding things out are a 3.5mm headphone jack, AC connector, gain knob, guitar quarter-inch mic/guitar input, and USB-A port to either connect the speaker with any desktop setup or charge portable devices. The buttons and ports work well.

Digital assistance is somewhat available. You can enable Google Assistant or Siri on your phone — manually or verbally — and the speaker will broadcast results.

Bluetooth 5.2 provides steady playback and up to 45 feet of wireless range. Pairing is quick, especially on Android devices via one-tap Google Fast Pair. Multipoint technology pairs the ULT Field 7 to two media devices at the same time, and it’s on-point.

SBC, AAC, and Sony’s LDAC codec are all supported. LDAC is the default and delivers higher-rate audio transfers over Bluetooth when connected to compatible playback devices.

Sony ULT Field 7 review: Sound quality

Sony ULT Field 7 on a deck outside

(Image credit: Future)
  • Loud, space-filling sound
  • ULT modes are hit or miss
  • Sound Field Optimization is effective

Bass is Sony’s bag and there is plenty here to occupy most listening environments. The X-Balanced Speaker Unit combined with passive radiators and two tweeters pump out loud, spacious sound that doesn’t compromise frequency range, at least when the special modes are disabled.

Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” had my family and friends engaged by the pool. Percussion was clear and impactful, and the singer’s shouting vocals were crisp over the complex and thumpy orchestration. That same energy carried over onto Redman’s “Smash Sumthin’”. The funky drum sample and electric guitar ramped up the crowd. Jazz classics like “Bye Bye Blackbird” by Etta Jones decreased bass presence, but serenaded ears with superb instrumental separation highlighted by soothing double bass and flute solos.

Sony ULT Field 7 outdoors by a pool

(Image credit: Future)

One of the series’ biggest selling points is the ULT button to enable different sound modes: ULT1 for deep low-pass range or ULT 2 for emphasized sound pressure. The effects are positive on certain tracks and damaging on others. I loved how tight the bass drums and snares sounded on Torii Wolf’s “Everlasting Peace,” but was turned off by the bloaty resonance on Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” that diminished frequencies.   

Audio performance is best when turning on Sound Field Optimization in the companion app. This will automatically scan your environment for ambient noise and dynamically adjust sound, which it does surprisingly well. I had the speaker on my balcony where various incidental noises (e.g., AC units, landscaping, water fountain splashing) took place, and the feature improved clarity.

LDAC led to smooth playback on the best music streaming services. I would have loved to see 360 Reality Audio on here, especially for use with optimized Tidal tracks.

Sony ULT Field 7 review: Control app and special features

Sony ULT Field 7 showing control app

(Image credit: Future)
  • Generic-looking companion app
  • Could benefit from more practical features
  • Fiestable app support is ideal for parties

The Sony Music Center app needs a graphical facelift because it looks like a beta app from 2010. It has several personalization tools that are either useful or useless.

Settings is where you’ll discover the lighting, power, and sound modes. Illumination has 10 selectable lighting sequences. Power Option presents multiple choices for extending battery life. The two ULT modes can be toggled in the Sound Effect field, along with the custom EQ and Sound Field Optimization. There’s an option to prioritize sound quality or connectivity when streaming media. DJs have the isolator and flanger settings to create mixes, though neither adds much to the listening experience. 

A battery level indicator, volume slider, and shortcuts to popular streaming platforms are on the homepage. Your personal music catalog is accessible in My Library. Audio In and USB let you control playback on plugged-in devices. Lastly, you can group other ULT Field 7 speakers for true stereo sound or link up to 100 compatible speakers to synchronize music (and lighting) through Party Connect. 

Sony’s Fiestable app works with the speaker to add sound effects, adjust lighting and karaoke modes, and mirror the sound system's lighting effects on your phone's display. It mostly appeals to DJs and party hosts who want to liven up their gatherings.

Sony ULT Field 7 review: Battery life

Sony ULT Field 7 by the pool with reviewer Alex Bracetti

(Image credit: Future)
  • One of the longest-rated Bluetooth speakers out there
  • On-board features drastically drain battery life
  • USB port enables battery top-ups on portable devices 

Sony rates battery life at 30 hours. That means the ULT Field 7 outlasts other bass-blasting goliaths like the JBL PartyBox Stage 320 (18 hours) and UE Hyperboom (24 hours), while also providing the same playtime as some compact speakers (e.g., Tribit Stormbox Flow). There is a caveat: volume must be at about 25% with both the LED and ULT modes disabled. Enabling the latter can decrease battery life to about 7 hours.

My testing saw the speaker tap out around the 15-hour mark when factoring in special features and volume. This was sufficient for two weekend gatherings (4-5 hours per day) and recharging smartphones. Two battery saving modes exist — Battery Care to suppress the charge amount to 90% and Stamina for optimizing settings that suppress power consumption — each providing 2 more hours of use. Auto Standby puts the speaker in sleep mode when inactive for 15 minutes. A 10-minute charge can net you 3 hours of playtime.

Sony ULT Field 7 review: Verdict

You can get loud, wide sound from any reasonably priced Bluetooth speaker, especially those bearing the Sony insignia. Why consider the ULT Field 7? Multifunctionality. 

Powerful audio and deep bass will surely hook brand enthusiasts. The design is heavy, but incredibly sturdy for high-level protection during pool parties and outdoor gatherings. However, it’s the party features and portable charging that transform the speaker into an enjoyable and serviceable ecosystem, and make the ULT Field 7 a great portable speaker even at the high price.

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Alex Bracetti

A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.