What is Latency


Any gamer has surely experienced this. You’re on the edge of your seat. The match is about to end, victory is almost within your grasp. But then, tragedy strikes. You get hit, but the shot is heard just 20-40ms slower, you are shell shocked. You don’t understand what just happened. Your teammates are sad and defeated as well, and you blame it on the lag, but they pay no attention and discard it as another excuse. You mourn another loss but you move on to the next game.

So this is what an anecdotal explanation of latency would be. Latency, technically, is the length of time that it takes for a sound transmitted from your phone (or another device) to be played on the earbuds or speakers that receive it.

Ready to have your mind blown? No earphones/headphones are free from lag. Yea, not even wired earphones, However the thing is the lag is just 5ms-10ms completely indistinguishable to the human ear.

Bluetooth headphones suffer a much worse lag compared to wired earpods. Bluetooth headphones have a latency from 32ms-300ms. To understand why latency is worse on bluetooth, understand bluetooth a lil more.

There are other factors that cause latency,

  1. Codec
  2. Bluetooth Versions
  3. Distance and Interference

However, these are blog posts for another day.

Let’s be clear about one thing: Audio delay will always be present in a wireless connection. But there are ways to minimize it so it won’t be too noticeable

Update your drivers, select the right codecs,etc.

The other main way is to buy great low latency earbuds like the Wings Phantom 260 or Wings Phantom 500 which have the lowest latency right now in the market at 40ms at affordable prices.

When you’re gaming, if your frames are lagging, the gamer tends to update their Graphics card or Processor to have better visual performance. In the same sense, audio which makes up for 50% of the experience needs better fine tuning if required.

As a gamer, the intricacies of latency are important for you to understand, so that you as a gamer are fully rounded and can better your gameplay while understanding where you can improve yourself and your tech.

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