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Has anyone tried using Apple AirPods Pro with Smule?

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Affinity86

Hi everyone, first post here. I’d like to know if the Apple AirPods Pro work with Smule on iOS. 
Mainly, I am curious about the recording quality, as I know traditionally Smule hasn’t supported Bluetooth recording, however these new AirPods pro have the new H1 chip onboard, which apparently decreases the latency (lag) by ~30%.

Along with the dual beam forming microphones, it would seem to me that the AirPods pro would be an excellent product for Smule, as it would allow me to be free of wires finally!

please, if anyone can share their experience, or if anyone owns a pair of AirPods pro and wouldn’t mind doing a quick test for me, to just let me know whether they work well with Smule and if the recording quality is better or worse than the regular wired Apple EarPods that I’m currently using.

thank you all so much!

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  • 5 months later...
Mitesh_Desai

Yes I have tried . The recording quality is good and no latency at all . However, while recording with Airpods, I can hear only the tracks and I can not hear my own vocals through the Airpod's speakers . Hence , it gets difficult to match the vocal pitch with the track sometimes.  Can any one throw some more light on this subject ? 

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  • 1 year later...
Ramamirdham

As I have tried almost 100's of headphones in the last 5 years I have been using for Smule, I have been waiting for a bluetooth device that works with Smule. I tried all bluetooth headphones still the problem is Smule records the sorrounding noise higher than our own vocals. I thought Airpods should be the way to go. Looks like it doesn't work well based on Mitesh response above. Thanks Mitesh for sharing your experience, i was about to get one Airdpods. I may have to rethink now. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
TheMajesticM

I must have gotten lucky. My AirPod Pros work well with Smule. You have to remember to adjust the delay settings before saving, and the app recognizes the pods so the menu will pop up to remind so you can adjust. Sorry they didn’t work out for some of you. 

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  • 7 months later...
realyquick

Sadly, Bluetooth was not designed for live sound. Apple Airpods Pro or any other bluetooth mic, Smule or any other app, is never a good choice for recording.

That being said, you can record a song with Apple Airpods Pro and Smule will allow you to adjust the lag after your recording is done to get an acceptable recording. However, you will not be able to hear your own voice in the headphone while you're singing. In-ear monitoring while singing is just not possible with Bluetooth, due to the laws of physics.

You might sometimes see professional singers use analog wireless microphones (no wires visible from their mic), but that is a different technology. Even that technology has latency (lag), but it is far better than a digital wireless technology like Bluetooth. The reasons for this requires more technical details than you will want to read (and I will want to type😁)

For live singing and in-ear monitoring you will always be better served with a simple wired microphone, or an audio interface if you want to spend more for better quality.

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opentype

People who use Apple’s headphones with cables will usually push the microphone forward with their hand to improve the audio quality. It just sounds better when the sound can directly hit the microphone and doesn’t have to bounce around the room to reach the microphone. With AirPods in one’s ears, this trick isn’t possible and so the sound is significantly worse. I wouldn’t recommend using them for Smule. 

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realyquick
5 hours ago, opentype said:

It just sounds better when the sound can directly hit the microphone and doesn’t have to bounce around the room to reach the microphone. With AirPods in one’s ears, this trick isn’t possible and so the sound is significantly worse. I wouldn’t recommend using them for Smule. 

True, I never liked how I sound on an AirPod recording, this could be why.

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  • 1 month later...
GradyGreer

Alright guys, so here’s the real answer to this question and it may surprise you, it did for me..

When I first started using Smule during the pandemic in August 2020 I would wear Apple AirPod Pros in both ears WITH TRANSPARENCY turned all the way up in the accessibility settings, which would allow me to hear/monitor my tone and it worked great! Minimal latency, and whatever latency did present itself, could be corrected during the preview stage. However, the problem was the quality of the sound recorded wasn’t great.

I’ll spare you all most of the details about the 100+ various types of headphones, microphones, laveliers etc etc I tried working to figure this problem out but it all comes down to this:

- When Bluetooth was created, it was not designed to be a “two-way street” from a tech perspective, at least not at the same time. Even though I think currently most devices use Bluetooth version 5.0 or 6.0, Bluetooth devices are simply INCAPABLE of playing audio OUT at the SAME TIME as they are recording and sending audio IN. So you can’t sing along with music you are listening to and have your iPhone record your voice and play the music at the same, it’s simply technologically NOT possible under the protocols with which Bluetooth technology was created.
 

*** Due to this limitation, when you are using Bluetooth headphones with Smule, such as Apple AirPod Pros, the microphone in your AirPods is actually NOT being utilized, as you would think - the recording is coming from your IPHONE’s microphone - thus why so much background noise is picked up when doing this, and also why you sound much better the closer you are to the phone. Has nothing to do with Bluetooth quality going down over a longer distance and everything to do with you are closer to the iPhones mic that is recording you / the AirPods are just playing the music. ***

This information came from Apple.

That said, just right now while typing I thought of this:   Isn’t a phone call on AirPod pros a “two way street” - listening to other person and talking at same time? Hmmm now I’m confused, but bottom line, —- Bluetooth headphones with smule and the mic defaults to the PHONE not the headphones.

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realyquick

If this information came from Apple, it may not be applicable to Smule.. I think you need to get that answer from Smule😁

Smule does provide you a way to adjust the latency when you record on Bluetooth, which neutralizes the Bluetooth latency. This control comes up right after you've recorded, and before you save.

 

20 minutes ago, GradyGreer said:

That said, just right now while typing I thought of this:   Isn’t a phone call on AirPod pros a “two way street” - listening to other person and talking at same time? Hmmm now I’m confused, but bottom line, —- Bluetooth headphones with smule and the mic defaults to the PHONE not the headphones.

Phone calls work because conversation is far more tolerant of millisecond-level latency that an interactive singing session.You might think you're singing in sync with the music you're hearing, but your voice is recorded with a tiny latency (because of Bluetooth propagation time in the air) that is very noticeable in the combined music-voice track (hence why that adjustment is provided by smule post recording). When you're talking to someone, it won't be detectable to them that you responded to them 10 ms after they stop speaking.

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GradyGreer

Go get a pair of Bluetooth headphones that you think are recording your voice, like AirPods, set them on the counter far from your phone and sing or yell or speak something very close to the headphones - like “I’m close to the headphones right now” - and then do the same by your phone, “like I’m by the phone right now” and tell me which one you can hear really well. You’ll find that in all scenarios with Bluetooth headphones, the iPhone is acting as microphone, not the Bluetooth headphones / even if they have a microphone in them. The latency correction function built into smule wasn’t built into the app with Bluetooth latency in mind, rather with hardware or software/cache processing issues with the phone itself which can cause audio and video to be out of sync at times and this offers a way to fix it.

Lastly, it doesn’t matter if the information came from Apple or Smule or whoever, the fact is that Bluetooth simply isn’t capable of doing what you’re talking about, which is why this is what happens when trying to listen/record with a Bluetooth device. It cannot do that, even if it wanted to and technically speaking had the hardware capabaility to do it, like AirPod Pros.

 

Now, go do the test, I’m curious to see what you discover.

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GradyGreer

On second thought, perhaps the latency correction feature was added with Bluetooth in mind … but not because the microphone is recording you and delaying the recording of your vocals, rather because the audio itself is delayed, which means your vocals are delayed but the iPhone is recording you in real time without a Bluetooth related lag… which would ultimately cause your vocals to be out of sync.

 

That said, I no longer see the latency corrector on my iPhone when previewing a video prior to posting… is it still there as an option for you?

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duojet24
1 minute ago, GradyGreer said:

That said, I no longer see the latency corrector on my iPhone when previewing a video prior to posting… is it still there as an option for you?

I think the latency correction may only be present on Android devices. I still have to use it every once in a while on my phone. However, my iPad doesn't have it. Not sure if anyone has experienced anything different.

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GradyGreer

It definitely used to be available on iPhone in the past but maybe 6-7 months ago it disappeared… good to know it’s not on your iPad as an option, means I’m not the only one.

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realyquick

The "Vocal Match" slider (marked by a double diamond) is very much still there in the latest smule version for iPhone, and it shows up only after you record with a Bluetooth headphone (AirPods Pro in my case.) -65 msec usually works for me.

In Android, the reason why that slider has always been there is because of a bug, which I believe is caused by a hardware deficiency on many Android headsets that causes the recorded voice to lag the music. iPhone has never had that issue, likely due to hardware assist built into the phone for voice.

OK here's the experiment I did, which shows iPhone is using the Bluetooth mic rather than the phone mic when recording: I recorded using my AirPods from two rooms away from the phone, and then I turned Bluetooth off and again recorded from two rooms away. Without Bluetooth I could barely hear my voice at all on the recording. With Bluetooth I could hear my voice clearly but it was less clear and more echo-ey than when you're close to the phone. I would chalk that up to added latency when you move away from the phone. Conclusion: Bluetooth is a bad way to record😀

Focusrite Scarlett Solo is recommended as a great option for the best voice quality if you want to spend about $100. Of course you'd need a good XLR wired mic too.

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