NAMM 2023: Yamaha wants you to ditch the cables with its YH-WL500 wireless headphones for musicians

Yamaha YH-WL500 wireless headphones for musicians
(Image credit: Yamaha)

NAMM 2023: Wireless technology is everywhere these days, and while we've been able to enjoy listening on our headphones cable-free for years, there's one main barrier to being able to play our instruments into Bluetooth headphones or earbuds: latency. Yamaha is apparently on a mission to end this with its latest headphone release, the YH-WL500, aimed specifically at musicians.

As well as boasting a semi-open-back design and a frequency response of 20 Hz - 20kHz courtesy of 40mm dynamic drivers in each ear cup, the YH-WL500's main strength lies in its ultra-low latency performance.

Yamaha explains that standard Bluetooth headphones can suffer with latency of up to 200ms, making playing musical instruments wirelessly impossible. However, thanks to the YH-WL500's 2.4gHz wireless connectivity, this is reduced to a pretty much un-noticeable 4ms. In fact, Yamaha describes the performance as "Indistinguishable from a cable".   

They work via a transmitter/charging dock, which connects to your instrument or amplifier's headphone socket and beams the sound into the cans. However the YH-WL500 can also simultaneously receive a Bluetooth signal from your device, making it possible to wirelessly jam with your music library while also hearing your instrument.

The headphones can operate from an internal rechargeable battery for approximately nine hours, with a full charging time of three hours. Alternatively, you can connect to your source with a 3.5mm jack cable if you need to keep using them while the battery runs out.

The Yamaha YH-WL500 Wireless Headphones are priced at £349, and will be shipping soon. For more information, visit Yamaha's website.    

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.