Consoles are no longer used just for gaming. They've become home entertainment systems, often paired with televisions and used in many households to stream content. However, when used for gaming, the unfortunate reality is that, because they're often placed in shared spaces, the gameplay sounds can overwhelm everyone and everything else.
This is a problem faced by many console gamers and not just those who play on Microsoft's Xbox consoles. However, one company wants to solve this problem on Xbox with a premium-priced wireless headphone.
Say Hello to the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Wireless Headset
The biggest issue when using wireless headsets is the audio latency, which isn't as noticeable for daily use. However, for gamers, high audio latency can literally make a game unplayable. It can mean the difference between reacting to an enemy waiting around the corner in time and dying. Not to mention, other factors make wireless headsets not practical for console gamers as well.
The long list of negative issues includes everything from lack of comfort to short battery life and even bad microphones. Because of this, most gamers have not been incentivized to get themselves a wireless headset.
At least, not until now.
Microsoft recently came out with a new program that's geared towards designing accessories for the Xbox consoles. Their first product is the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Wireless Headset. This comes in black, navy, or gray, and will apparently start shipping in May.
According to the Scandinavian company, Bang & Olufsen, charging the headset from zero to full takes around three hours. After that, gamers can reportedly use the headset to play on their Xbox Series S/X for twelve hours straight. Gamers also get to enjoy a lot of top-end features with the Beoplay Portal Wireless Headset. This includes a calfskin headband construction and lambskin ear cushions, as well as noise canceling.
Unfortunately, as great as those features sound, the headset alone costs $499.
What this means is that the Beoplay Portal Wireless Headset costs just as much as the Xbox Series X console itself. Thus, it's only natural that Microsoft equips the said headset with top-of-the-line features.
Speaking of top-of-the-line, the wireless headset can also operate at 2.4GHz and connect wirelessly to Xbox consoles. But, at the same time, you can also connect the headset to other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Perhaps most important of all is that Bang & Olufsen added what they refer to as a "virtual boom arm". The said feature automatically isolates the user's voice and cancels the majority of background noise.
With that said, it's clear that Microsoft is positioning this as a premium product. In comparison, the official Xbox Wireless Headset only costs $100. It doesn't have as many features as the Beoplay Portal Wireless Headset, but it's not half-bad and is actually surprisingly good for how much less it costs. But, then again, for gamers who want nothing but the best, the Beoplay Portal Wireless Headset makes a whole lot of sense.
Hopefully, Microsoft decides to invest more in their ongoing program. In particular, we're hoping that they release something more affordable and cost-effective than the Beoplay Portal Wireless Headset.