Ever since the release of the New™ iPad Pro models I've been receiving bug reports from readers experiencing odd headphone audio latency in music apps. This latency starts off small, and grows rapidly over time into a debilitating delay! This coincides with an odd digital noise from the headphone output on the new iPad Pros.
Apple Doesn't Care About Music Apps
Some adventurous members of the community updated to the iOS 11 beta and reported that this had solved their problems. So I didn't bother reporting on it; partly because I hoped iOS 11 would solve the problem for everyone, but mostly because me reporting on anything Apple is doing is like pissing into an oncoming wave and expecting that to stop the tsunami. In September, with the release of iOS 11, we discovered that this it did not fix the problem. So here I stand on firm ground with my fly open.
In addition to the latest iPad Pro models, we are now getting reports that iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models are also affected by the noise issue... which is surprising since they don't even have a built-in headphone jack!
You can read through the horror stories on the Audiobus forum, and also on Apple's User Discussion forum. Lots of people have tried a lot of different "fixes" but these tend not to be a full solution for all users. Several users reported that they have less noise on hardware interfaces if they change the samplerate from 48k to 44.1k in their apps. And some users report this also fixes the noise issue on the headphone jack.
It Just Works
This has been an ongoing issue, with reports from users dating back to July, but Apple has yet to make any official statement on the matter. This despite some big names weighing in on the official Apple forum, like YouTuber Cuckoo. I would say that their silence was disappointing, but that would imply that I held some other expectation. After living in Apple's world for the last 6+ years, I have no such expectation. "It just works..." except when it doesn't. Then you're just fucked.
Let's Keep Kicking the Can Down the Road
iOS 11.1 beta 2 reportedly fixes these issues, at least on new iPad Pros. From the patch notes:
- Fixed an occasionally occurring issue with audio latency or distortion on iPad Pro (12.9- inch) (2nd generation) and iPad Pro (10.5-inch). (33844393)
So perhaps we'll finally see a solution whenever iOS 11.1 arrives... Let's just hope it also fixes any iPhone 8/X issues while it's at it.