If Microsoft’s recently released Xbox Wireless Headset isn’t high-end enough for your tastes, Bang & Olufsen’s recently announced Beoplay Portal gaming headset could be more your speed.
The pricey Beoplay headset was designed with the Xbox Series X, Series S, Xbox One and PC (with an Xbox Wireless adapter) in mind and supports both an Xbox wireless connection and Bluetooth 5.1, allowing you to take calls or listen to music while gaming.
What’s most interesting about the $549 CAD headset is that it doesn’t look like it was designed for gaming. There are no RGB lights, flashy colours or even an Xbox logo. The pricey headset is only available in a very understated ‘Black’ and will also release in ‘Gray’ and ‘Navy’ on April 29th. The Beoplay Portal itself is built of high-quality material, including lambskin leather ear pads and a bamboo fibre textile that covers its headband’s padding.
Other notable features include adaptive active noise cancellation (ANC), a feature most gaming headsets don’t have, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a companion iOS and Android app that allows you to optimize game/chat balance. Like the far cheaper Xbox Wireless Headset, you can also turn each earcup to change volume and game/chat balance.
In terms of hardware, the headset features 40mm drivers and supports Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound.
Using the Beoplay Portal with an Xbox One console, Series X or Series S gives you up to 12 hours of battery life, while Bluetooth and noise cancellation can net you up to 24 hours of use.
What’s strange about the Beoplay Portal is that it doesn’t feature an extended mic and instead includes what Bang & Olufsen calls a ‘Virtual Boom Arm’ that features a beamforming microphone built into the headset. I’ve used gaming headsets that feature built-in mics in the past and haven’t been impressed with their mic quality. Hopefully, the Beoplay Portal manages to break that trend.
Given the headset’s $549 price tag, there’s more than likely a limited audience for a luxury item like this, especially since they’re only technically compatible with Xbox consoles. That said, it’s cool to see a legacy audio company like Bang & Olufsen get into the gaming space.