Sony ULT Field 1 review: a portable player that packs a punch

Sony announced its ULT lineup in India a little over a month ago. This new series includes wireless speakers and headphones that are specifically designed for bass lovers. The ULT Field 1 is the smallest wireless speaker of the lot and also the most affordable product in the current lineup priced at Rs 10,990. The biggest thing going for it is its portable form factor and bass-heavy sound profile. But how good is it really and should you buy it over the likes of the JBL Flip 6 and Bose SoundLink Flex? Let’s find out.


As I mentioned earlier, the Field 1 is a portable wireless speaker that you can carry around in your backpack, whether you’re travelling for a vacation or a sleepover at a friend’s place. It weighs around 650 grams so it won’t add much weight to your bag or if you’re walking with it in your hand. The JBL Flip 6, in comparison, is lighter at 550 grams.

Most of the speaker is covered in a mesh fabric except for the rubber panel on the surface where all the buttons are placed and a flap at the back that can be pulled down to expose the Type-C port. A thick shoe lace-like material runs along the speaker allowing you to carry it easily. The string is knotted together on one side allowing you to hang the speaker on a hook.

I received the Orange colour variant for review, which looks bright and adds a bit of pop to my room which has mostly white-coloured walls and either brown or black-coloured furniture. It definitely stands out on my wooden unit where I keep my record player and LPs. The speaker also comes in Off White, Black, and Forest Grey Colours. I would be wary of the White option as it will likely show dirt fast.

The ULT Field 1 is not only designed to be a compact, travel-friendly speaker but also a durable one. With an IP67 rating, the speaker is dust-resistant and waterproof, which means you can carry it outdoors while trekking or in the rain. I was able to confirm the latter during the ongoing Delhi rains. Sony claims the speaker is also salt water-resistant, which means you can take it to the beach. Alas, living in Delhi gives me almost no easy access to a beach so I could not test this claim.

Controls and connectivity

The silicone panel on the top includes buttons for power (with a green light above it when active, while the red light below flashes when the battery drops below 20 percent), Bluetooth pairing (with a blue light above it when active), play/pause music which can also double up for answering or ending calls, volume down and up, and a large colourful ULT button. When activated, the ULT button lights up and pumps up the bass output. 

There is a supporting Sony Control Centre app that you can download but the app is extremely limited in its functionality. It’s useful for firmware updates. There is an EQ feature to customise the sound profile, but you only get bass, middle, and treble sliders to work with which feels limiting. There’s also something called Stamina in the Power Option which is essentially a power saver option that turns off the ULT Power Sound mode in order to extend the speaker’s battery life.

The speaker supports Bluetooth Fast Pair for quick and easy pairing with an Android device. You also get support for Bluetooth 5.3 and SBC and AAC audio codecs.


As a portable wireless speaker, the ULT Field 1 sounds pretty good. It is ideal for a small gathering with friends and family indoors or outdoors as it offers decent loudness. Again, you need to look at this as a portable speaker and not a party speaker (Sony has the bigger ULT Field 7 and Tower 10 for that). 

The ULT Field 1 delivers a mono sound with a front-facing tweeter and woofer. If you have the budget to buy two of these, you can pair them up to create a stereo setup. The right and left sides have repressed passive radiators that vibrate nicely during bass-heavy songs and offer an improved audio-listening experience. Due to the silicone ends, the speaker won’t be moving around on a plane surface. 

Because this is a bass-forward speaker that wants you to push the ULT Power Sound button, it is ideal for genres like Hip-Hop and Dance where you want to hear that thumping bassline. So songs like ‘Still D.R.E’ by Dr. Dre and ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ by Coolio (yes, I am old by heart) sound great with the ULT Power Sound enabled. Some people might find the bass too overpowering on ULT mode, but they do have the option to tweak that through the EQ settings in the app.

My experience with Alternative and Rock songs was a bit varied. Playing ‘Holiday’ by Green Day without ULT mode made me miss the thumping drumline and the overall sound felt thin. Enabling ULT mode didn’t help as well as it enhanced the bass to the point that it drowned out the guitar solo around the 2-minute mark. Meanwhile, Coldplay’s latest single ‘Feels Like I’m Falling in Love’ is best heard without ULT mode as you want Chris Martin’s vocals to shine through.

Battery life

The ULT Field 1 offers a typical 12-hour battery life promise which is what you get with most other portable speakers in this range like the JBL Flip 6 and Bose SoundLink Flex. Using the speaker on and off through the week at about 50 percent volume and ULT enabled gave me somewhere between 10-12 hours on a full charge, as per Sony’s claim. However, if you crank up the volume and keep ULT enabled, expect the battery life to go down substantially to about 5-6 hours.

The speaker takes its own sweet time to charge as well, going from zero to full in about 5 hours, which is pretty slow. Now, I’m not saying it needs to charge as fast as my smartphone, but it would have been nice for a quick charge feature that comes in handy in some spontaneous situations where you might need to leave the house quickly with the speaker.


The ULT Field 1 is primarily for those who prefer bass-heavy songs over the rest. You’ll like listening to Hip-Hop and Dance or any genre where the bass is emphasised. The ULT button is where the magic is at as it significantly enhances the lows but it comes at the cost of sacrificing the mids and highs, so you won’t get a balanced sound for genres like Pop and Rock. In my opinion, the sound is better than the JBL Flip 6, but not as balanced and crisp as the Bose SoundLink Flex.

Priced at Rs 10,990, the ULT Field 1 is one of the more affordable portable wireless speakers in the market. Its lightweight design and durability coupled with IP67 certification make it easy to carry around and play no matter the weather or environment. Last and most importantly, the ULT Field 1 is loud and powerful enough to keep a gathering of friends and family happy.

Editor’s rating: 8 / 10


  • Great for bass-heavy songs
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Durable design and IP67-certified


  • ULT mode drowns mids
  • Average battery life

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