Sony Ult Field 1 review

Ultimate fantasy for bass heads?

₹ 10,999

The Sony Ult Field 1 seems to be a rebranding of Sony's Extra Bass product line, known for its emphasis on low frequencies. Similarly, the Ult Field 1 speaker and Ult Wear headphones feature an "ULT" button that boosts bass.

While the Ult button might be unnecessary on headphones, it makes sense on a portable outdoor speaker like the Field 1. This is especially true if you want to fill a large space with music or enhance bass outdoors.

Sony Ult Field 1 review: Sound

With the ULT button on, the Field 1 feels a lot more comfortable with handling low frequencies. It’s not as cohesive as we expected because Das Spiegel by The Chemical Brothers is a bit bloated and boomy. The digitally increased low frequencies try to punch more than their weight albeit, everything still sounds coherent and fuller in this mode. This is not the case if you turn off the ULT button. There’s a severe drop in punch and delivery from the bass as soon as you turn off the ULT button. The Sony Ult Field 1 has a lot of depth and texture as demonstrated in Birds by Dominique Fils-Aimè. The rugged speaker can sound incredible in some places with midrange detail and comfortable highs without the ULT mode. You can even crank this up to higher volumes and everything remains pitch-perfect with the Field 1 keeping up with Billie Eilish’s higher notes in CHIHIRO. However, you will catch the bottom end lacking here and with the ULT mode, it chips away the sparkle and texture in Billie’s voice in BIRDS OF A FEATHER. So there’s no middle ground on the Sony Ult Field 1. You have to sacrifice a bit of midrange magic for that punchy low-end or trade the other way.

Sony Ult Field 1 review: App

Fiddling with the Custom EQ in the Sony Music app settings is not as fun as Sony’s Headphones app. There are only three toggles in the Custom EQ namely Bass, Middle and Treble. If you manage to set the ‘Sound Effect’ to Custom, it will override every time you press the ULT button on the speaker and won’t go back to the Custom EQ without the app. So it's as useful as a bicycle in an elevator. There’s Spotify Connect available here which should make life easier but no hands-free connection with Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant. It’s a shame because there’s a mic on the speaker for calls. Oh, and the audio codec support is limited with SBC and AAC only.

For its purpose though, the Sony Ult Field 1 completely sounds suitable for bass-heavy tracks like Star Eater by Daniel Deluxe where there’s not much besides the rhythmic beating of bottom-end goodness. The Ult mode, suited for bass-heavy tracks, can sound enjoyable. Dare I say, On the Low by Burna Boy feels like a party starter on Field 1. Plonk it at the end of the room and it will send toe-tapping beats at higher volumes the entire day.

Sony Ult Field 1 review: Design

You can say that the Ult Field 1 is designed for pool parties, bachelor pads and treks. So be it beer or water, the IP67 water and dust resistance will give you some peace of mind. Don’t submerge it though, IP67 can handle an oopsie around the pool but not a brazen dip to beat the Delhi heatwave. The squared-off will keep it from rolling off a rock or a table but even if it does the Field 1 can handle a few knocks around the world. There’s an adjustable strap but it doesn’t seem capable enough for us to fasten to a carabiner hook and hang it from a bag during a trek. Something I had personally done with the UE Boom 3 during a trek.

Sony Ult Field 1 review: Verdict

The Sony Ult Field 1 manages to deliver exactly as advertised. Deep and boomy bass without sacrificing too much along the way. It’s not as compact as the Sonos Roam but the bass delivery is certainly better in outdoor settings. In terms of audio, the JBL Flip 6 in the same price range and has a wider presentation compared to the Sony’s but if you want something that won’t roll away from the table then the Sony is a better choice. The rugged design, which can be set up vertically or horizontally, is better than the competition and if you’re looking for an party speaker, you’ll only need one Ult Field 1 and a pair of dancing shoes.

Stuff Says

Bass-heavy party starter with a rugged design, but the sound sacrifices some mids for the low-end thump.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Big bass

  1. Rugged design

  1. Spotify connect

  1. Decent battery life

  1. Mid-heavy tradeoff

  1. Only AAC and SBC supported

Driver: 16mm (1x tweeter and woofer)
Weight: 650g
Bluetooth: 5.3
Frequency: 20Hz-20,000Hz (44.1kHz sampling)
IP: IP67 water and dust resistance