AirPods Pro Offer 'Close to Seamless' Audio Experience Thanks to Improved Bluetooth Latency

Software developer and composer Stephen Coyle published a new article on his blog recently, intent on measuring the Bluetooth latency of Apple's new AirPods Pro and comparing their performance to previous-generation AirPods. As Coyle pointed out, Bluetooth audio latency in wireless earphones can cheapen the user experience of these devices, and can particularly cause major issues for certain accessibility features reliant upon audio accuracy.


Coyle measured latency by testing how much time passes between a user triggering a sound and when they hear it in the earphones. The developer pointed out that these user-initiated sounds "are the most commonly encountered example" of Bluetooth audio latency, because they are unpredictable and therefore difficult for most platforms to respond to with finesse. These include keyboard clicks, accessibility features like VoiceOver, and sound effects in games.

Image via Stephen Coyle

Using the default iOS keyboard and his own game Tapt as means of measuring this latency, Coyle discovered that the ‌AirPods Pro‌ have the lowest average audio latency (measured in milliseconds) among the entire ‌AirPods‌ line. ‌AirPods‌ 1 measured in at 274ms between the time the sound was triggered and the time the sound was heard, then ‌AirPods‌ 2 was at 178ms, and ‌AirPods Pro‌ clocked in at 144ms. Coyle called this "tantalizingly close to seamless."
If it's possible for the trend line to continue in the same direction, the next generation or two of ‌AirPods‌ will be very exciting. Not being a VoiceOver user, I'm unsure how much ‌AirPods Pro‌ improve its user experience in real terms, but I think this general trend can only be for the good. Similarly, for mobile gaming and general user experience, this trend means that what is, in my opinion, the primary downside of Bluetooth earphones may be gradually disappearing.
Coyle's test also included the Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones and Sony WH-CH700N, which measured in around 250ms and 225ms, respectively. The developer included these two devices for context and explained that they represent the general state of Bluetooth headphones as it stands right now, with devices like the third-generation Amazon Echo and a JBL Bluetooth speaker also measuring in at about the same level as the Beats and Sony devices.

Check out Coyle's full article on the ‌AirPods Pro‌ Bluetooth audio latency right here.

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Top Rated Comments

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5 weeks ago
Best Apple Product since iPhone.
Rating: 14 Votes
5 weeks ago
The range is insane on them as well.. I can walk almost 200’ away from my phone at work and they still work...
Rating: 10 Votes
5 weeks ago
As usual... Apple delivers a product that is even better than advertised. But people keep complaining about pricing...
Rating: 10 Votes
5 weeks ago


I just can't get past the way they look. They look dorky.

I'm good with the originals.

Wait.... they look dorky, but the originals do not???
Lol- you genuinely lost me.
We must be talking about completely different products.
Rating: 8 Votes
5 weeks ago
Now if they’d quit breaking them with their firmware updates....
Rating: 7 Votes
5 weeks ago
This is great and all, but I still wish Apple would start supporting the AptX range of codecs as well.
Rating: 6 Votes
5 weeks ago


As usual... Apple delivers a product that is even better than advertised. But people keep complaining about pricing...


AirPods Pro are cheaper and better than pretty much all serious competitors.
Rating: 6 Votes
5 weeks ago
Going from 270ms to 144ms is like going from hot garbage to just garbage. 30ms is about where the delay becomes unnoticeable for a/v sync purposes.
Rating: 5 Votes
5 weeks ago


I’d really like to use my AirPods while I’m editing casual video in Final Cut Pro, but I find the latency causes some issues with playback. I wonder if the AirPods Pro offers an improvement to that aspect as well.


That's exactly what the article says. :rolleyes:
Rating: 4 Votes
5 weeks ago
The latency has to be ~20ms or better to be able to compose with them. Heres hoping for the day but I dont believe bluetooth is able to achieve that. He should know better.

Having said that: The headphones themselves are great (if not over priced, $300 with taxes and AC+).
Rating: 4 Votes

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