Microsoft has announced a partnership with the high-end headphone company Bang & Olufsen for a new “designed-for-Xbox” headset that carries a premium price tag. The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal wireless headphone set is the first product in the new “Designed for Xbox Limited Series” program and costs as much as the Xbox Series X: $500 USD.
The headphones are available in Black Anthracite, Grey Mist, and Navy Brass. The black pair released today, March 30, while the Grey Mist and Navy Brass are up for preorder.
The headphones will work with any audio input, but they also have a range of gaming-specific features. The headphones let you customize the game/chat audio balance, and you can also mute and change the volume directly on the headphones or through the Bang & Olufsen app.
The headphones have built-in wireless connectivity to sync up to your Xbox or any other device with Bluetooth 5.1. The headphones have 12 hours of battery life on a full charge when using Xbox Wireless, Bluetooth, and active noise-cancellation, and 24 hours when you’re only using Bluetooth and active noise-cancellation.
The headset also includes a “virtual boom arm” for a microphone that uses the magic of technology to replicate the audio experience of a real, physical microphone.
“An array of directional, beamforming microphones isolate and amplify your voice while cancelling out background noise for crystal clear conversations,” reads a line from its description.
As for the dedicated mobile app, this lets you create a number of pre-sets to tailor the experience to what you’re playing and the type of audio experience you want. The app also lets you adjust the active noise-cancellation, mic monitoring, game/chat balance, and mic tone.
Regarding the design itself, it’s described as “contemporary.” The headset has aluminum earcups featuring “gradient anodization.” The ear cushions are made of lambskin, while they also have built-in jaw support. The exterior headband is made of calfskin leather, with bamboo fiber textile on the side. The headset weighs 9.9 ounces.
You can buy the headsets from the Microsoft Store or from Bang & Olufsen direct. Other retailers will sell the headsets as well. The Black Anthracite headset is available now, though it’s already sold out at the Microsoft Store. The Grey Mist and Navy Brass headsets, meanwhile, can be preordered now, but they don’t ship until May.
If you’re looking for a more affordable Xbox headset that still sounds very good, you can find out where to buy the new Xbox Wireless headset. You can also check out GameSpot’s roundup of the best gaming headsets to buy in 2021.