Microsoft has announced a brand-new headset for Xbox in conjunction with the audio gurus at Bang & Olufsen.
Called the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Wireless headphones for Xbox, these are the first entry in a 'Designed for Xbox Limited Series program' aimed at bringing fancy, premium, and feature-filled products to gaming audiences.
- Bang & Olufsen Boeplay Portal headset: See all deals and offers
Being of Bang & Olufsen heritage, these headphones attempt to nail down the multi-use aspect of gaming headsets that is an increasing trend. In short, the Beoplay Portal headset will offer an 'immaculate audio experience' for playing games, but also for everyday use and media enjoyment.
If you're interested already and want to get your hands on them, head over to the Microsoft store where you can order the Anthracite set now. Pre-orders can also be placed for the Gray color and the Navy variant too, both of which come later this year in May.
The colours available are all pretty slick and sleek with an understated aesthetic. This, importantly, means they can be worn outdoors or on a commute without looking too 'gamer-y', which even some of the best Xbox Series X headsets can be guilty of. Though, for the very healthy price tag of $500, you'd expect the design to be suitable for most.
In terms of specific specs and features, the Beoplay Portal connects to the Xbox Series X, Series S, or Xbox One consoles through Microsoft's own Xbox wireless connectivity. It's also got Bluetooth 5.1 and aptX Adaptive (a type of wireless connection that can be used across loads of devices) to ensure that you can use the headphones wirelessly with your other gear. Elsewhere, there's a virtual boom arm - not the physical kind we spoke highly of in our Microsoft Xbox Wireless headset review - which promises to offer the performance of a traditional boom but via an array of directional mics built into the chassis.
The sound quality is heavily guided by Bang & Olufsen's rich heritage and pedigree in the business, offering immersive audio, tuned by technicians and acousticians to bring every moment to life, and the headset comes pre-activated with Dolby Atmos for Headphones (again, for that price tag, you'd really expect that to be the case). To offer you extended customisation on top of that, the accompanying Bang & Olufsen audio app enables you to pick from a range of presets for game types or media types, as well as mix audio tones, to get your settings just how you like them.
While the best gaming headset market and the best headphones markets are still distinct areas of audio quality, type, and focus, new multi-use headsets such as the Beoplay Portal will blur that boundary a little more. The addition of the Beoplay Portal headset to the Xbox range will also give people cause to think whether something will come along on Sony's side and make a similar impact on the current best PS5 headset range.
Remember, if you're still trying to snag a console, check out our Xbox Series X stock guide (as well as our PS5 stock guide to complete the set), in order to fully brief yourself on the patterns of Xbox restocks and how best to position yourself to get one.
Deals and pre-order offers
All in, we think this looks like a great, premium headset that will scratch the itch of many audiophiles, and particularly those who want to streamline their devices and peripherals. At $500, they are very steep for a gaming headset investment, but the multi-use, pedigree and B & O name tag might just win folks over.
- (Anthracite) Bang & Olufsen Boeplay Portal headset | $499 at Microsoft
- (Gray) Bang & Olufsen Boeplay Portal headset pre-order | $499 at Microsoft
- (Navy) Bang & Olufsen Boeplay Portal headset pre-order | $499 at Microsoft