Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Sony ULT Field 1 offers great sound quality and portability for its price.
  • It has a unique ULT button for adding bass and is water and dust resistant.
  • The speaker is versatile for various environments and reasonably priced at $129.

There’s not one perfect Bluetooth speaker, but in terms of portability and travel, the new Sony ULT Field 1 is a verified hit. Its compact size, powerful sound, and reasonable price make it a great choice for nearly anyone roaming around.

Sony ULT Field 1 standing vertical and laying vertical

Sony ULT Field 1

Users can bring their favorite tunes anywhere with enhanced bass built into a compact package with the
ULT Field 1. Equipped with a versatile multi-way strap for ease of use, it’s perfect for on-the-go


  • Great sound for size and price
  • Portable
  • Physical media controls

  • ULT button sound effect is disrupting
  • Rope handle durability is still to be determined

Price and Availability

The Sony ULT Field 1 will be available in the coming months for $129. It comes in black, orange, off-white, and forest gray. The speaker replaces the previous Sony SRS-XE200 model. The Field 1 is the smaller of the two new speakers, with the Field 7 being the bigger, more substantial music maker.


Up to 12 hours


Black, off-white, orange, forest gray

Media controls and ULT button

Water and dust resistance

What Is the Field 1 Speaker For?

Person holding Sony ULT Field 1 over a pool
Tyler Hayes / How-To Geek

The Sony ULT Field 1 isn’t the be-all, end-all speaker, it’s a small, portable one meant for adventures. That’s the context it’s being judged. It falls somewhere in between the JBL Charge 5 and the Sonos Roam based on price and size.

The ULT Field 1 has a removable rope handle which makes it easy to move around. It’s IP67 water and dust resistant so it can be used freely outside. It has control buttons along the top, one of which is a ULT button that activates a deeper level of bass. The speaker can be used in vertical or horizontal orientation with little to no difference in the sound profile. If you insist, you can also use it as a speaker phone. All told, it’s pretty versitle.

Although the Field 1 only has slightly less mass to it than the previous SRS-XE200 speaker, it feels a lot slimmer to hold. This new speaker feels like a big re-think from Sony, in all senses of design, aesthetic, and sound.

Sony ULT Field 1 in the middle, next to Sonos Roam and Sony SRS-XE200
Tyler Hayes / How-To Geek

Left to right: Sonos Roam, Field 1, and SRS-XE200

Close up of the buttons on teh Sony ULT Field 1
Tyler Hayes / How-To Geek

Speaking of the SRS-XE200, I found the Field 1 to have better clarity with an all-around better sound than the previous model. I thought the old speaker often sounded muddy and didn’t seem to have much mid-range clarity.

There are probably a lot of reasons for the sound difference, but one of the obvious things is the exposed drivers on either side of the unit.

Among the other things critical to the Field 1’s sound profile is the ULT button. It adds an extra boost to the low end like the bass button did on past Sony speakers. It works well and it gives the smaller speaker a beefy presence. With the ULT button turned off, the sound can teeter on being too hollow at higher volumes for bass-heavy genres. That’s to be expected since it is a $130 speaker, after all.

The ULT button is also on the new ULT Wear headphones and ULT Field 7 speaker. But unlike those devices, the Field 1 only has one level of ULT-ness, rather than two like the others. Again, it’s a smaller speaker and one is probably fine.

I left the ULT button turned on and hardly looked back. With the button activated, it sounds full. After the first few days, I found myself leaving it turned on no matter what music I was listening to. Even non-music baseball broadcasts sounded good in ULT mode.

While the actual ULT functionality was good, I hated the sound effects it made when turning on or off. The noise was too loud, lasted too long, and was startlingly unpleasant. It didn’t sound appropriate for any context. Seeing the ULT light come on or go off was enough of an indication for me.

I found that the speaker didn’t need to go higher than a 30% volume level for a bedroom or even a moderate-sized living room to produce a healthy thump. It could handle its own at the pool or hot tub in an outdoor setting too.

As a note, I wasn’t able to go through any customizations the Sony mobile app would offer because the speaker wasn’t compatible with it in its pre-release state. The app will be updated with the speaker’s public debut.

The Battery Life Is Fine

I had no problem with the Field 1’s 12 hours of projected battery life. It seems like it might have been able to squeeze in a little more based on its size compared to the Sonos Roam’s 10 hours, but overall the Field 1’s duration is still competitive.

There’s a USB-C port on the back for recharging the unit. The rubber cover hiding the port was easy enough to pop off and wasn’t too stiff to maneuver around. All around the battery life and powering the product was fine—two thumbs up.

Should You Buy the Sony ULT Field 1?

human hand holding Sony ULT Field 1 showing the side
Tyler Hayes / How-To Geek

As a portable Bluetooth speaker that you can keep in the car or bring around, the Sony ULT Field 1 is a terrific choice. It’s versatile enough for all climate types and produces a big enough sound to give gatherings some background music. I loved its form and sound, but I especially love its $129 retail price point which makes it a competitive option among other low-cost Bluetooth speakers.

Sony ULT Field 1 standing vertical and laying vertical

Sony ULT Field 1

Users can bring their favorite tunes anywhere with enhanced bass built into a compact package with the
ULT Field 1. Equipped with a versatile multi-way strap for ease of use, it’s perfect for on-the-go

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By John P.

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