meinmontco
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Oct 4, 2018

Hearphones bluetooth latency

I've been using my Hearphones for about 1 year now and vey much like the sound quality and the outside hearing assistance feature.  I use them at work (only one ear) to be able to converse with other employees.  Perfect for my situation EXCEPT, I also would love to listen to music while playing my guitar.  They work for that but the latency is too delayed to play the guitar live.  Seems about 500 msec between playing a note and hearing it on my hearphones.  I see that there is a Bluetooth version 5.0 which uses aptX Low Latency.  I'm guessing there isn't a firmware upgrade available for the Hearphones.  Anybody out there know what I can use? 

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meinmontco
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Oct 4, 2018

Re: Hearphones bluetooth latency

Author Accepted Answer selected by meinmontco

I Thank both of you very much for your informative and to the point responses.  You're both seeing exactly what I've been experiencing.  I spent a couple of hours this morning optimizing my PC for lowest possible latency.  You might find this link interesting:  https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=174208

Very hard to tell if the latency is less noticeable or not but I didn't mess anything up too badly on my PC.  

Appreciate the time and effort you both put into your posts.

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joelirwin
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Jun 15, 2018

Re: Hearphones bluetooth latency

@meinmontco 

 

I am a professional film composer and so I am thoroughly familiar with your issues of latency.  I work mainly with sheet music software (Sibelius) but also have a DAW/Sequencer (Sonar).  The issue is the same with both since you probably know that most of the software used for music creation support 'vst's.  Now I have tried many different 'audio engines' and have found that the one with least latency is one associated with ASIO (such as ASIO4ALL).  There are other audio engines that I have tried such as MME but they have much longer latencies.  I tried to keep my latency under 50ms.

But here is my bottom line.  Bluetooth is a communication protocol designed for consumer use.  I can only speak for BT 4.x as I have no device that supports 5.x and my desktop and laptop BT hardware (where I do my composing) are limited to BT 4.x hardware.  I have had no success using BT to synchronize my music with the film (which core to my business) even with latencies below 50 ms (sometimes as low as 9 ms).  So when I want to score and listen using my QC35ii, I wire the QC35ii to the stereo mini-jack on my desktop/laptop (I often use a male/female 3.5-inch extension to the Bose cord).

P.S. - I would highly doubt (though I don't work or speak for Bose) that Bose will release firmware for the QC35ii to support BT 5.x.  That is what the 700 supports.  Also, keep in mind that you need BT 5.x on both ends.  So I just checked on Amazon and there are a few BT 5.x usb dongles that claim support for AptX.  If you plan on doing BT 5.x you may want to consider one of them for your desktop/laptop (though I did not check in detail to see which supported Windows or Mac).

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Re: Hearphones bluetooth latency

Hi meinmontco,

 

Thank you for joining the Bose Hear Community.  It sounds like you're getting good use from and are enjoying your Bose Hearphones. That's terrific.

 

 

I did some research about latency and live sound monitoring and found:

 

aptX Low Latency targets < 40 milliseconds latency

Source: https://www.qualcomm.com/products/features/aptx

 

Acceptable Latency Values

Here are some thoughts on acceptable values for different recording purposes:

  • Vocals: This is the most difficult example, because anyone listening to their vocals in 'real time' will have headphones on, and therefore have the sounds 'inside their head'. A latency of even 3ms can be disconcerting in these conditions.
  • Drums & Percussion: I suspect most drummers will prefer to work with latencies of 6ms or under, which should provide an 'immediate' response.
  • Guitars: Electric guitarists generally play a few feet from their stacks, and since the speed of sound in air is roughly a thousand feet per second, each millisecond of delay is equivalent to listening to the sound from a point one foot further away. So if you can play an electric guitar 12 feet from your amp, you can easily cope with a 12ms latency.
  • Keyboards: Even on acoustic pianos there's a delay between your hitting a key and the corresponding hammer hitting the string, so a smallish latency of 6ms ought to be perfectly acceptable to even the fussiest pianists. Famously, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan claimed to be able to spot 5ms discrepancies in their performances, but the vast majority of musicians are unlikely to worry about 10ms, and many should find a latency of 23ms or more perfectly acceptable with most sounds, especially pads with longer attacks.

 

Source: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/optimising-latency-pc-audio-interface

 

I'm attaching a more technical article: The Effects of Latency on Live Sound Monitoring  (AES_Latency.pdf)

 

It looks like Bluetooth (even aptX Low Latency) is not fast enough for live music monitoring.

 

I hope you found this interesting.

 

ST

 

meinmontco
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Oct 4, 2018

Re: Hearphones bluetooth latency

Author Accepted Answer selected by meinmontco

I Thank both of you very much for your informative and to the point responses.  You're both seeing exactly what I've been experiencing.  I spent a couple of hours this morning optimizing my PC for lowest possible latency.  You might find this link interesting:  https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=174208

Very hard to tell if the latency is less noticeable or not but I didn't mess anything up too badly on my PC.  

Appreciate the time and effort you both put into your posts.