Part of a brand new Sony ULT family of products designed to deliver powerful sound with rich bass, the ULT Wear wireless noise-canceling headphones are an exciting new addition to the renowned maker’s audio lineup. These new over-ear cans are a sequel to the Sony WH-XB910 headphones — a longtime favorite of bass aficionados.

I was excited to put Sony ULT Wear to the test, not only because the headphones are the inaugural set in the product family but also because of their agreeable price. For $200 before additional discounts, the first ULT cans are significantly cheaper than the range-topping Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones.

With these highlights in mind, I spent more than a week with the ULT Wear as my go-to set. I’ve been testing Sony products for a decade and researched whether the brand’s latest set is a one-trick pony for bass heads or a lower-priced alternative to much pricier noise-canceling headphones.

Audio Performance


I was impressed by more things than the booming bass of the Sony ULT Wear headphones. The latter can be controlled via a dedicated, promptly named ULT button on the left ear cup. There are two bass levels to pick from, each available via a button and the option to enjoy a balanced sound without low-range embellishments.

Activating the first stage of the ULT feature significantly bumped up the bass. I found it great for everyday use, as it tastefully enhanced familiar tracks without overpowering their treble and mid-range.

The second and highest ULT stage maxed out the bass, transforming the Wear headphones from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. Bass-forward tracks made the headphones feel like they were bouncing off my head in rhythm with the music with ULT at the highest level.

The best real-life analogy would be if you were near the front stage at a music festival. Most listeners can find the energy intoxicating, but audiophiles will scoff at the loss of audio fidelity to bring that bass rumble to reality. I found the feature great for energizing me towards the end of a long workday and enhancing the action-packed sequences in the games I played while wearing the cans.

Turning the ULT sound mode off on the Wear headphones results in a detail-rich sound with discernible but contained bass, harmonious mids, and crisp treble. The sonic experience is among the best for the money and worth having the Sony ULT Wear on your radar.


The headphones’ noise cancellation is excellent, courtesy of Sony’s proprietary V1 chip. The ULT Wear swiftly eliminated the traffic noise underneath the open window of our third-floor office space. The ambient sound mode, which kept me aware of my surroundings, was also reliable and easy to activate by placing my palm on the right ear cup.

This performance is the best I’ve experienced in an under-$200 set of headphones. However, the ULT Wear couldn’t match the silence generated by the twice more expensive Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones. The Wear also lacks the handy speak-to-chat feature of its costlier Sony WH-1000XM4 and XM5 counterparts.

Design and Comfort

The Sony ULT Wear headphones have a similar silhouette as the WH-XB910 cans that precede them. Side by side, the Wear headphones are easy to tell apart for their ULT button, the flashier Sony branding with an iridescent finish, and integrated wind noise reduction vents.

Comfort-wise, the Sony ULT Wear is among the best in the product category. The headphones are lightweight, and, thanks to a headband with a perfectly measured clamping force and cushy ear pads, ideal for prolonged use. I could easily spend entire workdays wearing them without feeling fatigued.

The ULT Wear’s touch controls, located on the right ear cup, are typical Sony. I had no trouble controlling the playback via taps, adjusting the volume, or changing the track by swiping. The learning curve is minimal, though I would have preferred physical buttons. Thankfully, the noise cancellation control has a dedicated switch.

Battery Performance

The headphones’ 30-hour battery life with noise cancellation is similar to that of the pricier Sony model mentioned above. During a week of testing, I only had to charge the Wear twice. Turning noise cancellation off almost doubles the product’s battery life.


With a well-thought-out mix of understated design, top-notch comfort, multi-faceted sonic experience, reliable noise cancellation, strong battery life, and flawless brand cachet, all at a good price, the Sony ULT Wear headphones are a no-brainer to invest in.

Sony offers the ULT Wear in black, gray, and white. Every set comes bundled with a hardshell storage case and a standard audio cable for old-school wired playback. Their versatility is in a league of its own and worthy of the new ULT moniker. If you’re shopping for a set of wireless headphones for yourself or to gift someone you care about on a $200 budget, this is your best option.

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