Players are also entitled to a designer helmet. To go against the clichés of the imposing gaming headset, Bang & Olufsen, sound specialist, released the Beoplay Portal, designed with dedicated video game functions for fast access, efficient connectivity and supporting Dolby Atmos. While also being able to be used daily.
After the home Xbox Wireless Headset, the Xbox One and Xbox Series X∣S go up in range and in price. Bang & Olufsen has announced the imminent arrival of its very first video game headset, without neglecting its usual design and comfort requirements.
Design and know-how at the service of the game
The Beoplay Portal is both elegant and efficient. Elegant, because it incorporates the sophisticated aesthetic lines and noble materials of the range of wireless over-ear headphones designed for everyday use. It thus sports ergonomic pads with memory foam covered with lambskin. At the back, a slight bulge conforms to the shape of the ear to improve comfort and limit sound loss.
The arch features notched padding to limit pressure on the skull. It is covered with a bamboo fiber textile, a durable and breathable material. The whole is rather light (282 g).
But Bang & Olufsen adds a gaming dimension to it with some functions dedicated to video games in all its forms.
Because the main problem with headsets for gamers is often their slightly too “futuristic” aspect which makes them difficult to wear in the middle of the street, when the microphone is not fixed on it … You can always connect your wired headset to a joystick to enjoy it, but it is however not possible to use a wireless headset on a console, the PS5 like the Xbox Series X for example not having a native Bluetooth connection. It is then necessary to go through a dongle and recognized compatibility.
Dynamic noise reduction and virtual surround sound
The PS5 therefore has its Pulse 3D and the Xbox its Wireless Headset for an affordable first approach (99 euros each). A few headsets have been added to the list of compatible models for consoles, from the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 gen 2 to the Astro 50 via the JBL Quantum 600 or the Razer Kaira Pro. But in the high-end multifunction segment, few visible references.
B&O hopes to take the niche with its Portal which is intended for Xbox One, Xbox Series and PC consoles as well as mobile devices. Because to its design and lightness, the headset adds a desire for even more immersive sound to meet the demands of video games. It promises low latency, surround sound supporting Dolby Atmos, a high-performance microphone, but also active and dynamic noise reduction (Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation), transparency mode.
« Beoplay Portal is the first of a new generation: a wireless headset that combines technologies developed for gaming with the sound, design and craftsmanship for which Bang & Olufsen is known.“, Explains Dorte Vestergaard, Director and Head of the On-The-Go category.
This helmet, which wants to respond to ” special technological requirements “Of gamers and excel for everyday use, promises to” shake up the codes Of the gaming market. Designed as part of the Designed for Xbox program, it takes advantage of the Xbox Wireless protocol with high bandwidth and low latency. It supports Bluetooth 5.1, connection through aptX Adaptive and wired USB-C (or jack).
Up to 24 hours of battery life
Inside the helmet, there are two 40mm diameter speakers fitted with neodymium magnets for a faithful and precise acoustic rendering. In addition to Dolby Atmos, the Beoplay Portal offers virtual surround sound for greater immersion in the game, but also for listening to music and watching a movie.
It takes advantage of the Own Voice function which allows the user to hear himself speak while cutting out the noise of his environment. The Beoplay Portal has a “virtual arm” which replaces the articulated arm of the microphone and makes everything more discreet. This isolates and amplifies the voice while eliminating background noise. The voice is crisp and clear for in-game voice chat like phone calls.
On the outside of each shell, where there is a metal plate, Beoplay has slipped the touch controls. It will be possible to adjust the volume such as ANC, switch to transparency mode, turn the music on / off or manage calls.
On the autonomy side, Bang & Olufsen has gone all out and promises up to 24 hours of continuous play with Bluetooth and ANC activated. Very useful for going for a walk, because, on the other hand, when it comes to playing and activating the Xbox Wireless Bluetooth with the ANC, the autonomy is reduced by half. It takes 3 hours for a full charge.
A dedicated application
The Bang & Olufsen app (iOS and Android) allows you to fine-tune the settings of the headphones to improve the audio experience. The user can thus opt for predefined game modes (RPG or FPS), adjust the adaptive active cancellation of noise, manage the microphone and its tone or the game / chat balance.
An option also allows you to manage your audio mix by balancing the tones (bright, relaxed, energetic, warm) and other options. For entertainment or everyday life, other settings are possible.
The Beoplay Portal is therefore full of qualities, both in terms of comfort, design, technology and functionality. And all this inevitably has a dizzying blow: 499 euros. The price of an excellent, very high-end gaming headset.
Beoplay Portal pricing and availability
The helmet will be available on April 29 at 499 euros in black, gray and navy blue, on the website of Microsoft as well as that of Bang & Olufsen and with partner resellers such as Amazon from 27 May.