The Sony WH-1OOOXM5 has been my favourite headphone in recent years. So I was naturally curious when the new Ult range launched last month. Sony’s latest experiment with delivering bass-boosted sound profiles across this product range got my attention. I tried out the Ult Wear over-the-ear headphones, and here’s my experience as an audiophile.


The Sony Ult Wear marries the Sony WH-1OOOXM-4 and XM-5 design language. With the portability of the XM-4 and the build of the XM-5, it sports a semi-foldable design, making it easy to carry. The design varies with an open speaker grille around the top of the ear cups, which has a more functional purpose while the bass-boost mode is on.

The faux leather padding on the earcups was quite comfortable despite donning it during Chennai summers.

The Ult button and Sony branding toward the side have a silver hologram finish with nice rainbow hues from different angles—a catchy visual element on an otherwise simple yet practical design. The colour variant I reviewed was Forest Grey with a greenish-grey hue.


The 40 mm driver unit and Integrated Processor V1 help refine the product on the hardware and digital signal processing level and deliver the best music listening experience that I have had recently.

Out of the box, the default sound signature is rich enough for those who want hassle-free listening. This mode delivers a balanced, nuanced sound signature with a clear separation between the highs and lows of a song like Jyoti Nooran’s Paon Ki Jutti.

The Ult button has two modes, Ult1 and Ult2, which can be switched using the dedicated Ult button on the left earcup.

Each mode has different settings in the equaliser, and Ult-2 mode features ClearBass, which helps with the separation of bass at (+10)out of the box. This mode was the best for enjoying  bass-heavy EDM.

Ult1 is my second favourite mode. It delivers just the right amount of bass boost and also catches the lower frequencies of instruments and vocals in tracks such as Coldplay’s Something Like This without distorting the audio at the higher volume levels.

I recommend steering clear of the Ult2 mode unless you’re a bass aficionado. Across all genres of music, this mode delivers sharp thumps that sometimes tend to wash out both the highs and lows of a song’s acoustic texture. It was like fitting a mini boombox on my ear, which left me disoriented after a while.

Noise Cancellation

The headphones’ active noise cancellation is great. It digitally cancels out most external sounds, and the seal around the ear cups works well to cut out the remaining ambient sound. The pass-through seemed a little synthetic to my liking, and I wasn’t able to reduce whirring or buzzing sounds from older electrical appliances such as fans and air conditioners. The call quality on the Ult Wear was impressive, with people on the other end hearing my voice clearly without too much ambient noise.

App Experience

The Sony Headphones Connect app is the best way to get the best out of Ult Wear, and it is quite functional with three different windows - Headphones, Activity and Menu. It offers settings under Status, Sound, System and Services. Under Status, I could tweak the Adaptive Sound levels, and check connected devices and the tracks currently playing. The Sound lets you customise the soundstage and set a custom equaliser. Under System, I could also turn multipoint connectivity on or off and turn on the tap gestures on the right earcup as well.


The Sony Ult Wear easily got through a week of usage with over 40 per cent left, with both ANC and Ult mode on. I listened to music and edited some videos for about 28-30 hours before I had to plug it in for charging. It easily lives up to the claim of delivering close to 30 hours of playback with ANC on.

While the Ult Wear takes about three hours to charge, it is comforting to know that the headphone has a quick charge mode, which allows up to 90 minutes of playback with a 3-minute charge through the USB-C port. Additionally, a 10-minute charge can deliver close to 3 hours of battery backup when you need it most.


The Sony Ult Wear is a well-rounded option for bass-heavy headphones. With a well-tuned audio profile, sturdy build, great sound quality, and ample customisation, it carves a space for itself at a reasonable price point.

Price: ₹24,990

Pro: Good sound signature, sound customisations, good ANC and great battery life.

Cons: Over-the-top bass in Ult2 mode, average ambient mode.