Bluetooth Wireless Electric Guitar

I've been learning to play the guitar for just under two months now, and pretty much since I've started I've been wondering why electric guitars still use this ancient technology. Heck, even aviation is stepping up to the digital age, yet electric guitars haven't changed much since the 50's. More than anything, why is everything analog with these big bulky cables getting in the way? Why can't we just Bluetooth-ify everything, and then I can practice using my Bluetooth headphones?

I did a bit of research and the first answer I got was that Bluetooth has too much latency. It's kinda hard to play music when you're hearing what you played anything from a half second to several seconds ago. That's where my hack comes in. You see there's a new thing called "AptX Low-Latency" which promises latency less than 50 ms. That's fast enough that you can't really perceive any delay.



This is one of, if not the coolest hack of my life. What's beautiful about it is the simplicity. Here's what you're going to need:

  • An electric guitar
  • Headphone amplifier. Amazon has a bunch of them from anywhere between $12 and $40. Pick one that has the sound you like, you can test them with regular headphones. I have both the Monoprice "Clean" version, and the Nux "Classic Rock" for a bit more distortion.
  • Bluetooth Transmitter that supports analog input and "AptX Low Latency". This last part is very important, as I'll discuss below. I went with the Homespot low-latency transmitter because it has a battery built in and is pretty small.
  • Any kind of receiving device that also supports "AptX Low Latency". I have a pair of Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 headphones (that I absolutely love) that work, and I also use the Homespot low-latency Receiver
  • A very short 3.5 mm stereo audio cable
  • Velcro tape
Very Important: both devices must support AptX Low-Latency! If either one doesn't, then you'll get the usual Bluetooth delay of anywhere from a half second to several seconds, which makes it really hard to play. If in doubt, write to the manufacturer or leave a question on Amazon to make sure.

Hooking all of this up is really simple:
  1. Use the velcro tape to stick the transmitter onto the headphone amp
  2. Use the audio cable to connect the headphone output of the headphone amp to the input of the Bluetooth transmitter
  3. If you're using a receiver, plug the receiver into a sound system or whatever you're going to use
  4. Pair the transmitter and the receiver (or headphones)
  5. Plug the headphone amp into your guitar
  6. Adjust any of the knobs on the headphone amp to get the sound that you want
  7. Voila! Wireless guitar!
Please leave a comment with any equipment that you find works or doesn't work and I'll add it to the list below.

Working transmitters:
Working receivers / headphones
Non-working (or high-latency) receivers / headphones:
  • Bose QuietComfort / SoundLink headphones
  • Sony SRS-X7 Speaker
Rock on!

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