Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS5/PC: the best hybrid headphones?

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Mis à jour le 1 June 2022.

The Beoplay range continues to grow, much to the delight of lovers of quality sound. After releasing a model compatible with the Xbox console, the Danish brand Bang & Olufsen is now releasing headphones designed specifically for PC and PlayStation players. Launched at €499, the latter are equipped with active noise cancelling (ANC), a virtual boom arm for the microphone, and excellent wireless connectivity. The Beoplay Portal PS5/PC Bluetooth headphones are a hybrid model, equally suited to listening to your playlists and reproducing the spectacular sound effects of a video game. Are these Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS5/PC headphones capable of great music playback as well as ensuring perfect immersion for gaming?

Suitable for both on-the-go listening and gaming, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS5/PC headphones include active noise cancelling, a 3D microphone and wireless Bluetooth connectivity.

Packaging & accessories

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones come in an elegant cardboard box. The latter is decorated with a photo of the headphones and information such as their compatibility and integrated technologies. Also printed on the box are a few highlights, such as the immersive soundfield, the clear communication thanks to the integrated microphones, and the comfort. Inside the box, the headphones are securely held in place inside a molded insert. Underneath the latter, the following accessories are placed inside a small cardboard box:

  • USB + USB-C dongles for PC, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch;
  • Male-male mini-jack cable;
  • USB-C to USB charging cable;
  • Fabric pouch;
  • Quick start guide;
  • Warranty manual.

The headphones and dongles are protected from scratches by a plastic film.

Presentation

Design 

This PlayStation version has the same design as the Beoplay Portal Xbox headphones and also comes in three different colors (black, light gray and navy blue). Once again, Bang & Olufsen has created an incredibly elegant design. Carefully selected materials have been used to provide the best experience possible for the user. The headphones’ design is minimalist and discreet so that they can be used both at home and outdoors. The B&O headphones’ ear cups rotate 90° to fit the shape of your head. This also makes it possible to lay the headphones flat and make them easier to carry. However, we would have preferred a hard carry case rather than the fabric pouch for more protection.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC different colors
Available in 3 colors, the B&O Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones have a minimalist and elegant design.
B&O Portal ear cups
The B&O Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones’ ear cups can rotate for a snug fit and easy transport.

The headphones’ headband is adjustable and made of bamboo fibers. The off-center pressure point has been designed to eliminate discomfort. Despite this and their very light weight (only 279 grams), the B&O Beoplay Portal headphone can exert some pressure on the top of head. This can be somewhat uncomfortable during long gaming sessions. While it isn’t as effective as an elastic headband, it is part of the Beoplay Portal PC/PS headphones’ elegant design, allowing them to be worn outside of the home.

B&O headphones details
While designed to only have one off-center pressure point, the B&O Beoplay Portal PS headphones can be a little bit uncomfortable for some users.

The Beoplay Portal headphones are an over-ear model with large circular ear cups. The latter perfectly surround the ears for optimal comfort. This design also ensures good passive isolation. The B&O Beoplay Portal PS5/PC headphones’ memory foam pads are generously padded and covered with leather (lambskin) that is soft to the touch. These pads provide perfect placement and an ideal fit. In addition, the headband is covered in thick calfskin leather to complete the overall look.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC
Made with premium materials, the Bang and Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS5/PC headphones are designed to be both durable and appealing.

The Danish manufacturer has a very detail-oriented approach. The inside of the ear cups features the letters R (right) and L (left). Moreover, an LED placed next to the on/off button lights up in various colors to indicate the status of the headphones. White means that the headphones are turned on; red, after a long press, to return to factory settings; blue when the headphones are ready to be paired. A second LED placed under the USB-C charging socket indicates the charging status (orange = charging; green = fully charged).

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC
The user knows how to put on the Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones correctly at a glance thanks to the letters R and L inside the ear cups.

Electrodynamic drivers

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS5/PC headphones provide great sound thanks to their electrodynamic drivers, which are equipped with 40mm neodymium magnets. All of the brand’s expertise can be found at the heart of these drivers. The latter can reproduce frequencies from 20Hz to 22kHz. The headphones have a sensitivity of 95 dB and an impedance of 24 ohms. This allows them to be compatible with the vast majority of smartphones. However, the B&O Beoplay Portals will reveal their full musical potential when paired with a DAP or a headphone amplifier.

Drivers
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones are equipped with electrodynamic drivers featuring 40mm neodymium magnets for great musicality.

These hybrid headphones, designed for gaming and on-the-go music playback, ensure optimal sound for all situations. For even higher-quality sound, the headphones are compatible with Dolby Atmos technology. This format is designed to deliver an immersive 3D sound and a wider soundstage.

Comment écouter la musique en Dolby Atmos ?

Active noise cancelling (ANC)

Bang & Olufsen doesn’t do things by halves, as these headphones are equipped with four MEMS microphones dedicated to active noise cancelling. This feature is very convenient for both gaming and listening to music while on the go. Indeed, gamers often have to interact with their teammates. With the ANC activated, the player hears neither their voice nor any surrounding noise that could distract them and hinder their progress in the game. This immersion allows the player to dive into the heart of the action. This feature is also convenient when traveling (train, tram, plane, bus…) as it eliminates the sound of the vehicle and surrounding conversations.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC close-up
Thanks to their active noise cancelling, the Bang & Olufsen headphones provide total immersion for both gaming and commuting (train, bus, tramway, etc.).

It is important to note that the noise cancelling can be deactivated in favor of a Transparency mode. The latter reproduces all external sounds so that the user remains aware of their environment. It is important to know that the headphones offer passive isolation from the outset, eliminating some ambient sounds. The Transparency function is therefore very useful for crossing the street, starting a conversation or hearing announcements at the station or airport, for example.

Virtual boom arm

The B&O Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones use several microphones for ANC. But four microphones (two of which are shared with the ANC) are also optimized for voice pickup. Designed to amplify the voice, these microphones are cleverly placed and optimized to create a virtual boom arm. Own Voice technology detects and adjusts the volume of a conversation, and filters surrounding noise to accurately reproduce voices. It is therefore possible to use the vocal chat of your favorite game without a traditional boom getting in your way. Moreover, this feature allows you to be discreet when making phone calls in public.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC lifestyle
The virtual boom arm allows you to make a call discreetly or discuss strategy with your teammates.

Wireless connection: Bluetooth and dongle

The B&O headphones come with a 3.5mm mini-jack cable so they can be used with devices that require a wired connection. However, they are designed primarily for wireless use. For this, they feature a Bluetooth module compatible with the SBC and ANC codecs to support the majority of smartphones and tablets. In addition, it is aptX Adaptive compatible to ensure higher transmission quality.

To connect them to a game console (PlayStation, Switch) or PC, a USB-C dongle (+ USB-A adapter) is included. This accessory plugs directly into the computer or console’s port. It is then possible to enjoy wireless and multi-platform 2.4GHz wireless connection.

Included dongle
The PS/PC model can be wirelessly connected to consoles, computers and mobile devices thanks to the dongle (2.4GHz) and Bluetooth 5.1 (aptX Adaptive) module.

Battery life

To be completely wireless, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones have an integrated battery that provides up to 60 hours of playback via Bluetooth. Note that the ANC and Wireless gaming features lower the battery life. However, with a minimum of 19 hours, the headphones are suitable for long gaming sessions. Unfortunately, the headphones can’t be used in wired mode when the battery is flat. They are charged pretty quickly, and a full charge takes around 2 hours.

With a maximum battery life of 60 hours, the Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones can be used for long gaming sessions without needing to be recharged.

Bang & Olufsen control app

The Portal PS/PC headphones can be used with the Bang & Olufsen app for iOS and Android. The latter provides firmware updates and allows you to control the volume and playback (previous/next track), check the battery level, access equalization and control the ANC/Transparency mode. Several personal settings can then be activated or deactivated (automatic standby, automatic dongle / Bluetooth connection, reject incoming calls or deactivate sound during calls). Finally, the various technologies are explained via the “product guide” tab.

B&O app
Well thought-out, the Bang & Olufsen app provides access to various settings and lets you control the Portal headphones.

B&O Beoplay Portal PS5/PC: key specifications

  • Type: closed-back
  • Coupling: over-ear
  • 40mm dynamic transducers
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 22kHz
  • Sensitivity: 95 dB at 1Khz/1mW
  • Impedance: 24 ohms (± 15%)
  • Bluetooth 5.1 (codecs: AAC, SBC, aptX Adaptive)
  • iOS and Android compatible
  • Dual-mode functionality 
  • Microphone: virtual boom arm
  • Weight: 279g

Configuration

To test the B&O Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones, we paired them with an aptX Bluetooth compatible Android smartphone. We then connected them to a PlayStation 5. We listened to music on the Qobuz streaming platform.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal and PS5
To test the full potential of these 2022 Bluetooth headphones, we paired them with a smartphone via Bluetooth and a PS5 using the dongle.

The first pairing was easy. First, the headphones are turned on using the physical button on the side of the ear piece. Then, the button with the Bluetooth logo needs to be pressed for a few seconds to begin pairing. Next to it is a flashing blue LED indicating that the device is ready to be paired. Then all you have to do is to finish the pairing on the smartphone to listen to your music.

To pair the headphones with a game console, you must plug the USB-C dongle into the port on the front of the PS5. Then, press and hold the headphones’ power button for a few seconds. The LEDs on the headphones and dongle then change to white to confirm the pairing.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC and PS5 controller
Thanks to the included dongle, the headphones can be easily paired with a game console such as the PS4/PS5, a Nintendo Switch or a PC.

Regarding the control of the headphones, we tested both the touch-sensitive controls and the application. The touch controls were responsive, but it took a few minutes to get used to them. Moreover, when touching the headphones to adjust them, we sometimes activated the controls by accident, changing the volume and the ANC. Nevertheless, these integrated controls are very convenient, as they allow great freedom of movement. Control via the app is very intuitive. In addition, the headphones are equipped with a function to pause playback when the headphones are removed. Very practical, so you don’t miss any of the music.

Headphones lifestyle
Thanks to the touch-sensitive controls, the listener can easily modify the playback (volume, track, ANC). However, they can be activated accidentally when adjusting the headphones.

Once in front of the game console, the control of the headphones is slightly different. We particularly appreciated the microphone activation control to avoid having to go back and forth to the console’s settings. However, a volume control between the chat and the game would have been a good idea to fully customize the sound experience.

Play/pause
Reject/end phone call
Change EQ mode
Double tap on the left
Next track
Accept phone call
Microphone off/on
Double tap on the right
Volume controlSwipe up or down right slider
Active noise cancelling (ANC) controlSwipe up or down left slider
Disconnect BluetoothShort press on the left button
Bluetooth pairingLong press on the left button
Connect the dongleShort On/Off press on the right button

Listening impressions

As they are specially designed to reproduce video game soundtracks, we paired the headphones with the latest generation Sony game console. At first, we were struck by the efficiency of their passive isolation, but also by the ANC which was very effective, even at low volume. The spatialization gives these B&O Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones a serious advantage in terms of immersion.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC on the PS5
We began our test by pairing the headphones with the PS5. The ANC was very effective, and quickly plunged us into the heart of the action in our video games.

To properly begin this test, we decided to explore the world of the PS5 with the video game Astro’s Playroom. This game, pre-installed on the PlayStation 5, provides a demo of the console and the controller’s performance and features many sound effects. As soon as we entered the game, the sounds were ideally positioned. We could clearly hear the door closing behind us, the enemy approaching from the right and the waves in the distance. With the game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the warrior’s auditory hallucinations were perfectly clear around us. These voices she calls “Furies” show her the way and guide her blade. This sonic precision was a major factor in the success of each quest. The 3D feeling was very enveloping, which allowed us to really immerse ourselves in the action.

To test the reproduction of the B&O Beoplay PS/PC headphones, we played Astro’s Playroom, which allowed us to discover a large soundstage with perfectly spatialized sounds.

The B&O Beoplay Portal headphones also performed well when paired with the smartphone via Bluetooth aptX with the active noise cancelling. Unsurprisingly given our gaming test, the stereo effects with Queen’s Under Pressure were pronounced and gave the sound substance. The bass was present but remained low-key and the iconic voice of Freddy Mercury was highlighted. The highs were very well defined. However, we would have preferred for them to have been a little less intense on certain tracks.

With the ANC deactivated, on the live version of Hey Ya! by OutKast, the DJ’s scratches were present without being too invasive. The singer’s voice and the audience’s applause were nicely detailed. We also appreciated the emphasis on highs/mids on tracks with more powerful bass, such as Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC + smartphone
Once paired with the smartphone, the Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones offered great musicality with balanced lows, detailed mids and very well defined highs.

Lastly, the headphones responded very well to the equalizer present in the app. The latter offers several presets such as Podcast, Movie, Commute and Warm. It is also possible to create your own equalization thanks to a circular interface allowing you to modulate the bass and highs according to the song you are listening to. Note that this equalization is also available in Gaming mode as a 5-band equalizer. Other presets include FPS (First Person Shooter), RPG (Role Playing Game), Music and Movie.

Bang & Olufsen app
The app provides manual EQ as well as 5 presets. The headphones are very responsive and you can tailor the sound to your preferences or the song that you’re listening to.

The immersion was impeccable, especially thanks to the active noise cancelling which eliminated the sound of the bus, the surrounding conversations and the sound of the TV in the living room when we wanted to listen to our content in privacy. Moreover, the transparency mode allowed us to hear surrounding noises when necessary. It was very useful at the train station to hear announcements, but also to cross the street safely.

Compared to…

Technics EAH-A800

Technics EAH-A800 lifestyle
The Technics EAH-A800 offer a more balanced sound than the Beoplay Portal PS/PC. However, the latter are capable of 2.4GHz wireless connectivity thanks to the included dongle.

Available for €349, the Technics EAH-A800 headphones also benefit from active noise cancelling. Their sound signature is ideal for listening to your playlists, whatever the song, without having to resort to manual equalization. With an energetic, rich and balanced sound, the Technics EAH-A800 have the edge soundwise. However, the B&O Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones come out on top with their wide compatibility thanks to their aptX Adaptive Bluetooth module and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity (dongle).

Read our review: “Technics EAH-A800: a serious competitor for Bose and Sony’s noise cancelling headphones?

EPOS-Sennheiser GSP 670

EPOS-Sennheiser GSP 670
More affordable, the EPOS-Sennheiser GSP 670 are ideal for plunging into the heart of video games. However, their imposing design and physical microphone don’t make them ideal to use on the go.

Like the B&O Portal PS/PC model, the EPOS-Sennheiser GSP 670 offer a wide soundstage and excellent spatialization of sound effects. The GSP 670 can be connected wirelessly to a PC or game console. However, their much larger format is less suitable for mobile use in public transport, for example.

Read our review: “EPOS-Sennheiser GSP 670: the best gaming headphones you can buy?

Who are they for?

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal headphones are designed for music lovers looking for a hybrid model and an elegant piece of equipment. Completely wireless, the headphones offer great freedom of movement, whether you’re listening to your playlist outside or immersed in a video game. Ideal for use with a source that supports the aptX Adaptive codec, the Portal headphones offer great musicality. However, it will take a little while to get used to controlling the headphones with the touch-sensitive controls. Although they are the same price as the console they’re designed for, the B&O Beoplay Portal headphones are an effective hybrid model, eliminating the need to buy separate gaming and Bluetooth headphones.

Conclusion

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal PS/PC headphones are very pleasant and versatile thanks to their wireless connectivity and high-quality drivers capable of reproducing music as well as video game soundtracks (PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, PC). Their passive isolation, active noise cancelling and transparency mode are real advantages. Moreover, their very elegant design allows them to be used outside the house as well as in front of the TV. 

We liked

  • The very effective noise reduction
  • The excellent spatialization
  • The aptX Adaptive compatibility
  • The passive isolation 
  • The elegant design

We would have liked

  • For the headband to exert less pressure
  • More intuitive touch sensitive controls
  • A hard carry case, instead of fabric pouch

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En pleine découverte du monde de la hi-fi et du home-cinéma, Son-Vidéo.com est sans conteste devenu ma caverne d’Ali Baba. Jazz, Rock, Pop, Soul, Rap… Mes goûts musicaux, comme cinématographiques, sont très variés. Pour donner vie à mes playlists préférées, j’ai choisi l’amplificateur Marantz PM-6006, accompagné de la paire d'enceintes colonne Elipson Prestige Facet 14F.

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