I have gone to an electronics store and have tried on Bose and Beats headphones, both of them have a pretty annoying sound delay which is insanely apparent and anyone who says it’s imperceptible must be deaf.

While listening to music it doesn’t matter and for videos it wouldn’t be that bad, for phone calls especially slower or international VOIP which already have the delay, it is absolutely horrible.

I noticed that the more expensive the receiver - the lesser is the sound delay, I also noticed that it is some sort of low power garbage which causes that delay to happen.

Example: streaming Bluetooth music to my PC one time is super snappy almost perfectly in sync without any perceived delay, some other time there’s like a half a second delay (distance would be irrelevant) although I am tempted to try to force high power by moving too far from the receiver, and then seeing if that has forced high power low latency

Example 2: I have these cheap $25 bluetooth earphones for running, they have a really bad half a second delay.

Considering radio waves travel with the speed of light, I am very tempted to deposit a log of blame on the “low power” protocols and inability to force high power low latency protocols for this issue.

Low power protocol is fine for synchronizing irrelevant garbage to/from your watch, music, file transfers, I strongly disagree how it is being used for media and calls.

That said, I wonder how is the delay on AirPods in comparison to latest (2k17/18) Bose. Bose delay isn’t that bad, but still would add an annoying delay for phone calls.

  • 1
    how do you notice delay in sound ? as compared to what reference – Ruskes Sep 4 '18 at 0:34
  • @Ruskes when you start stop music you have the delay between the two and the music starting or stopping to play – Jack Shephard May 28 '19 at 13:28

Yes, there is a noticeable delay (latency) with the AirPods. This is so with any wireless headset - but the amount varies according to the chosen codec, quality (frequency range, samples per second, etc), and protocol.

Basically any wireless headset has to balance bandwidth, latency, power usage, etc.

If you use AirPods for streaming music, playing videos, etc. the delay is not a problem. The AirPods will use higher quality settings for the best audio possible.

If you use AirPods for phone calls, Siri, or similar - the quality settings are automatically lowered to better balance these factors for that use case. In some cases you're perfectly okay with 8 kHz mono sound.

If you intend to use AirPods for listening to virtual instruments in GarageBand triggered by a MIDI keyboard - you're not going to enjoy it. These instruments require a high quality setting for the audio to sound their best - but you'll then have a very noticeable delay (latency) between hitting the keyboards on the keyboard and hearing the sound from the AirPods.

For those types of scenarios, wired headphones are still the best.

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