Imagine a situation wherein you are enjoying your favorite video on YouTube or you are in a deep discussion over a phone call with your friend. Suddenly you start noticing that there is an audio delay in your Bluetooth-connected earphones. This can definitely ruin your entire experience and make you irritated. Nobody enjoys it when the dialogues of a movie do not sync with the video.
Do these scenarios seem very familiar to you? If yes, worry not! Fortunately, there are plenty of ways in which you can fix the problem of Bluetooth audio delay. In this article, we will discuss the various methods using which you can fix the Bluetooth audio delay issue with the help of your smartphone or your computer.
What is Bluetooth Audio Delay?
Have you ever watched a movie or a video while using your Bluetooth earphones for the audio and experienced that there is a slight lag or delay in the audio? If yes, this means that you are facing the problem of Bluetooth audio delay. Not just movies or videos but this can also happen when you are talking to someone over the phone or while playing games. In a general sense, audio delay refers to the situation when there is a lay or delay in the time taken for the audio to reach your Bluetooth earphones from your smartphone.
Reasons for Bluetooth Audio Delay
A few common reasons why there might be Bluetooth audio delay are listed below.
1. Headphones are Out of Signal Range: Most of the Bluetooth headphones have a range up to 10 m and when this distance increases, you might experience connection issues due to which there may be Bluetooth audio delay.
2. Signal Interference: When you use your Bluetooth earphones in a confined space with other electronic gadgets like smart bulbs, smart TV sets, laptops, etc., it can cause signal interference. This may be the reason behind the audio delay.
3. Bluetooth Codec: Bluetooth codec is essentially an algorithm that compresses the transmitted sound data and then encodes and decodes it to your earphone from the audio source. Although most of the Bluetooth codecs are good, some are slightly low in performance due to which there might be an audio delay.
4. Source and Receiver Distance: Wired earphones have a limit when it comes to the distance that can be maintained between the source and the receiver. However, in case of wireless Bluetooth earphones, this distance can easily go beyond the recommended distance between the source and the receiver, which may cause a delay in the audio.
5. Bluetooth Version: All the Bluetooth wireless headsets come with buried Bluetooth versions. To experience the best audio and video sync, it is always a good idea to invest in an earphone with the latest Bluetooth version. You must also ensure that the Bluetooth earphones you pick are compatible with the device you are using.
6. Compatible with Headphones: It is never a good idea to connect devices of different generations since the old-generation devices may not support the latest improvements on Bluetooth earphones and may cause audio delay problems.
7. Bluetooth Headphones are Not Paired Properly: The time and method of pairing a Bluetooth earphone may vary from device to device, which you need to be mindful of to establish a proper connection. Also, when multiple Bluetooth gadgets are paired with the same device, your Bluetooth earphones may get deleted from the paired list.
How to Fix Bluetooth Audio Delay?
If you are facing the problem of Bluetooth audio delay, you can use any of the following fixes depending on the device you are using with your Bluetooth headset.
1. iPhone and Android
a. Change Bluetooth Codec
One of the most common reasons behind Bluetooth audio delay on an Android phone is when the optimized Bluetooth codec has not been selected. iPhone users use the AAC codec by default, but Android users can change the selection of the default SBC codec, which is known for not giving the best sound quality. Generally, if sound quality is important to you, you can choose from aptX HD or aptX Adaptive. Follow the steps below to change the Bluetooth codec on your Android device.
- From ‘Settings’, go to ‘About Phone’ , and select ‘Build Number’.
- Go back to the ‘Settings’ option, tap on ‘Additional Settings’, and then select ‘Bluetooth Audio Codec’ from ‘Developer Options’.
- Select the Bluetooth codec you want.
b. Check Battery
May it be an Android phone or an iPhone, they cannot function well when they are low on battery. When this happens, not only will you experience an audio lag, but there will also be audio stuttering. This is why you need to ensure that your phone is charged to an appropriate level before you start using your Bluetooth headsets for audio while watching a movie or video.
c. Restart Your Phone
One of the simplest and go-to solutions whenever there is an issue with any phone is to reboot the device. This generally solves most of the problems that you would be facing with your phone, including the audio lag. When you restart your phone, it will immediately stop any heavy background processes and clear up the RAM, which resolves many issues.
d. Check Performance Level
If you are an Android user, you can select any of the 3 performance modes. If you are noticing a lot of audio lag, it is always a good idea to set the performance level setting to the maximum. However, this would drain your phone’s battery faster.
There are two different ways in which you can fix the audio lag issue on your Macbook.
a. Remove Old Bluetooth Files
When there are old corrupted Bluetooth files, it can potentially lead to many problems, including a delay in audio. When you remove such files using the steps given below, it can fix many problems.
- Launch ‘Finder’ and then click on ‘Go to Folder’ from the menu bar.
- In the pop-up window, key in ‘/Library/Preferences’ and click ‘Go’.
- Look for ‘com.apple.Bluetooth.plist’ and then delete it by right-clicking on the file and choosing ‘Move to trash’.
- Key in ‘/Library/Preferences/ByHost’ and click ‘Go’.
- Look for ‘com.apple.Bluetooth.xxxxxxxx’ and then select ‘Move to trash’.
- Reboot your Macbook and test your Bluetooth audio device for lags.
b. Reset Bluetooth Device
To reset the Bluetooth device on Macbook, you just need to follow the steps given below.
- Open the ‘Menu Bar’ by pressing and holding the ‘Shift’ and ‘Option’ keys together.
- Go to ‘Bluetooth’, select ‘Debug’, and then click on ‘Remove all devices’.
- Go back to ‘Debug’ and select ‘Reset Bluetooth Device’.
- Connect your Bluetooth earphones again and check for audio delays.
You can choose any of the four options given below to fix the issue of Bluetooth audio delay on your Windows system.
a. Reboot the Windows Audio Service
All audio output and audio playback is controlled in the background by Windows audio service. This is why restarting it in the way given below can fix the audio lags that you may be experiencing.
- Hold the ‘Windows’ key and press ‘R’.
- Key in ‘services.msc’ and hit ‘Enter’.
- From the bottom of the window, right-click on the ‘Windows Audio’ option and then right-click again and select ‘Properties’ from the given options.
- From the ‘General’ tab, select ‘Automatic Start up’.
- From the ‘Recovery’ tab, choose ‘Restart the device’ for first and second failure and click on ‘OK’.
- Set up these options for ‘Windows Audio Endpoint Builder’ as well.
- Reboot your computer and reconnect your Bluetooth earphones to it.
b. Take the Help of Windows Audio Playback Troubleshooter
You can use the Windows audio playback troubleshooter in the following way.
- From the taskbar, right-click on ‘Sound’ and select ‘Troubleshoot Sound Problems’.
- From the list, select your Bluetooth earphones and click ‘Next’.
- Troubleshoot the problems by following the instructions given on your computer’s screen.
c. Connect the Bluetooth Device Again
The quickest and easiest way to solve the audio delay issue is to reconnect your Bluetooth earphones to your Windows PC. All you need to do is disconnect your Bluetooth earphones from your PC, restart your computer, connect it with your Bluetooth earphones again, and check for audio delays.
d. Updating Bluetooth Driver
Whenever you connect any Bluetooth device to your Windows PC, the device drivers are installed automatically by Windows. However, these installed drivers may not be the latest due to which there may be issues like audio lags. Follow the steps given below to install the latest drivers for your Bluetooth earphones.
- Right click on ‘Start’ and select ‘Device Manager’.
- Click on the arrow near the ‘Bluetooth’ option.
- Select the Bluetooth earphones from the list, right click it and select ‘Update Driver’.
General Fixations for Bluetooth Audio Delay
Below are a few general fixes for Bluetooth audio delay.
1. Upgrade Bluetooth Version: The newer Bluetooth versions will definitely have several performance improvements that can drastically enhance your wireless audio experience. The best way to fix any audio delays is by ensuring that your Bluetooth device has been upgraded to Bluetooth 5.0 or higher.
2. Adjust for Distance and Interference: If the signal is weak, the Bluetooth performance gets affected negatively. This also happens when there are too many objects between the devices or if the distance between them is too much. Suppose the audio lag issue improves when you move closer to the source device. In that case, it shows that the problem can be fixed by decreasing the distance between the devices and also by removing any objects in between that may be causing interference.
3. Use a Bluetooth Receiver or Transmitter (External): You would definitely not want to buy a new Bluetooth device or change your phone or TV just because you have been experiencing Bluetooth audio delays. A good way to fix this would be to use a Bluetooth transmitter and receiver.
4. Low-Latency Codec: Another way in which you can eliminate Bluetooth audio delays is by switching to a lower latency codec. You need to ensure that both the transmitter and the receiver need to be compatible with the codec you pick. Although iPhones have a default codec, Android users have the luxury to switch between different codec as per their preference.
5. Get Wired Speakers/Earphones Instead: The most obvious solution to the issue of Bluetooth audio delay is to switch to wired speakers or earphones. This is the simplest way to fix audio lag issues.
6. Try a USB Bluetooth Dongle (Audio-Only): You will benefit greatly from an Audio-only USB Bluetooth dongle if you have been constantly experiencing audio lags. These devices get registered as USB devices by the computer instead of Bluetooth devices.
7. Adjust Audio Delay Settings: This option is generally available on smart TVs. When you adjust the audio delay settings, the video on your TV will slow down slightly. You can adjust this setting to a lower or higher level till it matches the audio you are hearing on your Bluetooth earphones after the lag.
Bluetooth Audio Delay – FAQs
Ans: Although it is very rare, audio delay issues sometimes may indicate that your Bluetooth headsets are faulty. Along with audio delays, if you are also experiencing audio distortion at an increased volume, some weird noises, and significant physical damage, it is time to change your Bluetooth earphones.
Ans: There are 4 main reasons why the Bluetooth audio may be out of sync:
* Bluetooth versions issue
* Outdated Bluetooth codecs
* Interference affecting the Bluetooth signal
* Separation distance between the Bluetooth device and the source device.
Ans: Bluetooth headphones have an audio latency of about 40 milliseconds. They can sometimes even have an audio latency of about 300 milliseconds.
Ans: Yes, you can reduce the Bluetooth latency by changing the Bluetooth codec on your Android device. This option is not available for iPhone users.
Ans: You can use any of the solutions given below to reduce Bluetooth interference.
* Move your Bluetooth earphones away from materials like concrete, metal, brick, or plaster, that may be acting as barriers.
* Do not place your Bluetooth earphones near a microwave or fluorescent lights.
* Restart your router and select a different channel
* Move the receiver and transmitter device closer to your router.
Ans: Bluetooth 5.0 is the best version for low latency. It is capable of transferring data at a faster speed and eliminating latency issues especially when you are streaming videos and movies online.
Although the above fixes are helpful for fixing the Bluetooth audio delay, no fix can completely eliminate audio delays. However, when you use an upgraded Bluetooth headset with Bluetooth 5.0, you can definitely experience an enhanced sound quality with minimum audio lag. This and many other solutions listed above can help improve the situation. If none of the solutions mentioned above work, you may want to consider replacing your Bluetooth earphone.