Improved Bluetooth latency of AirPods Pro offer ‘close to seamless’ audio experience

AirPods Pro bring the magic of AirPods to an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.
AirPods Pro bring the effortless magic of AirPods to an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.

Stephen Coyle:

A few years ago I wrote an article discussing the issues surrounding Bluetooth audio latency, and I feel like now is a good time to re-evaluate things, after a couple of generations of AirPods, and the new AirPods Pro… he gist is that for a whole host of use cases, the delay between when a sound is triggered and when you hear it over a Bluetooth device can be a serious downer in terms of user experience (and accessibility)…

Looking to the AirPods first, there’s a very encouraging trend occurring. They drop from 274ms to 178ms going from the first to second generation, and the AirPods Pro take it down even further, to 144ms. While a 130ms reduction may not seem like a lot, the perceptual difference from this makes the AirPods Pro tantalisingly close to seamless.

MacDailyNews Take: Can Apple keep the trend line going in subsequent generations? We wouldn’t bet against it!


  1. Full disclosure: I know nothing about what I’m about to say. With a little alteration, why can’t these also serve as hearing enhancers, not full-blown hearing aids? With all the people losing their hearing by listening to loud music, aren’t there a hundred million or so folks who could be helped by something like this?

    1. As a hearing aid user, I can say that these would be better than nothing, but you have to use the mic on the phone. No directionality, and clearly not suitable for all-day use. Also, that delay would be maddening. Since you would also be hearing the natural, unamplified sound, the delay would cause an echo. Older digital aids had an echo and they were terrible.

  2. Improved? It must’ve been ultra bad before. I have pros and the latency makes them unusable for speech using live listen. Really? They can’t speed up the encoding of audio from the mic? It doesn’t have to be full spectrum audio. Just voice range.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.