Sony ULT Wear: Unleash the power of deep bass

Deep bass that can take a toll on other aspects of your sound

Sony-ULT-Wear

Sony’s flagship series of wireless headphones – WH1000XM – are touted to be amongst the best when it comes to audio performance done wirelessly on the go. But these are premium and often more than what you might be looking for. Sony has recently launched its ULT series of audio products, among which is the ULT Wear. A pair of wireless over-the-ear headphones that’s priced at Rs. 16,990 currently and aim to offer a lot of those goodies. Let’s find out how they really perform: The ULT Wear have the familiar Sony cup design but these do fold to fit in the neat cloth case that you get when you purchase it. The cups have enough 40mm earpads cushioning and the middle rod also carries decent amount of cushion. The cups are all plastic with somewhat tacky looking buttons, though. There’s nothing premium or attractive about it, I would have expected the buttons and whole matte-finish casing to be a little more premium in looks and feel. The left earcup carries these buttons – power/pairing key, Noise Cancellation/Ambient Sound key, USB type C port for charging only and 3.5mm audio jack along with the ULT button. On the right earcup, you can gesture up or down with your finger to adjust the volume, scroll forward or backward to change tracks, cup the whole area with your palm to change noise cancellation mode, and of course double tap it to pause or resume play. These gestures are responsive work reliably to not take out your phone every single time. There’s also noise-cancellation mics at the top of the cups that you can see if you tilt them a little.

I found the headphones quite comfortable to wear with good cushioning and fit for using them on the go. But the downside of that cushioning is that, given peak summers, you will get sweat on them if you’ve them on in a warm place and even for 10-15 minutes.

Coming to the audio quality, the ULT Wear supports Bluetooth 5.3 and SBC, AAC plus LDAC audio codecs. As emphasized by Sony itself, the headphones are big on the bass. Perhaps a little too much you might feel that it can take some toll on the other aspects of your music. Changing EQ in the Headphones Connect App does help, making the sound brighter using the Brights EQ preset. Pressing the ULT button on the left earcup switches between ULT1 and ULT2 EQ presets. The headphones are loud and have punchy tones as long as you’ve done your hit and trial for sound instead of the default out-of-the-box settings. It also helps in making the bass clearer without sacrificing on the vocals and instruments in the background. Noise cancellation on these headphones is pretty decent, cancelling out on low-pitched noises outside and indoors consistently and keeping the audio in check that a lot of headphones at this price point and under can struggle with.

Mic quality on these headphones is decent at best, more suited for indoor usage as it doesn’t cut out on noise with windy outdoor conditions when used for calls. Initial pairing is quite straight-forward and using multi-connect, you can use it with two different Bluetooth source devices.

Talking about its battery life, it lasted me about 30-32 hours in total with ANC switched on for about half of that, so it would last more with ANC switched off at all times, so battery life’s definitely a strength of this Sony pair. And of course you can also use these with the bundled 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio 1.2 meters cable if it suits your audio source.

Concluding this review, the new Sony ULT Wear, other than having much simpler naming scheme than the flagship WH1000XM series, does offer some bits at a much lower price. It has good ANC performance for outdoor and indoor use while giving solid battery life, too. It has overemphasized bass and requires you to tweak EQ settings a bit just to see where your preference lies to get cleaner vocals as well as treble along with that bass. So, if this does match your taste, then you can consider this new Sony pair, but if not, there’s a lot of other pairs to choose from in the wireless space these days

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