Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal: Review
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal is an exquisitely designed headset with superb comfort and sound. It’s not only one of the few gaming headsets with active noise cancellation, but it also has a decent enough design to be worn in public. However, at this price, it’s difficult to justify the sporadic connection troubles we had with the Xbox version, and the inability to play Bluetooth and Xbox audio simultaneously is a noticeable omission.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Specs
|Ear coupling||Over The Ear|
|Frequency response (headphones)||20 – 22.000 Hz|
|Impedance||+/- 15%: 24 ohms|
|Sound pressure level||1 mW @1kHz: 95 dB|
|Weight with cable||282 Grams|
|Cable length||120 CM|
|BT codecs||SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive|
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal is a high-end device catered to individuals who seek a universal headset. It has a 3.5mm headphone connector and can connect to devices by Bluetooth or wired connection with an Xbox console or smartphone (with the headset turned on, of course). The second version, launched in early 2022, added compatibility with PS5 and PS4 consoles via USB-C and USB-A dongles, as well as functionality for dual simultaneous audio via Bluetooth connection to a mobile device. The Xbox Beoplay Portal edition never maintained a consistently reliable contact when linked to an Xbox console, and we frequently encountered sporadic problems throughout our testing.
The Beoplay Portal is not like other gaming headsets because it is made with luxurious materials like woven bamboo fiber textile on the headband and ultra plush lambskin on the earcups. The Beoplay Portal’s low weight of just 282 grams makes it comfortable to wear for long periods. However, these high-quality components should be priced accordingly. The Beoplay Portal is a rather pricey pair of headphones, coming in at $499 (or £449, or roughly AU$690).
Active noise reduction is another area in which the Beoplay Portal excels above its rivals. While the ANC is likely unnecessary in most homes, it really shines when you take the headphones out and about. While not the most powerful ANC solution we’ve tried, Bang & Olufsen’s method avoids the pressure and ‘underwater’ sensation that other ANC headphones can cause.
On May 12, 2021, Bang & Olufsen released the Beoplay Portal for Xbox in three colour options: navy, grey mist, and black anthracite. In comparison to existing high-end gaming headsets for Xbox consoles like the Audeze Penrose X and Astro A50 Gaming Headset, which retail for $299 and £249 (about AU$550) respectively, the Xbox Elite Wireless Headset costs the same as an Xbox Series X at $499.99 / £449.99 (about AU$690). However, a Dolby Atmos licence, which would normally cost you $15/£15/AU$20, is included in the headset. In February 2022, a PlayStation-compatible version was released at the same price and in the same palette.
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal is a pair of gaming headphones that has been meticulously designed to not look like a pair of gaming headphones. There are no flashy branding, eye-popping colours, or oversized microphones included. The Beoplay Portal, on the other hand, is tastefully modest and screams high quality. When you wear this outside of the house, people will notice, but for the right reasons. The Beoplay Portal’s superior construction is immediately obvious thanks to its lambskin leather earcups, beautifully machined aluminium, and composite polymer. The lightweight construction and airy materials also make it a breeze to wear, and the bold ‘L’ and ‘R’ emblazoned on the inside of the earcups make it easy to tell which is which.
Given Beoplay’s long history of producing high-quality audio equipment, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the Portal headset sounds great. Listening to music via Bluetooth or the 3.5mm socket, we were blown away by the clarity and vitality of the sound, regardless of the type of music we were playing. However, the Beoplay Portal does not provide the same expansive soundstage that we’ve grown to expect from other headphones when playing Xbox. They sound less lively and engaging when playing games than when listening to music, but fiddling with the EQ settings and using Dolby Atmos (available on Xbox but not PS5 where Sony’s ‘Tempest’ spatial audio tech takes over) let us customise the audio to our liking.
The microphone of the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal emulates a boom mic by using beam-array technology. The resulting microphone has a decent sound but needs to be more up to broadcast standards. Even though it makes you sound like you’re in an empty room while talking on the phone or in an Xbox party chat, nobody has ever complained about the quality of the sound. The Beoplay Portal’s surprise weakness is its wireless connectivity, at least on the Xbox-focused variant. During a week of testing, we saw interference and the occasional disconnection when using an Xbox Series X. Sometimes, everything worked perfectly. Still, if we moved around or brought our hands closer to the headset, the problem would return.
Pros And Cons
|Effortless pairing with a Bluetooth device or USB dongle||Poor quality of the microphone|
|Comfortable to use||It is extremely pricey, even when considering the cost of replacing many headsets.|
|Excellent for gaming, phone calls, and road trips|
|Highly effective at reducing background noise.|
The Portal is the all-around headset I’m looking for because of its small and cosy form factor, its many context- or connection-driven functions, and its reasonable battery life that will comfortably survive a full day of steady use. You can use the same headset with all your devices, making it incredibly convenient, and it can do any (reasonable) task you throw at it with ease and style. The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal are a pair of universal headphones that may be used with any electronic gadget without much thought on the user’s part. Nonetheless, that only sometimes comes cheap.
How long does Bang Olufsen portal charging take?
Charging your Beoplay Portal PC takes about 2 hours. The charging adaptor determines charging time. Maximum charger suggested is 5V/3A.
What distinguishes Bang & Olufsen?
Our century of firsts included redesigning the turntable and developing era-defining touch-sensitive controls. We invented universal remotes and linked home speakers.
How can I check Beoplay charging?
Fill the charging case with both earphones. Their charging light will blink orange. The Beoplay EQ light indication turns bright green when completely charged (100% battery).