Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Sony pumps up the bass for headphones, speakers with Ult

Balanced sound might as well be the holy grail for most listeners, but if you prefer a punchy low-end, there’s a whole breed of devices, as Sony replaces “extra bass” with “Ult”.

Sony’s light-up Muteki speaker hasn’t been around for a while, but we still recall the concept with fond memories. Big speakers and equally big bass, with plenty of colourful lights to make music experiences more like a party, whether or not you were having one in the first place.

Muteki hasn’t been a thing for a while, but Sony has still been pumping out gear with extra bass, specifically in the field of headphones. It also has a few speakers we’ve seen over the years, delivering bass and portable sound for folks who want it.

In 2024, however, Muteki isn’t being revived, but rather changed, as the “extra bass” approach to gear becomes something else with it.

Rather, the concept is now called “Ult” — as in the beginning of “ultra” or “ultimate” — and it’ll apply to speakers and headphones, as Sony details a little speaker, a big speaker, a positively huge tower speaker, and a pair of headphones to go with it.

They’re part of Sony’s “Ult Power Sound” range, which are specifically made with oomph in mind, but also different uses.

Take the Ult Field 1, which is a $229 small-ish IP67 water-resistant speaker sporting 12 hours of battery life and echo cancellation if you use it as a hands-free mic with speakerphone, while the speaker also features a button to enhance the bass.

The “Ult” button does that, and it’ll be found across the range, including the bigger $649 Ult Field 7, a much larger speaker made for shelves and going out and about.

It’s a fair bit bigger and supports automatically sound adjustments for where you use the speaker. You can also use the Sony Ult Field 7 for karaoke and guitars via an input jack.

And then there’s the model called the Sony Ult Tower 10, a $1499 speaker that feels like the modern interpretation of the Muteki tower speakers, with lights, 360 degree sound, auto optimised sound, and two types of bass with an Ult1 and Ult2 mode.

While partying seems to be the vibe across the speaker range, the headphones are basically the new “XB” noise cancelling headphones we’ve seen prior.

Called the Ult Wear, they’ll follow a similar style to the WH-1000XM5 and the Sony CH720N headphones, even supporting active noise cancellation with them. Inside, there’s Sony’s V1 integrated processor just like in the XM5, plus dual noise sensor tech, but the main difference will be the bass, with an “Ult” button just like the speakers to switch bass modes.

Priced at $350 in Australia, the Ult Wear are essentially bassy headphones for folks who like that sort of thing, and are heading to stores in Australia now. Meanwhile, the Ult speakers will head to stores later on, arriving in July.

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