Apple’s AirPods Pro offer significant improvements when compared to the previous generation of AirPods, including noise cancellation features and even a Transparency mode. An additional benefit that is often overlooked is the reduced latency. Stephen Coyle, musician and software developer wrote in a blog post about the impressive performance Apple has achieved with the AirPods Pro.
According to Coyle, audio latency isn’t such a big deal for video playback, as it can be slightly delayed to maintain a correct line-up of the audio. However, he believes that the latency tends to be unacceptable for “unpredictable sounds”, including user-initiated sounds, special effects in video games and many more.
Testing the AirPods Pro
Coyle’s blog post was based on two different tests:
He used two different pieces of software to play the audio he wanted to run the benchmarking on. First was the default iOS keyboard because it’s where the latency makes its presence obvious most commonly. Second was a game developed by himself, named Tapt, which was coded with an intentional requirement of a very low audio latency. Every single imperfection was easily detectable by his trained ears, as he is familiar with technical underpinnings.
For both of the applications he triggered 10 sounds in a row and kept a steady pace of 90 beats per minute with the help of a metronome.
He was deeply surprised by the results: It turned out that the first generation AirPods returned a latency of 274 ms on average while the second gen AirPods dropped it by almost 100 ms. However, the AirPods Pro performed remarkably: They dropped the latency at an impressive 144ms, which is precisely 130 ms less than the first generation AirPods, making them suitable for applications that require low latency.