Bang & Olufsen has waded into uncharted territory with its newest headphones. The Beoplay Portal are its first pair of wireless gaming headphones, designed to be used with the Xbox family of consoles.
If you want to game in style then the Beoplay Portal is a more expensive alternative to the Xbox Wireless Headset.
Priced at £449 / $499 / €499 / DKK 3,749, it boasts all the hallmarks of a Bang & Olufsen headphone and looks similar to the recently announced Beoplay HX. It differs from the HX in that these are headphones are purpose built for gaming.
The Beoplay Portal were developed as part of the Designed for Xbox program, and they’re intended to seamlessly connect to an Xbox Series X / S and Xbox One consoles via the Xbox Wireless protocol. This ensures the headphones have a high bandwidth, low latency connection to any Xbox console. When you’re not gaming, the Portal has a Bluetooth 5.1/USB-C connection with support for aptX Adaptive codec, so you can pair it with a PC or mobile device.
B&O claims the Beoplay Portal provides “a rich audio experience, delivering a high level of detail and nuance”. Inside the earcups are two custom 40mm drivers with neodymium magnets that aim for a faithful reproduction of game audio. Dolby Atmos for Headphones is also supported, so you can get that immersive, spacious feel with games, movies and music that support the format.
B&O’s Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation technology is included, utilising both feed-forward and feed-back ANC methods to cancel out external noise. The Beoplay Portal also has a virtual boom arm that uses Directional Beamforming technology with its array of microphones to “isolate and amplify the user’s voice while eliminating background noise”. The aim is crystal clear conversations, regardless of whether you’re talking to your teammates or on the phone to your friends.
Designed by Jakob Wagner in partnership with Bang & Olufsen’s design team, the Portal comes in three colour ways: Black Anthracite, Grey Mist, and Navy. The look lives up to use of high-quality materials with the earpads crafted from lambskin-wrapped memory foam, the earcups boasting touch-sensitive aluminium discs and headband padding covered in a bamboo fibre textile chosen for its durability and breathability – basically it removes the feeling of pressure on the head. At 282g they’re pretty lightweight, ideal if you’re gaming for hours upon hours.
Battery life is up to 24 hours with Bluetooth and ANC engaged, or 12 when the Xbox Wireless, Bluetooth and ANC are used. Settings can be tweaked in the Bang & Olufsen app, which has been updated to include the new Gaming Mode. That mode introduces specific features for gamers, including microphone optimization and game/chat balance. When connected to an Xbox console or PC (via a dongle or USB-C connection), Gaming Mode is automatically engaged. The wireless dongle is sold separately.
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal is available in its Black Anthracite in the United States/Canada from March 30th, and will be exclusively sold at Bang & Olufsen, Best Buy and – for a limited time – the Microsoft Store. For the rest of the world, the Beoplay Portal goes on sale April 29th at Bang & Olufsen, online, and in select retailers. Look out for our review of the Beoplay Portal in the coming days.
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