Low latency Bluetooth headphones

Hi All

I’d like to be able to use Bluetooth headphones in my home music setup, with a MIDI controller connected to Cubase. I understand that latency/lag of the BT path is typically too high to be acceptable, even with ASIO internally, but having done a bit of research there is the option to use devices supporting the recent aptX LL (Low Latency) codec, which apparently reduce the latency to <40ms. The setup is to have a LL BT transmitter plugged into the PC audio jack (so there is no confusion in Cubase about the audio path), paired to LL-capable headphones. Has anyone used this kind of an arrangement, and is the lag noticeable? I also understand that there is a fidelity degradation because of BT compression, but I suspect I can live with that, I’m not doing professional production work


I tried to do the same, and failed… my headphones supported both the LL mode and the HD mode of aptX, and I could not force it into choosing LL. So it was always picking HD mode when available and latency was killing it.
Please let us know your findings.

I too am interested in this, but I have yet to find a device that guarantees this - much of the typical marketing BS is unreliable and I get suspicious when a manufacturer doesn’t publish detailed technical specs.

Not necessarily, aptX HD is probably practically as good as lossless, even if not strictly and technically lossless, but again, it seems to be impossible to get reliable product information from manufacturers as to exactly what codec they use. I don’t think BT headphones are (yet) aimed at the professional market, so be prepared for hyped sound as well, particularly in the bass.

Even 40ms is too much. In a non professional use surely the sound still matters? It does to me.


As far as Bluetooth is concerned, yes, certainly not yet.

The old-style wireless headphones from ~20 years ago that worked on the principle of FM radio transmission from a base station could do this though. My last pair died a few years ago and I haven’t been able to find a replacement – it’s all BT now.

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You can buy RF headphones but the broadcast length is small.

Here’s a link to a store that has them here in Australia.

Mmm … can’t see any definitive statement as to whether Alctrons are true analog RF though, and the use of the 2.4GHz band suggests to me that the signal transmission might be digital, so no better than Bluetooth in terms of latency.

I was thinking of something like the way radio mics work, in the VHF/UHF license-free bands.