Bang & Olufsen today just announced with Microsoft’s Xbox team its entry into the gaming headphones space. This is a first for Bang & Olufsen, which is well-known globally for designing high-end audio equipment.
While companies like Turtle Beach, SteelSeries, Razer, and Astro have dominated gaming audio peripherals for many years, more high-end brands have started to make their way into the market. In our Best Gaming Headsets post, for example, we highlight Sennheiser, another high-end audio brand. As together with EPOS it made one of our favorite pairs of gaming headphones – the GSP 670.
With Bang & Olufsen, its new headphones are called the Beoplay Portal. They’re wireless, and they’re designed for use with the Xbox console. However they work with more than just Xbox. These are also the first product in Microsoft’s new program called the Designed For Xbox Limited Series.
The aim of this program is to provide a collection of more high-end devices and experiences for use with Xbox.
The Bang & Olufsen Xbox headphones also work with PC and mobile
These days it’s not enough that a pair of wireless headphones provide great audio quality. It’s also important that they’re versatile. The Beoplay Portal headphones for Xbox are definitely versatile.
You can use them with the console while you play. But you can also connect them to your PC for gaming on that platform. They also work with mobile devices. So you can more or less use them with any device you may use to consume media.
For connections the Portal headphones use Bluetooth when linking with the PC or your smartphone. But for linking to the Xbox they use a built-in 2.4GHz Xbox wireless connection. This provides them with lossless audio so you’re not missing a single beat in any of your games.
They will also work with both the older Xbox One console, as well as the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Making them perfect for last-gen and current-gen users alike.
Packed with features and some pretty cool innovative tech
Good audio quality is nice, but that could be less important to gamers if there’s no real features that benefit gamers. The Beoplay Portal for Xbox certainly offer a lot of gaming-centric benefits.
To start, they have active noise cancellation. The really cool feature though is the inclusion of a virtual boom arm. Now, without having tested this, we can’t say if this is really any better than a headset with a physical boom for voice chat. But it certainly looks better. And there’s nothing in the way when feeding yourself some snacks. Meaning you won’t accidentally knock the boom as you shovel food into your mouth.
The virtual boom arm uses multiple directional beamforming microphones to help separate your voice from other sounds. While also amplifying it so you come across clear as crystal to people on the other end.
In addition to ANC and the virtual boom, the headphones also feature Dolby Atmos support, as well as Bluetooth 5.1, aptX adaptive, and up to 24 hours of battery life. It even features three different game mode presets when using the companion app, which include RPG, FPS, and a more general Game mode. Not too unlike the dedicated modes on the Panasonic SoundSlayer sound bar.
It’s Bang & Olufsen, so yes, these are pricey
While these are loaded with features and come with an undoubtedly premium design, they’re not cheap. They retail for $499. Which means they cost as much as the Xbox Series X itself.
They come in three colors, which are Black Anthracite, Gray Mist, and Navy Brass. Though, only the Black model is available at the moment. The other two can be pre-ordered but they won’t ship out until May. You can pick them up from the Microsoft Store directly, or through retailers like Best Buy.