Bang & Olufsen Xbox Headset Possible

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Yesterday, Bang & Olufsen and Xbox announced a partnership to deliver high-end audio for gaming. What exactly does that mean? Beats me. The press release is kind of vague but does allude to possible portable audio. Perhaps a headset?

Bang & Olufsen is looking to reach the high-end of gaming audio by leveraging their “core capabilities of sound, design and craft.” The announcement also adds a “Designed for Xbox” line that will ensure maximum interoperability with Xbox and an enhanced user experience.

Many gamers, including myself, have their home entertainment systems built around or closely tied in to their Xbox One and soon the Xbox Series X, so a “works with” project seems like a great idea. A potential problem is cost. Audiophiles will, more than likely, already have a high-end sound system with a B&O-level receiver or a Bose/Sonos system. All three options cost a small fortune and not easy on the wallet to just replace on a whim. Is it a new system or is there something else coming?

While Vice President and Head of Product Management at Bang & Olufsen, Christoffer Poulsen, was a bit vague, the Head of Hardware Partnerships at Xbox was a little more forth coming.

“We’re excited for the launch of Xbox Series X later this year and ushering in the next generation of gaming. As we march towards release – we’re excited to partner with Bang & Olufsen to bring a new premium tier of gaming audio to market for Xbox and Bang & Olufsen fans around the world that travels with you everywhere you love to play Xbox”

– Matt Kesselring, Head of Hardware Partnerships at Xbox

Again, “fans around the world that travels with you everywhere you love to play Xbox.” Let that sink in a minute. You can’t lug around a sound system so it appears they could be working on a premium headset. Currently, I prefer to use my Apple AirPods Pro to game with but a Bang & Olufsen headset sounds yummy. We’ve reached out to B&O PR and will update the article with more information if available. You can also read the entire Bang & Olufsen / Xbox Partnership press release here.

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Kevin May (TheCleverPotato)

The way i see this, this announcement is a bunch of say-nothing. What I can read into this is B&O and Xbox are working together to make some highly overpriced audio accessories of an unspecified nature. Don’t get me wrong, B&O makes some great sound gear, and I love Xbox… Hopefully this doesn’t mean that the new Xbox’s proprietary sound processing software will only really work well if you are outfitted with the right gear. I’m already skeptical of the fact that Microsoft is paying to have the licensing for Dolby as part of their audio package on the Xbox Series X. If there are compatibility issues with my home theater setup, it might just be enough for me to turn away from Xbox.

I had a heck of a time getting the settings right with my Xbox One to have it work optimally with my Onkyo receiver. I have a Sumsung TV which talks like best friends with all my other gear (and autodetect the Xbox and the Onkyo with no effort). But despite the ease of that part, I had to mess with the audio settings repeatedly to get the output format right, so that I’d get full surround out of my sound system.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x