Android Audio Latency explained & benchmarked

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gimmeapill
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Android Audio Latency explained & benchmarked

Postby gimmeapill » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:04 pm

I Just came across 2 good articles (although dated a couple of years) explaining the latency issues Android faces compared to iOS:

http://superpowered.com/androidaudiopathlatency

http://www.androidpolice.com/2015/11/13/android-audio-latency-in-depth-its-getting-better-especially-with-the-nexus-5x-and-6p/

The Superpowered latency test app and benchmark results are also particularly interesting - those guys are doing a great job:
http://superpowered.com/latency

According to the results, a fine tuned Linux box gets roughly in the same ballpark as an iDevice (7ms roundtrip) whether the best an Android device can dream off is around 15 ms.

Better than last time I checked, but still not good enough :?

Let's try again in a couple years

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CrocoDuck
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Re: Android Audio Latency explained & benchmarked

Postby CrocoDuck » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:23 pm

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
Fancying a swim in the pond?

gimmeapill
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Re: Android Audio Latency explained & benchmarked

Postby gimmeapill » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:51 am

And...here's a status update:
http://superpowered.com/android-audio-latency-problem-just-got-worse

Long story short: Google still doesn't care much about audio latency (although at least they seem to understand the question).

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protozone
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Re: Android Audio Latency explained & benchmarked

Postby protozone » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:56 am

gimmeapill wrote:I Just came across 2 good articles (although dated a couple of years) explaining the latency issues Android faces compared to iOS:

http://superpowered.com/androidaudiopathlatency

http://www.androidpolice.com/2015/11/13/android-audio-latency-in-depth-its-getting-better-especially-with-the-nexus-5x-and-6p/

The Superpowered latency test app and benchmark results are also particularly interesting - those guys are doing a great job:
http://superpowered.com/latency

According to the results, a fine tuned Linux box gets roughly in the same ballpark as an iDevice (7ms roundtrip) whether the best an Android device can dream off is around 15 ms.

Better than last time I checked, but still not good enough :?

Let's try again in a couple years


Thanks for this info. Your info helped prevent me from a purchasing disaster. Those chomebooks and the like are so cute, and tempting, but like you've been talking about... if they can't handle the right latency, it's just not worth it.

gimmeapill
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Re: Android Audio Latency explained & benchmarked

Postby gimmeapill » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:26 am

protozone wrote:Thanks for this info. Your info helped prevent me from a purchasing disaster. Those chomebooks and the like are so cute, and tempting, but like you've been talking about... if they can't handle the right latency, it's just not worth it.


Happy this was helpful, but be careful with generalizations: ChromeOS is a whole different beast than Android (although Google is doing its best to blur the lines).
I didn't dive into the details, but I would assume the Chromebook Flip C302 listed in those benchmarks was reinstalled with Android X86, or was maybe running the latency test app in Android emulation mode.

As far as Chromebooks go, you might get decent latency enabling Developer Mode and running Linux (no idea if they would be as good as a finely tuned PC though). It all boils down to what are your application and latency requirements...

Cheers,

LX

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protozone
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Re: Android Audio Latency explained & benchmarked

Postby protozone » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:07 am

gimmeapill wrote:
protozone wrote:Thanks for this info. Your info helped prevent me from a purchasing disaster. Those chomebooks and the like are so cute, and tempting, but like you've been talking about... if they can't handle the right latency, it's just not worth it.


Happy this was helpful, but be careful with generalizations: ChromeOS is a whole different beast than Android (although Google is doing its best to blur the lines).
I didn't dive into the details, but I would assume the Chromebook Flip C302 listed in those benchmarks was reinstalled with Android X86, or was maybe running the latency test app in Android emulation mode.

As far as Chromebooks go, you might get decent latency enabling Developer Mode and running Linux (no idea if they would be as good as a finely tuned PC though). It all boils down to what are your application and latency requirements...

Cheers,
LX


Ah, thanks for explaining the differences. I didn't know that.

Even most of the folks at the stores that sell 'em don't seem to know the differences either (where I live).
I think the ChromeBooks need ARM Linux to run? It might be fun to try, but only if I could run the same programs and didn't have to compile a bunch of stuff; (i'm afraid of compiling).

thanks

gimmeapill
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Re: Android Audio Latency explained & benchmarked

Postby gimmeapill » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:37 am

protozone wrote:Even most of the folks at the stores that sell 'em don't seem to know the differences either (where I live).
I think the ChromeBooks need ARM Linux to run? It might be fun to try, but only if I could run the same programs and didn't have to compile a bunch of stuff; (i'm afraid of compiling).


Don't rely on the local sales guys for any technical advice, they are not supposed to know anything about Linux or the specifics of computer music (unless it's your lucky day of course).

But you'll find plenty of relevant info in this forum ;-)

As for Chromebooks: they can be based on x86 or ARM cpus (the c302 is x86), so you should choose a distribution that matches your processor architecture in any case. Whether you would have to compile anything is a different question.
This is anyway not something I would recommend to a beginner.

First you should probably assess if Linux fits your purpose for audio production in the first place, and if so what are your latency requirements.
For that the path of least resistance would very likely be one of the live distros out there on any PC you can get your hands on:
https://libremusicproduction.com/articles/advantages-choosing-audio-orientated-linux-distribution

But I digress, let's get back to Android: to sum it up, latency on the platform is generally not suitable for real time audio, and this is not about to change as long as Google doesn't invest some serious resources to tackle the problem.


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