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Ultra-low Latency Wireless Audio Solution to Delight the VR User

Telink Staff

November 3, 2022


VR user

Users worldwide are jumping into the world of virtual reality, but many are encountering frustrating latency issues. Telink Semiconductor has developed an ultra-low latency solution to optimize the immersive experience.

The growing popularity of virtual reality (VR) gaming headsets has sparked a new era of integrative technology. With more than 170 million VR users worldwide, the potential to further merge our physical and digital worlds is already gaining traction. From Meta’s (Oculus) Quest 2 to HP’s Reverb G2, virtual reality gaming headsets give users a glimpse into next-level immersive entertainment while giving developers creative inspiration for applications yet to be explored.

Before VR becomes more mainstream, however, widespread latency problems need to be addressed. Currently, VR users are encountering audio lags when connecting their Bluetooth® Classic headphones to their gaming headsets — an issue that, for many, has tainted the user experience.

By enhancing device interconnectivity through better IoT compatibility, Telink Semiconductor helps manufacturers and developers sidestep common technology roadblocks. Here’s a look at a recent case study where Telink helped a client create the perfect ultra-low-latency TWS earbuds for VR users.

Case Study: Designing a Low-Latency Solution for VR Audio Lags

Case study for low-latency VR audio lags

Problem: Bluetooth Classic audio devices are not ideal for VR consoles.

While most VR goggles can easily connect to any Bluetooth Classic audio device in their vicinity, the performance of these devices in tandem with VR applications needs improvement. Users who prefer to use their own Bluetooth headphones or earbuds when playing VR games often report audio lags that disrupt user precision and coordination. This may not seem like a big deal — after all, users can simply default to wired headphones. However, in a world already well-founded on IoT networks and reliability, it’s a major obstacle that inhibits VR progress and can limit use cases down the road.

Solution: Ultra-low latency earbuds for high-quality, lag-free audio.

Telink Semiconductor developed proprietary wireless audio technology for TWS earbuds that delivers an ultra-low latency sound experience for all VR applications. Users simply connect a dongle to their VR goggles and then pair the corresponding earbuds to the device. This creates a channel that reduces latency to less than 30 milliseconds and supports an LC3 codec audio delivery rate of 16bit res at 48Khz.

Moreover, by using the TLSR9517 multi-protocol audio SoC, this solution also maintains a simultaneous link to a paired smartphone via standard Bluetooth Classic, so that users can pick up and engage in a phone call while still listening to audio from their VR console. This allows the earbuds to be used as a normal Bluetooth device when the user is not playing VR games.

Besides audio mixing, Telink’s ultra-low latency solution offers:

  • Robust interference immunity with adaptive frequency hopping for smooth audio streaming
  • Hardware-based sidetone processing with less than 50 microseconds of latency
  • A nine-stage equalizer, adjustable at any time
  • Firmware updates available through USB or OTA
  • Dual MIC beamforming, noise cancellation and suppression, and AEC

These features are just a stepping stone to a series of advancements set to extend VR’s reach, with Telink at the forefront of engineering semiconductor chips suitable for the technology to come.

Harness the Possibilities of Virtual Reality with Telink

Telink’s semiconductors are powering the devices that keep our world running, from smart home appliances to health-oriented technology. Our high-performance SoCs and IoT connectivity solutions are crafted with the future in mind, allowing us to expand on what’s possible to design the impossible. With virtual reality projected to be a common household tool within the next few years, let us help your brand make the most of its capabilities.

Contact us today or send emails directly to [email protected] to learn more.