• Tom DuPree III

The Problem With Wireless Headphones

As a musician, I have a big problem with wireless headphones.

First of all, let me say this, I love my wireless headphones. I have a pair of Apple AirPods and a pair of over the ear headphones, both of which are wireless, and I absolutely love listening to music on them. It's awesome.

Especially when I'm on the move, like if I'm in the airport or on a bus or going from plane to terminal to Uber, whatever, the convenience cannot be beaten.

I even enjoy using them when I'm just lounging at home. Having the freedom to listen to music without the tangle of the wire when I'm sitting on the sofa is pure technological magic.

As a listener, they're great, but as a musician, as a creator, I absolutely despise them.

The issue is simple: the lag that is produced by Bluetooth technology does not allow you to actually make music on your device. It's super frustrating, and I cannot for the life of me understand why this problem has yet to be fixed.

So much amazing technology is coming out that allows you to make music on your mobile device, and I would love to be able to champion all of it, but, unfortunately, every new device is getting made without a headphone jack, which means they're pushing wireless headphones.

Again, I'm all for wireless. It's great. However, if you're going to corner me into adopting that new technology, then you damn well better make sure that I can use it for all the things I want to use it for on my device. Like actually making things.

And they know it's a problem. iOS even has a little pop up to address it. If I'm in GarageBand and I put in my AirPods, a message will pop up that says "you may experience increased delay" or something to that effect when using wireless headphones.

They're basically saying you can't use these to make music on your device. Which means if I want to make music on my iPhone or on my iPad, I have to carry an extra set of wired headphones with me at all times. And that tiny little lightning adapter. Gross.

Why is this a thing? They know it's a problem, and we know it's possible to communicate wirelessly with zero lag.

After all, Bluetooth is not instantaneous, but WIFI pretty much is.

I use Logic Remote on my iPad to communicate with my laptop as a drum machine and it works flawlessly. And I do it over my WIFI network.

So it does work.

So why can't I connect my headphones via the WIFI connection on my phone? Why can't I use my phone as a wireless hotspot and connect my headphones through that?

Is this not an option they have considered?

In short, I don't have answers. This is just a huge question of mine and it's a huge pain point for me as a musician and as a creator. I would love to see it change.

I'm hoping that maybe the next generation of wireless headphone technology will address the issue and I will finally be able to create my next masterpiece in the land of untethered bliss the way God intended.

Until then I guess I'm forced to carry around two sets of headphones and that absurdly losable lighting adapter.

Oh well, at least my laptop still has a headphone jack...

Listen to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/tomdupreeiii

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/-zeO5tUUVVA

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