Have you ever tried to put on a video with Bluetooth earphones, and the video starts playing ahead while the Audio lags? It is one of the most annoying feelings. I mean, quality Bluetooth headphones aren’t cheap and to face an issue after we paid so much is a pure annoyance.
Luckily most Bluetooth audio lag issues can be fixed with some updates, tweaks, and setting changes in Windows, Mac, or Mobile Phones. We have compiled a list of ways to take the audio delay issues. Try these methods till the audio syncs in perfect time.
How to Fix Bluetooth Audio Delay?
It’s hard to pinpoint one universal reason for the audio delay. Check out the list below for possible reasons why Bluetooth Devices face audio delay problems.
- Obstructions between Bluetooth & Receiver Device
- Interference in the Bluetooth Signal by other wireless signals in the same frequency. Be aware of other Bluetooth devices, routers, or devices that send out wireless signals.
- Distance between the Bluetooth & receiver device.
- The difference in Audio Codec between transmitter and receiver. Audio Codec is a system to transfer audio data from transmitter to receiver. Each brand has a certain codec they use. Incompatible codec may cause audio lag issues.
- The difference in Bluetooth Standard. The current Standard of Bluetooth is 5.2. Bluetooth technology follows a rollback system.
General Things to Consider Before Moving on to Fixes
- Before moving on to any of the fixes below, we recommend following the general fixes stated below:
- Check if both devices have enough battery life. Low power in both receiver and transmitter might cause an audio issue.
- Confirm both devices are in the range of one another. The system of Bluetooth itself requires them to be in proximity. Further, the devices are to one another, higher the chances of audio issues. We can check recommended range in the Bluetooth device’s user manual or just google it using the device model number.
- Reboot/ Restart both devices and see if the audio delay is gone. If the problem is still recurring, move on to the fixes below.
- Check if the audio issues occur all the time or with specific applications like edge, chrome, media player, other third-party music apps, etc. If it’s only happening during the use of these applications, we recommend updating these apps. If the issue is isolated to that one app, you may have to find an alternative in the worst-case scenario. This is applicable for both PCs and Smartphones.
- Hard reset your Bluetooth Device. Most Bluetooth earphone devices reset after pressing the power button for 5-10 seconds of the case. Some speakers need a power button with a combination of volume buttons. Follow the device’s user manual for this procedure or google instructions with the help of the brand and model number.
- For Smartphones, make sure that the device is updated to the latest Operating system. New updates fix any previous bugs found in the OS. If a bug in the system caused the audio issues, the manufacturer’s OS update might contain the fix.
Windows 11 Specific Fixes to Try Out
Use the following tips if the Bluetooth device is paired with a PC running on windows. Ensure the Bluetooth device is connected to the PC before doing the following procedures.
Unpair & Pair Bluetooth Device with Windows (Windows 10/11)
- Press Windows Key and search Bluetooth & Other devices Settings.
- Make sure the Bluetooth option is toggled on.
- If the device has been paired before, you will see it listed in the Audio section. In Windows 11, Click on the three-dotted button at the side of the name and click Remove Device. In windows 10, click on the Disconnect button below the Bluetooth Device’s name.
- Select Add device on the top area of the screen.
- Add a Device Pop up will open, select Bluetooth, and click on your device’s name.
Update Bluetooth Driver (Windows 10/11)
- Press the Windows Key and type/select Device Manager
- A list of PC components will show up; find Bluetooth.
- Click on the > on the side of Bluetooth, which will expand the category.
- You will see a listed driver for both the PC named Intel(R) Wireless Bluetooth (R) and Bluetooth Device (will be according to the device).
- Right-click on PC’s Bluetooth driver and select update driver.
- A new pop-up will open with two options, select Search Automatically for drivers.
- Follow the procedure once again for the Bluetooth Device’s Driver listed.
Use Bluetooth Troubleshooter
- Press Windows+ I, which will open the windows settings.
- Scroll down and select the option Troubleshoot.
- Select Other Troubleshooter.
- Under the Other section, find and select the Run Box on the side of Bluetooth.
- Let the troubleshooting take its course.
- Press Windows+ I, which will open the windows settings.
- Select Update and Security.
- On the left panel, select the troubleshoot menu.
- Under Additional troubleshooters,” go to Bluetooth and select Run the Troubleshooter.
Turn Off Audio Enhancements
- Press Windows Key and search/select Sound Settings.
- Under Output, find your Bluetooth Device and select it. It will direct you to the device’s properties page.
- Find a section called Enhance Audio and click on the advanced option below it.
- A new pop-up will open, Go to Advanced again and tick disable all enhancements, and select apply.
- Press Windows Key and search/select Sound Settings.
- Once the setting page opens, on the right-hand side, click on Sound Control Panel.
- Another smaller pop-up will open, find your Bluetooth device, and right-click on it to select properties.
- Go to the Enhancements and Diable All Enhancements.
Restart the Windows Audio Service & Audio Endpoint Builder (Windows 10/11)
- Press Windows + R to open Run
- Type in services.msc and click OK.
- A new Pop up will open.
- Under the list of services, find Windows Audio and right-click on it to select properties.
- Under General, you will see a section named Startup type. Make sure Automatic is selected from the drop-down and select apply.
- Under properties, go to Recovery. You will see First, and Second failures. Make sure Restart the Services is selected from the drop-down and click apply.
- Now in the list of services, find windows endpoint builder and do the same procedure.
MacBook Specific Fixes to Try Out
Apple is more restrictive in its settings compared to windows. The following steps are the go-to steps for any problems with Bluetooth devices. These steps help keep the Mac settings favorable to better Bluetooth experiences. If mac settings cause the lag, it will likely be fixed with the following methods.
Debug Bluetooth Module
- If the Bluetooth icon is not in the menu bar, go to System preference and click on Bluetooth. Once a pop-up opens, tick the section at the bottom called “Show Bluetooth in the menu bar.”
- Once the icon is in the menu bar, hold down the Shift and Option key and click on the Bluetooth icon on the top right-hand corner of the screen.
- A drop-down will open. Choose the option Debug (newer Mac OS may not have Debug and will straight up list options). You will find three options, Reset the Bluetooth Module, Factory Reset all connected Apple devices, and Remove devices; we recommend trying all three and checking the audio lag issue.
- If you use Mac Monterey, you might have to reset the Bluetooth module via Terminal. Open Terminal by pressing command+Space.
- Type in the command “sudo pkill bluetoothd”
- Press return, then enter your password.
- Once you complete this, all Bluetooth devices will need to reconnect.
Delete Bluetooth Preference
- Select the option Go from the Finder menu at the top left side of the screen. Select Go to Folder.
- Type the following command: /Library/Preferences and press enter.
- Among the files listed, find com.apple.Bluetooth.plist file and delete it
- Now go back to the finder menu and select Go to Folder.
- Type the following command: ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost and press enter.
- Search the file titled com.apple.Bluetooth.xxx.plist and delete it. Note the X in the file name denotes the number assigned by the Mac for that file.
Android Specific Fixes for Audio Delay
Please follow the above general tips before moving on with the fixes below. Also, the settings for android phones might differ according to the brands. But the gist of the process is the same. Read the following tips and try finding solutions to the Bluetooth issues.
Reset Bluetooth cache data
- Go to the Settings of your Android Device find/select an option called Apps or Apps Management. Select Manage apps from there.
- Once a list of apps emerges, try searching for the option Bluetooth and select it.
- You will see a Clear Data option, most likely on the bottom part of the screen.
- Select Clear All Data. Now Reconnect/pair the Bluetooth device with your phone.
Change Codec Settings in Developer options
- Go to your device’s settings and find a section called About Phone, About device, etc.
- Select on the OS version around seven times repeatedly. The no of times might differ according to brand. After the first selection, the device will tell you the number of times required to get to the developer option.
- Once the developer mode is activated, go back to Settings and find Additional Settings. Find and select the option named Developer option.
- Under the developer option, you will find a section dedicated to only Bluetooth settings. Find and select an option called Bluetooth Audio Codec.
- Choose the Audio Codec listed in the user manual of the Bluetooth device or google the audio codec specification by brand and model. Brands adopt different codecs.
E.g., Apple uses AAC, Sony uses LDAC, etc.Remember to check the Codec formats supported by the receiver device too.
- There are other options in developers mode that control other aspects of Bluetooth. Play around with different settings to see if audio latency changes like Audio Sample Rate, Audio Bit per sample, or other settings highlighted in the picture below.
If the issue gets fixed, keep the settings else, restore it to defaults. Note that Higher Sample rates will reduce latency but put additional stress on the processor.
Try Changing the Performance Mode
Most Android devices will have a performance mode selection from the settings. It will differ from phone to phone. Try finding yours, set it to high performance, and see if the issue persists. It’s generally located in the battery section of the settings. It might be different according to brands. Some devices do not have these settings.
Remember, As the device goes into high performance, there will be additional stress of the process and battery life to maintain this stage. Check if the audio issue gets better in this mode if it doesn’t change it back to balanced.
Note if you have a low specification phone, a high-performance mode can drain the battery fast and can cause a heating issue in some cases.
What to do if we use an iPhone?
You cannot do much for iPhones as they do not have developer options like the androids. The only thing you can do is follow the general steps stated above.
The best effort is to remove the device from the Bluetooth section and reconnect it again. Make sure you click on forget the device options before reconnecting.
In all honesty, Only Apple might be able to fix these issues. We recommend using devices of the Apple ecosystem as each apple device is catered to be compatible with Apple devices.
Bluetooth is an evolving technology. As the process involves encoding, transmission from one end to decoding in the other., we haven’t reached a complete latency-free era.
The best we can do is use the right codecs, make sure devices are up to date, ensure our device settings don’t increase latency, and use good brands of Bluetooth devices.
We still recommend using wired headphones if you use Bluetooth headphones for gaming.