Bluetooth Audio causes bad latency (delay)
As Bluetooth connectivity between MIDI piano keyboards and devices running MIDI applications becomes more common, it’s worth noting that Bluetooth is NOT always the best choice when it comes to minimising latency (a delay between when a key is pressed on a MIDI keyboard and the time the sound is heard).
For those who like to eliminate (or at least reduce) wires in connections, the good news is that Bluetooth MIDI connections between MIDI keyboards and computers / iPads do work well in terms or providing zero (or very close to zero) latency – primarily because they are designed to be used with MIDI.
However, the same cannot be said of Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth speakers (i.e. Bluetooth audio) as these are simply not designed to be used in a scenario where low latency is required.
Bluetooth headphones / speakers are designed for non-MIDI scenarios such as listening to music or audio generally. They are NOT designed for use in a MIDI environment where minimal latency is essential.
If you’re simply listening to music, then Bluetooth headphones / speakers will be fine as you won’t notice if the sound is slightly delayed.
However, you should NOT use Bluetooth headphones / speakers when playing your MIDI piano / keyboard as there will be latency – that annoying delay in the sound which, in the case of piano lessons apps such as Musiah, will also tend to result in your playing achieving lower scores.
The simplest approach is to use built-in speakers or, if using headphones or external speakers, use wired ones.
However, if you’re a neat freak or just dislike wires generally, there is a wireless alternative that works well - namely, gaming wireless headphones / headsets.
These are non-Bluetooth wireless headphones that work by using radio waves as opposed to Bluetooth. Compared to Bluetooth headphones, the battery life will be a bit less, but with gaming (non-Bluetooth) wireless headphones, there is no noticeable latency.
A good example that we have tested with Musiah piano lessons is the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum (black) or Artemis Spectrum Snow (white) pictured above.
I hope you (dear reader) found this information helpful. Also, if you have not yet tried our amazingly effective piano lessons, you are warmly invited to take our Musiah Piano Lessons 14 Day Free Trial.
Thanks for reading,
Brendan Hogan L.Mus.A, A.Mus.A.
Piano Teacher & Musiah Inventor
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