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Wireless headphones #2579757
10/18/16 11:59 AM
10/18/16 11:59 AM
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VCAragon Offline OP
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Can anyone provide feedback on headphones for digital pianos? I would like to buy a pair of wireless that will serve me not just for my digital piano but for other purposes such as the gym. I am contemplating purchasing the Bose Soundlink II wireless. I'm not even sure that wireless phones would be compatible with my Arius 181 and it seems that the salespeople I've spoken with aren't very knowledgeable. On one website, there was a mention of a lag with wireless and digital pianos. Not very encouraging!! Anyone know?

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Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2579773
10/18/16 12:39 PM
10/18/16 12:39 PM
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TheodorN Offline
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Someone correct me, if I'm wrong, but wireless headphones usually rely on Bluetooth technology to connect to the source device. That means, your YDP181 needs to support Bluetooth, and there is no mention of that feature, on Yamaha's webpage for the Arius YDP181.

According to this website, wireless headphones can receive an infra-red or a radio signal, from a device, but then they need a transmitter. Besides, the Arius would need some equipment to send such signals, but I can't see anything about something like that in the specs, either.


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Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2579775
10/18/16 01:05 PM
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prout Offline
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Buy a bluetooth usb transmitter (About $30-40). Plug it in to your DP.

Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2579777
10/18/16 01:11 PM
10/18/16 01:11 PM
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Frédéric L Offline
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Why a USB transmitter ? USB is not wireless.

I don't know about Bluetooth and latency, but I would be careful... A "normal" latency to hear recorded music would be too high for playing piano.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 10/18/16 01:11 PM.

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Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2579780
10/18/16 01:38 PM
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Our Sennheiser wireless (not Bluetooth) are useless for piano playing because of the quite noticeable lag. The lag is short enough that you don't notice it when watching (and listening to) a video/movie, put is too long for playing the piano. I think the lag with Bluetooth is equally bad. I don't think it will work.

Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2579784
10/18/16 01:54 PM
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Jobert: Good point. The standard bluetooth latency is 150ms (+/-50ms). Anything over 10ms will be noticed, though up to 40ms can be tolerated.

Edit: Frédéric: USB connected wireless transmitters are in common use for many applications. I have a usb wireless dongle that communicates with my keyboard and mouse.

The Creative BT-W2 usb wireless dongle uses low latency designed for audio video syncing. It states <40ms, and cost about $40USD. For me, 40ms is still too much latency.

Last edited by prout; 10/18/16 02:02 PM.
Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2579789
10/18/16 02:15 PM
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I will also say stay away from the Sennheiser RS 185's, the lag is noticeable

Last edited by fullmental; 10/18/16 02:16 PM.
Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2579791
10/18/16 02:19 PM
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Unless Bluetooth has updated it's specifications for latency (I don't know if WiFi is any better) you'd probably be better off with an analogue wireless system. But how good is the audio quality of wireless analogue consumer products? Are they still widely available?

Because the pianist is sitting at the piano into which the phones are plugged, I think most people settle for headphones with an ordinary cable. Zero loss in quality and zero latency, and much cheaper.


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Re: Wireless headphones [Re: prout] #2579795
10/18/16 02:25 PM
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Frédéric L Offline
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Originally Posted by prout
Edit: Frédéric: USB connected wireless transmitters are in common use for many applications. I have a usb wireless dongle that communicates with my keyboard and mouse.


Where would you plug such a USB dongle ? Digital piano USB ports only carry MIDI events, no sound.


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Re: Wireless headphones [Re: Frédéric L] #2579800
10/18/16 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
Originally Posted by prout
Edit: Frédéric: USB connected wireless transmitters are in common use for many applications. I have a usb wireless dongle that communicates with my keyboard and mouse.


Where would you plug such a USB dongle ? Digital piano USB ports only carry MIDI events, no sound.


I do not know if the Arius USB port offers an audio codec. You are probaby correct that it supports MIDI only.


Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2579801
10/18/16 02:39 PM
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Audioengine has a product - W3. It plugs into the headphone jack and transmits to a receiver with another headphone jack. It costs $150USD and has a latency <20ms.

Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2579804
10/18/16 02:53 PM
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I don't know many instruments which support audio on USB : Yamaha MOXF6/8, Korg Kronos). The list may not be complete, but they are mostly workstation synthesizers, not digital pianos.

Even with audio on USB ports, it is not proven that a USB dongle will render the sound wirelessly. I suppose that most USB dongle + wireless headphone kits are designed to be used on a PC : USB type A port. The previous synthesizers send audio on a USB type B port and may use the USB type A port only for memory sticks.


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Re: Wireless headphones [Re: Frédéric L] #2579877
10/18/16 06:45 PM
10/18/16 06:45 PM
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
. . . The previous synthesizers send audio on a USB type B port and may use the USB type A port only for memory sticks.


For most DP's, the port on the piano is USB type B (square, with cut-off corners), and the port on the computer is USB type A (flat),

. . . And you use a "printer cable" (USB-A to USB-B) to connect them.

I haven't checked the back of an MX6, but I bet that's how it works. There will be a USB audio driver in the computer, that looks like a sound card to the computer's O/S.

This is all irrelevant to the OP's request . . .



Last edited by Charles Cohen; 10/18/16 06:46 PM.

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Re: Wireless headphones [Re: prout] #2579878
10/18/16 06:47 PM
10/18/16 06:47 PM
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VCAragon Offline OP
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Thanks all. A little disappointing but seems that wireless may be a no-go for now.

Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2580033
10/19/16 10:58 AM
10/19/16 10:58 AM
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I suppose if something used the technology in wireless microphones, it could work. But if computer processing gets involved (Bluetooth, USB) I wouldn't count on it being instantaneous, so it could introduce enough latency to be irritating. I'd look for "wireless monitors" designed for stage musicians, where you can plug the audio outs from your keyboard directly into the transmitting unit without sending it through the computer.


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Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2580124
10/19/16 03:23 PM
10/19/16 03:23 PM
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VCAragon Offline OP
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I just received an e-mail from a vendor who is recommending the following:
Sennheiser RS 135-9 RF Wireless Headphone System - On Ear, Open Back with transmitter.
These headphones seem pretty inexpensive ($129.00) for wireless and a transmitter....I imagine they are not much better or even worse than the 185's mentioned above since they may be an earlier model.


Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2580146
10/19/16 04:27 PM
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These would work. They are analogue FM based, so essentially no latency. But, I don't see how you would use them at the gym. The headphones are large, and the transmitter is large and akward.

Why not just use wired headphones?

Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2580220
10/19/16 10:58 PM
10/19/16 10:58 PM
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VCAragon,

You have received some great tips here.

I would recommend you consider two dedicated headphones; one for sports and one for the piano.

For the gym, you need headphones that are not too large or they will get in your way. Thus, small earbuds are quite popular. Downside of small headphones-buds are that you lose some bass and they generally sound less realistic than larger ones do. The gym is a violent place for headphones as they get banged up on equipment, are bouncing around a lot, and sweat is bad for electronics & plastics alike. Any foam or cloth will begin to stink quickly. Consequentially, gym headphones that are not stolen tend to have shortened lives.

For the piano, I would recommend larger, open, lightweight, over the ear headphones. All else equal:

- Larger headphones can play lower notes than smaller ones can

- Open headphones generally sound more realistic than closed headphones. Closed headphones provide some noise isolation for you and anyone in your room

- Lightweight / over the ear headphones will allow you to play for long periods without discomfort (or even knowing you are wearing them). Over the ear means that they are not pressing against your ear like an on the ear headphone will. On the ear headphones start to hurt my ears a lot after 1 hour; ears are not designed to have something hard pressing against them.

For wireless-wired, at the gym some type of bluetooth might be more convenient. If you go wired, note some units are quite noisy (e.g. hard earbuds with certain cables don't make much noise when running or walking. Some of the softer earbuds with certain cables are very "microphonic," which is slang for noisy and irritating. The wire can also be a health and safety hazard.

For wireless-wired at the piano, I think there are some great tips above. For wireless, you need to worry about excessive latency and a big drop in sound quality. Why wouldn't you pay much less for wired headphones that sound much better, have "no" latency, and are simply "plug and play"?

Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2580260
10/20/16 03:32 AM
10/20/16 03:32 AM
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Good points. And I'm having trouble understanding the wish or need for wireless phones at the piano.

Wireless is for when you don't want a wire tying you to the equipment. But that 88-key instrument already has you tied there!

So I can't see paying lots more money for wireless phones that sound poorer (even than cheaper wired headphones), and that suffer from latency (which in some cases will make them quite unusable at the piano).

Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2580303
10/20/16 08:30 AM
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Wireless headphones is a good discussion if your intent is to buy them for multiple purposes, especially for movie viewing. I did a lot of research earlier this year on wireless headphones for movie viewing which has nearly the same level of need for low latency as a piano. A piano in my opinion still needs a little less latency than movie watching. I finally throw in the towel. The technology is still at least three years away. The newest Bluetooth standards will probably be good enough. If not then the next version will. However there are almost no actual implementations of the most recent standard. It takes a couple of years for products to emerge.


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Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2580365
10/20/16 02:47 PM
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Is it at all possible to get wireless headphones to work with the Yamaha YDP-181? I have not seen how it can be done. Bluetooth headphones would require a USB dongle, which can not be inserted into the YDP-181, as is clear from the manual, page 38:

Quote
Compatible USB devices
USB storage devices (flash memory, floppy disk drive, hard disk drive, etc.) The instrument does not necessarily support all commercially available USB devices. Yamaha cannot guarantee operation of USB devices that you purchase. Before purchasing a USB device for use with this instrument, please visit the following web page:
http://music.yamaha.com/download/
Note
Other USB devices such as a computer keyboard or mouse cannot be used.

So the OP would have to insert the included USB dongle from the wireless headphones - if he'll get them - to the computer, or some external sound system. Bear in mind, I don't have an access to a YDP-181, so all I'm writing, is based on the instrument's manual.

Then there is the question of latency, which has pretty much been answered in earlier comments. Judging from what has been said, the latency could be so much, that the option of wireless headphones is not really an option.

Last edited by TheodorN; 10/20/16 02:51 PM.

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Re: Wireless headphones [Re: TheodorN] #2580368
10/20/16 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TheodorN
Is it at all possible to get wireless headphones to work with the Yamaha YDP-181?
There are wireless headphones, like the Sennheiser I have, that come with their own sending unit. This unit in turn has a normal plug and can therefore be used with any audio equipment that has a headphones output. The lag however makes it unusable for piano playing.

Re: Wireless headphones [Re: VCAragon] #2580375
10/20/16 03:35 PM
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I see, JoBert, thanks for telling. So there non-USB connecting possibilities (at least one) but then there is still the latency ghost to deal with, as you describe is the case of your Sennheiser.


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