Android Tablet Devices for Music

Greg Cerveny
2 min readFeb 20, 2018

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Android Native App: edjing
Android Native App: edjing

Latency is essential for music apps. For an app to feel expressive, it requires a quick response from touch or input to resultant sound. The iOS SDK has served this niche well and recently Android has started improving their audio latency.

Only a limited range of Android tablets are capable of these low latency response times. The only way to figure out which devices support these lower latencies is to submit dummy builds to the google play store and see what registered devices appear as compatible. Even then support isn’t guaranteed.

This list is current as of Feb 20,2018

Android Audio Pro Devices

android.hardware.audio.pro indicates a continuous round-trip latency of 20 ms or less.

Device List:

  • HTC: Nexus 9, 9 LTE
  • NVIDIA: Shield Tablet
  • Sony: Xperia Z4 Tablet

Unfortunately, these devices are all discontinued.

Android Audio Low Latency Devices

android.hardware.audio.lowlatency indicates a continuous output latency of 45 ms or less.

I also tried this flag, to see if it perhaps would turn up more devices. Unfortunately the list is the same.

Sample Manifest

Here’s a sample AndroidManifest.xml for anyone curious in running their own reports:

<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
package="com.artfulmedium.testaudiopro">

<!--<uses-feature android:required="true" android:name="android.hardware.audio.pro" />-->
<uses-feature android:required="true" android:name="android.hardware.audio.low_latency" />


<supports-screens android:smallScreens="false"
android:normalScreens="false"
android:largeScreens="true"
android:xlargeScreens="true"
android:requiresSmallestWidthDp="600" />

<application
android:allowBackup="true"
android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher"
android:label="@string/app_name"
android:roundIcon="@mipmap/ic_launcher_round"
android:supportsRtl="true"
android:theme="@style/AppTheme" />
</manifest>

I ran this with minSdkVersion 14.

Bonus

If you’re curious, here’s a Google report of round trip latency on some older devices.

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Greg Cerveny