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Sony's New Portable Bluetooth Speaker Delivers a Little Extra Thump

by Suzanne Kantra on April 26, 2024

Sony's latest portable Bluetooth speaker, the ULT Field 1 ($129), is designed for music lovers who want to bring their tunes wherever they go. Whether you're enjoying a day at the beach or sitting by a campfire, this water-resistant speaker delivers full, even sound with the option to pump up the bass.

Sony ULT Field 1 speaker

The ULT Field 1 has a rugged look with shock-absorbing bumpers and an attractive fabric finish in four colors: off-white, forest gray, black, and orange. Its compact size and lightweight design make it easy to carry around, while the adjustable carrying strap ensures a secure grip during transit. The speaker’s IP67 rating makes it waterproof, dustproof, and rustproof.

For a small speaker, the ULT Field 1 delivers surprisingly full and even response across all frequencies. It did justice to The Beatles' "Hey Jude" and Steely Dan's "Do It Again," easily filling my home office with sound. And if you like more treble or mids, you can fine tune it with a 3-band EQ.

While the bass response is decent in the default mode, it's not quite up to the lows you'd want for Talking Heads "Burning Down the House" or Imagine Dragons "Thunder." However, pressing the eye-catching dual-chrome ULT button instantly boosts the low frequencies, adding more depth to your music. If you’re sitting close by, you can feel it thumping, making it perfect for party music like pop, rock, and hip-hop.

Read more: Sony's 2024 TVs & Sound Bars: Effortless Cinematic Quality at Home

The speakerphone is similar to using your phone's speakerphone, but louder. The voice quality is somewhat tinny and hollow on both ends, but the voices are clear.

With a 12-hour battery life, the ULT Field 1 can keep the music going all day long. Unlike some Bluetooth speakers in this category, you can't charge your devices with the speaker.

At $129, the ULT Field 1 is on the high end of portable Bluetooth speakers, but it is ideal for those seeking a durable, (optionally) bass-heavy portable speaker for casual listening.

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[Image credit: Suzanne Kantra/Techlicious]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.


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