In June 2020, Bang & Olufsen announced it would be collaborating with Microsoft to bring “a new high-end audio proposition” to the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The Beoplay Portal are the result of that partnership, and they’re the company’s first-ever pair of wireless gaming headphones.
As you’d expect from the luxury audio brand, the Beoplay Portal use premium materials and promise to deliver an immersive sound. They feature an impressive array of specs, including low latency surround sound, adaptive active noise cancellation, a transparency mode and an “elegant user interface” – the earcups feature built-in touch sensitive controls, and you can also control the headphones via the Bang & Olufsen app.
Bang & Olufsen also claim the Beoplay Portal will offer “outstanding microphone performance”. The microphone uses directional beamforming technology to help isolate and amplify the user’s voice while eliminating background noise.
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Like the Xbox Wireless Headset and SteelSeries Arctis 9X, the Beoplay Portal connects directly to your Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S or Xbox One via the Xbox Wireless protocol. That means you won’t need to sacrifice one of the console’s USB ports by sticking in a dongle, and it often means you get additional functionality, like being able to turn on your Xbox console when you turn on your headphones.
The Beoplay Portal is also compatible with PC and mobile devices via Bluetooth, which means you can play your favorite Xbox games and listen to the latest episode of TechRadar’s Noise Cancelling podcast on your phone at the same time, if you like.
But how will they sound? Well, the Beoplay Portal are equipped with two custom-designed 40mm drivers with neodymium magnets that Bang & Olfusen say should ensure a “precise and faithful acoustic reproduction”. They also weigh in at a featherlight 282 grams, meaning you should be able to game in comfort for hours.
In terms of charge, the Beoplay Portal has a 1,200 mAh lithium-ion battery that offers up to 12 hours of playtime when using Xbox Wireless, Bluetooth and active noise cancellation. You’ll get 24 hours of continuous playtime when using Bluetooth and active noise cancellation, and the headphones can be charged via USB-C.
So how much will you have to pay for all this cutting-edge technology and Bang & Olufsen’s quality craftsmanship? $499 / £449 (around AU$749), which is the same price as the Xbox Series X (and the price of two Xbox Series S consoles).
The headphones will be available in the US and Canada from today, March 30, exclusively at Bang & Olufsen, Best Buy, and the Microsoft Store for a limited time, and there are three styles to choose from: Black Anthracite, Grey Mist and Navy. The Beoplay Portal will also go on sale globally at select retailers on April 29.
“Beoplay Portal is the first of its kind — a wireless headphone that combines gaming technology with Bang & Olufsen’s characteristic sound, design, and craftsmanship,” says Dorte Vestergaard, director and head of Bang & Olufsen’s On-The-Go category. “Our designers and engineers have worked tirelessly to create a pair of headphones that meets the advanced technological needs of the gaming community while also excelling during daily use. Bang & Olufsen is thrilled to be entering the gaming market with this category-redefining product.”
We’re excited to see whether Bang & Olufsen can justify the premium price tag when compared to the recently released Xbox Wireless Headset, which we found offered phenomenal value and performance for under $100 / £100.
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