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I've currently got a semi-home-studio cobbled together using bits and pieces that I had lying around. I've noticed that when I play my instrument through speakers, there's noticeable latency, about 40ms. When I listen through headphones directly from the mixer, there's no noticeable latency.

The setup is like this:

Instrument(s) -> Behringer Q802USB mixer -> Pioneer XC-HM51 mini hi-fi -> Speakers

Headphones at either the instrument output or mixer output has minimal latency, but headphones at the hi-fi output (or speakers) has latency which makes me suspect the Hi-Fi. Do I need to find a different hi-fi system, or use a dedicated amplifier?

FYI, I measured the latency by having a microphone between my electronic snare drum and the speaker, and measuring the time between the sound from hitting the snare, and the sound coming out of the speaker. From one hit, there's two peaks about 40ms apart.

  • How did you connect the mixer to the amplifier? If it's via USB, that's where the latency is introduced. – Hobbes Jul 18 at 13:11
  • 1/4" to RCA cable – immanis Jul 18 at 13:20
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If the input is analog but you still get a delay, it's likely the amplifier does an AD conversion on its inputs. In that case, you'd need to use a different amplifier you are certain is analog.

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  • Cheers, that's what I suspected but wasn't sure if it was possible! Is there any way to tell whether an amplifier is analogue? Is it usually a spec sheet, or "dedicated" amps (without any extra functions), or is it basically just a bit random? – immanis Jul 20 at 20:42
  • The spec sheet or manual may tell you, but some don't. The manual for your amp doesn't specify if it's digital, for example. Signs an amplifier may be digital: USB ports, HDMI input, other digital inputs. Functions like time alignment. – Hobbes Jul 21 at 18:51

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