Bang & Olufsen is a luxury audio brand, whose vision to create innovative products which harness timeless design, impeccable craftmanship together with beautiful sound. We have the chance to review the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Wireless Gaming Headphones Xbox Limited Series.
While Sal would swear by the Sony WH-1000XM4, I’ve always preferred…how shall I put this…more ‘premium’ products. That’s how I got Sal to call in the the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal headphones in for review. I’m honestly thinking of getting these for myself…
So, after some time with them, will I still be buying them?
Read on to find out.
What is the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Wireless Gaming Headphones Xbox Limited Series?
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal (Xbox Limited Series) is a wireless noise cancelling over-ear headset with an MSRP of US$499 or almost a whopping SG$800. With that price tag, you should expect the best technology and materials used to craft it.
In that aspect, you’ll be glad that it does meet expectations…and more!
The first thing that I noticed when I unboxed the brand new Bang & Olufsen (B&O) Beoplay Portal (Xbox Limited Series) was the smell of fresh leather, liken to a new car.
It is surprising lightweight at 282grams and mostly made out of aluminum. The earcups are made from durable lambskin padded with memory foam technology while the headband is made from premium cowhide. Knitted bamboo fibers textile fills the rest of the headband for breathability and comfort.
The earcups have two round aluminum discs with the signature B&O logo engraved into it. If you want to show off your gear, this is pretty much the best way to do it. No matter how you look at it, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal screams premium. There’s no mistaking this for an off the shelf, generic gaming headset.
Unlike typical gaming headphones, the boom arm mic is not visible and its actually built in and hidden at the base of the bottom. The product design and materials used gives it a luxurious and expensive feel. Although it is marketed as an Xbox Gaming Wireless Headphone, it is actually a luxury lifestyle product which doubles up as a gaming headphone. Of course, the headset is also compatible with the PC.
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal comes with an USB-C cable for charging and wired connection, a standard 3.5mm jack and a quickstart guide.
Surprising for for that amount of money, the unboxing doesn’t gives me the “feel” that I had just spent SG$800 on a pair of B&O wireless earphones. The packaging itself is simple without the bells and whistles that I would expect when buying a branded item. That’s a bit of a letdown, but it’s hardly a deal breaker.
What is is that the headset doesn’t come with a protective carrying case. In my opinion, for the amount you’re paying for these bad boys you’re entitled to some extras. A carrying case isn’t much to ask for and even cheaper headsets come with one.
For something this pricey not to have one is a strike against it.
Controls and Functions
The headphones are controlled using touch sensitive surface bars that can be found on both sides of the earcups.
By just sliding on the bars on the right you can control the volume and sliding on the left controls the Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation(ANC) that eliminates the background noise. Double tapping on the aluminum disc also starts/stops the music or mutes a call. Buttons on the right powers and pairs the Bluetooth and left pairs it with the XBox wireless access.
The controls are very intuitive and you’ll get the hang of them after just a few minutes. For me, they became second nature after just a few sessions of Gears 5, which is pretty impressive. I usually found myself fiddling and trying to remember what button did what on other headphones.
For further customization, the headphones can also be paired with their B&O’s app, which gives you a ton of options to tweak. Features like EQ gesture control and the Own Voice function lets you personalize the headphones to your liking. The app’s pretty straightforward to use, even for a newbie like me, which was a definite bonus.
The B&O Beoplay Portal features Dolby Atmos which creates an unparalleled immersion through audio 3D precision. When battling in FPS conditions, the Atmos lets you have a perspective of the enemies location just by hearing the echos of the footsteps. Gunfights also feel more life like and enhances the whole experience of gaming.
I used it for gaming, music, conference calls and videos on Netflix. The whole experience is simply life changing if you had never tried a B&O Headphone. The selling points might sound (pun intended!) like hyperbole…trust me, they’re anything but!
The headset delivers crisp, clean sound with tremendous bass. I tried the headset with a variety of songs from multiple genres and came away very impressed. Even at high volumes, there’s wasn’t any noticeable distortion.
Dolby Atmos output is especially good, with sounds seemingly coming from all directions. I tried this with Star Wars Battlefront and it was INSANE. You can tangibly feel blaster bolts as they whiz past you, or hear the telltale whine of a TIE’s engine as it screams overhead. Not a ton of games support Dolby Atmos, but for those that do, this headset is the one you’re going to want to use.
Its noise cancellation capabilities are pretty good too. It was able to block out a great deal of noise stemming from a neighbour’s renovation works and I suspect that it’ll block out other similarly loud noises with zero issues. When air travel resumes, I expect the headset to perform well on planes too, blocking out the droning engines capably.
It can run for a good 12hrs with a full charge but I did managed to wear it for a good 8 hours, not because of the battery but my ears need to rest and breathe. While not uncomfortable per se, it does get a bit tiring to wear the headset for continuous periods.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the B&O Beoplay Portal is an amazing wireless headphone.
Its build quality is incredible and there are a ton of neat touches (like the aluminum plates on the cups) that just scream premium. The headset cushions are comfy, the sound quality is great and the ANC works just as advertised.
It’s not exactly perfect though…The quality comes at a price. For normal gamers, it’s an overkill considering that there are cheaper alternatives in the gaming headset department. Also, for the price you’re paying, the lack of a protective carrying case is puzzling omission.
If those issues don’t trouble you, then by all means get the Bang & Olusen Beoplay Portal. It’s certainly not going to disappoint.
Top of the line material and premium quality. Comfortable and with amazing sound quality.
- Great sound quality
- Luxurious and premium build.
- Easy to control.
- Multiple functions.
- Can be used on PC and Xbox.
- No carrying case.