Bang & Olufsen has unleashed its latest pair of wireless headphones – the Beoplay Portal – which are designed to maximise your next gaming session on the Xbox Series X and Series X that launched last year. Stock of the next-generation Xbox (like its counterpart, PlayStation 5) are still frustratingly low in the UK right now, but if you’ve been lucky enough to get one of these consoles delivered – Bang & Olufsen promise to boost your immersion with these new cans.

Developed as part of Microsoft’s recently rebooted ‘Designed For Xbox’ programme, the Beoplay Portal combines the audio performance you’d expect from Bang & Olufsen with seamless connectivity to the latest gaming kit from the Xbox team. As well as quick pairing, the Beoplay Portal packs a microphone array to make sure teammates can hear your commands / exasperated swearing without the need for an unsightly microphone arm standard on most gaming headsets.

Like B&O’s excellent PX wireless headphones, the Beoplay Portal pack some serious audio grunt. According to Bang & Olufsen, these £449 headphones comfortably achieve the “Dolby Atmos For Headphones” standard when it comes to surround sound, regardless of whether you’re watching a movie, cinematic TV show, or playing games long into the night.

Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation technology is present and correct to cut-out any background distractions – presumably leaving you to feel hopelessly isolated when playing the latest entry in the Resident Evil series. A Transparency mode has also been included to let you quickly chat to anyone nearby without taking headphones off. Of course, while all of these features could be extremely handy when diving into the latest AAA launch on Xbox… they’re also pretty standard for high-end wireless headphones and will prove equally helpful when using the Beoplay Portal out and about.

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Likewise, there’s also 24 hours of battery life between charges, so no need to worry about a red flashing battery icon interrupting your Call Of Duty: Warzone marathon or next long haul flight.

Bang & Olufsen allows listeners to set a custom set of touch controls when gaming, so adjustments to the microphones and volume balance between the game and chat room can be handled with a few quick taps on the side of your earcups – no need to interrupt your gameplay to start digging through an app menu.

When it comes to comfort, Bang & Olufsen have seemingly spared no expense. The earcup padding is crafted from lambskin-wrapped memory foam. There is a subtle protrusion on the rear of each cushion, which conforms to the shape of the user’s head, enhancing comfort and eliminating sound leakage, the Scandinavian company claims. Elsewhere, the inner headband packs offset padding that is designed to relieve pressure on the top of the head. This padding is covered with a bamboo fibre, which B&O chose because of its breathability.

Sitting on the scales at a mere 282g, Beoplay Portal headphones are among the lightest on the wireless category, ideal for hours of continuous use.

“Beoplay Portal is the first of its kind – a wireless headphone that combines gaming technology with Bang & Olufsen’s characteristic sound, design and craftsmanship,” says Dorte Vestergaard, director and head of Bang & Olufsen’s On-The-Go category. “Our designers and engineers have worked tirelessly to create a pair of headphones that meets the advanced technological needs of the gaming community while also excelling during daily use.”

Gamers who want to upgrade their audio with these shiny new headphones will need to wait until April 29, 2021 when they launch in the UK. Colour options include Black Anthracite, Grey Mist and Navy. Whether these new cans are as easy to nab at checkout as the Xbox Series X remains to be seen…. but fingers crossed there’s enough stock to go around.



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