Bang & Olufsen announced today that it’s getting into the business of making gaming headsets. Today the company introduced the Beoplay Portal, a wireless gaming headset being released under the Designed for Xbox program. Gamers might want to prepare for a bit of sticker shock though, because like many Bang & Olufsen cans, the Beoplay Portal is going to cost a pretty penny.
Of course, the Beoplay Portal comes with a feature set we’d expect to see out of a pair of Bang & Olufsen headphones. Chief among the features is Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation that can suppress noises from the outside world so the focus remains on the game. The headphones also offer monitor functionality so you can hear your own voice as you speak, and like most Bang & Olufsen headphones that offer Adaptive ANC, there’s also a Transparency Mode you can turn on when you actually need to hear what’s going on around you.
The presence of Transparency Mode can make these headphones good options for use outside of gaming. The headphones are built using a pair of “custom-designed 40mm drivers with neodymium magnets,” and support Dolby Atmos for Headphones. If you look at the pictures, you’ll notice that there’s no mic protruding from the headset, and that’s because the Beoplay Portal uses Directional Beamforming to create what B&O calls a “virtual boom arm” that can isolate and amplify the user’s voice using an array of built-in microphones.
Since the Beoplay Portal is being released under the Designed for Xbox banner, it should be pretty easy to connect to an Xbox console using Xbox Wireless, be it the Xbox Series X or the Xbox One. Bang & Olufsen says that the headphones are also compatible with PC and mobile devices through a number of different connection options: Bluetooth 5.1, aptX Adaptive, and USB-C. Users can expect a battery life of 24 hours when just using Bluetooth and ANC, while that’s cut in half to 12 hours when using Xbox Wireless, Bluetooth, and ANC.
Here’s where the pain point surfaces, because Bang & Olufsen has priced these headphones at $499 USD – which means that they cost as much as an Xbox Series X and $200 more than Xbox Series S. Thanks to that price tag, we’re guessing that the market for these is going to be pretty small, but if the high price isn’t enough to scare you away, you’ll be able to find the Beoplay Portal at Bang & Olufsen’s website and select retailers beginning on April 29th.