Latency Is So Over

In our continuing look at issues that are of vital importance to everybody, and not just stuff I’m doing because I’m getting a bit stir crazy:

Audio latency. It’s the worst, right?

Here’s the backstory: When I moved in here ten years ago (gasp… ten years? huh…) I wired up all the rooms with Cat5, which allowed me to play the music from the stereo in all the rooms. Because music.

(Yes yes Sonos bla bla no I’m never using a proprietary solution so there.)

I covered all the rooms… except the bathroom. (Because extending the wiring there would be awkward because reasons.) So I dragged my heels for a while, and showered in complete silence, like some kind of barbarian, until I started looking at a wireless solution for the last mile I mean three meters.

I tried various thing, and none of them worked, because nothing that’s wireless works. Until I found these:

Creative X-Fi Wireless things.

And they kinda worked, if I put the sender and the receiver (in their respective rooms) just… *so*…

Even so, there’s the occasional drop-outs, so you can’t really say that they “work”.

But worse was that they introduce a latency of about 200ms. So if you stand in the doorway to the bathroom, and you can hear the music from the other rooms as the same time as you hear the music from the bathroom, it’s sheer torture.

So I’ve had to switch the music off in the bathroom whenever I’m not showering.

Oh, the humanity.

Enter… The Sennheiser XSW-D MINI JACK TX Bodypack Transmitter (2.4 GHz) (and receiver)!

These are made for musicians to run around on stage, really — they run on battery, but can also run on USB(-C) power.

I got them a week ago, and they’re kinda amazing: Pairing them was as simple as pushing two buttons (you can tell that they’re made for musicians), and I can hear no noticeable latency at all. None.

And no audio drop-outs, either, even as I’ve put both the receiver and the transmitter into cupboards (which the Creative thing wouldn’t abide at all). And the audio quality seems fine?

Has somebody finally made a wireless thing that works? It certainly seems that way, but it does sound rather unlikely, doesn’t it?

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