Living / Technology

The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal headphones look as good on your coffee table as they sound in your ears

These are strange times. Times we’ll remember forever as the ones we should probably forget. We’re spending every waking second with families, ourselves, and all of their (and our own)bad habits. If you’re sick of listening to the shows they watch, the games they play, or simply need a break from the idle wfh sounds, Bang & Olufsen is here with an elegant solution.

Called the Beoplay Portal, this is a brilliant wireless noise-cancelling headphone set from Bang & Olufsen (or B&O for short). A tech solution that won't clutter or detract from your interior - but rather, enhance it instead.

 

The design

The Portal are over-ear headphones specifically designed for gaming - and they're certainly the most elegant pair of gaming headphone I've ever seen. Of course, they're just as for listening to whatever else you choose, music, TV, or even YouTube ASMR if you so choose. True to form - as we've seen with the brand's recent collaboration with Saint Laurent - Bang & Olufsen have created something elevated but functional. With comfortable soft leather ear cups, a well-padded and well-finished headband and three luxurious finishes, you’re going to want to leave them out on your coffee table when not in use, as they’re a a tech statement piece that truly speak to my inner minimalist.

 

The tech

For the geek in your life, they’re no slouch either. With Bluetooth 5.1; Dolby Atmos; beam forming microphones, and low-latency audio for solid performance, the Portal is top shelf.For me, however, the Portal gives you so much more than just a great listening experience. It gives you true personal space.

We may all be social distancing, but there’s no getting away from who or what is in your home during lockdown. Personal space is the last true luxury during the pandemic, especially when you’re practically enveloped by your partner; housemates, or even your kids. 

The Portal gives you this with incredible active noise-cancelling abilities. At the slide of a touchpad on the side of your Portal headphones, you’re transported to a world where it’s just you. No screaming, no talking, just you and your thoughts. Alone at last.

The noise-cancelling creates an island of calm between you and the world, allowing you to finally break free from the anarchy. It also adds a sense of decorum back into your home. Sound is something that beams itself out of your TV, soundbar or record player to intrude upon everyone within earshot. Whether it’s music, your partner’s video games or even the laugh track from Friends, it can derail your train of thought in an instant.

 

Setting up

The B&O Portal pairs effortlessly with any Bluetooth device, but also is designed for Xbox headset use: a rare commodity in the Bluetooth headphone game. Now when my partner decides to watch a Christopher Nolan film or even play Xbox at the end of a busy day, I don’t have to hear about it.

And if I decide to have a late night binge-watching Mare of Eastown (watch it, seriously) my partner can sleep soundly. With the B&O app, you can perfectly curate your sound experience to your taste. It’s welcome, as sometimes you want peace and quiet, but still want to be able to hear the ambient , or the cats tearing up your rug in the other room.

They’re easy to set up, aesthetically appealing, while also offering a sense of normalcy and space you didn’t know you’d lost in lockdown.

Find them at the Bang & Olufsen website.  

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