Bang & Olufsen has announced the Beoplay Portal (via Xbox Wire), its first wireless gaming headset. However, it’s more than just an average headset. In fact, it costs US$499, which is as much as an Xbox Series X console.
The Beoplay Portal is designed for the Xbox ecosystem. With a push of its pairing button, users can connect to the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, or to a PC that has the Xbox Wireless adapter plugged into it. They also support a connection via Bluetooth 5.1 for other devices (including other consoles if you have a Bluetooth adapter).
There are reasons why the Beoplay Portal is so pricey. For starters, it has adaptive active noise cancellation (ANC) and a gaming audio mode that automatically activates when connected wirelessly to a console or when wired via USB-C to a PC. It also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack, if you would rather go wired.
Plus, the memory foam earpads are wrapped in lambskin leather, and it uses bamboo fibre textile to cover the headband padding with a few anodized aluminium details on the Portal, like the touch-sensitive discs on the outside of each ear cup. It also weighs only 282 grams, which is lighter than even the official Xbox Wireless Headset.
This Beoplay Portal can last up to 12 hours per charge when connected through both Bluetooth and Xbox Wireless, as well as using the active noise cancellation feature. However, if you’re just using Bluetooth and noise cancellation, you can expect up to 24 hours of use.
It is available now in black at Best Buy, the Microsoft Store, and via Bang & Olufsen’s site. Two other colours, grey and navy, will be available starting in May 2021. Does anyone really need a US$499 gaming headset? In comparison, the official Xbox Wireless headset only costs US$100. It’s a luxury item, that’s for sure.