New test reveals key advantage AirPods Pro have over most common wireless headphones

New test reveals key advantage AirPods Pro have over most common wireless headphones
The Apple AirPods are more than a cool gadget: they have transformed wireless audio over the last couple of years and have become a symbol of a new culture.

However, as much as we all enjoy the convenience of AirPods and of all the wireless buds that came after them, there is one aspect about wireless headphones that cannot quite match wired headphones and that's latency.

This delay between the moment a sound is produced on a phone and the moment it arrives to your wireless earbuds is the reason why professional video editors who need to ensure audio and video are in sync don't use wireless headphones. A recent experiment by software developer and composer Stephen Coyle, however, shows that while AirPods are not quite on par with wired headphones in terms of latency, they have improved a great deal since the very first generation launched.

Using two apps to measure latency, the iOS keyboard and his own Tapt application that matches the purpose of the test, Coyle measured the average latency numbers for AirPods 1st gen, 2nd gen, and the newest AirPods Pro and these are the exact numbers:




The great thing is that key taps are now much more in sync with the AirPods Pro, much more so than with the original AirPods. This is the one place where sound might have appeared out of place with the lower latency of the first AirPods, and there are a couple of other places in iOS like that too, but the keyboard is definitely the most noticeable example.

We should also clarify that this latency is not something that should have ever affected audio playback in video, since most video apps should be smart enough to delay playback just enough so they make up for the difference in latency.

It's worth mentioning that the Sony pair of headphones in the chart above was included as a reference point and as an average for most Bluetooth headphones on the market. The author of this experiment also tested an Amazon Echo and a few other speakers that were roughly in line with that performance.

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