How to Fix Sound Delay on Bluetooth Headphones

When watching videos or listening to music, nothing ruins your experience like sound delay. However, the sound delay is a relatively common problem for those who use Bluetooth headphones no matter what device they are connected to: computers, iPhones, Android devices, Bluetooth supporting TVs…etc. Today, we are going to discuss how to fix sound delay on Bluetooth headphones in addition to other important related details.

Audio latency and how it affects Sound Delay on Bluetooth Headphones:

  • Sound delay is first and foremost, an expected electronic process. It is called audio latency. If you understand what audio latency is and how to deal with it, you will be able to understand and fix many sound problems in your digital devices. 
  • When connecting your Bluetooth headset to your computer – or smartphone or any other Bluetooth supporting device – and running an audio file, you notice some sort of delay. When watching a video, the sound is not in sync with the video. This is what we label as audio latency.
  •  This happens because the data comprising the audio file gets deciphered into sound waves, in other words, music. This takes time. This process happens with wired headphones as well. However, the sound delay is more noticeable in Bluetooth headphones compared to wired ones.
  • Dependent on some factors such as audio size and quality, available bandwidth, and others, this lag may increase or decrease. A big sized high-quality audio file with low bandwidth could mean a serious audio latency and a lot of sound lag.
  • In wired headphones, deciphering data and changing it into audio waves and then sending it to the listener may take about 10 milliseconds. In wireless headphones, however, that number is tripled, sometimes multiplied by a factor of 10, making audio delay noticeable and annoying.

Questions you should ask first before fixing sound delay on Bluetooth headphones:

Maybe the audio lag problem is due to something simple that can be done if you answer the following questions :

Is the Bluetooth version of your headphones compatible with that of your smartphone/computer?

  • Let’s say that your smartphone’s Bluetooth version is 5, while your headphones’ Bluetooth version is 3. This means your headphones will have a small bandwidth insufficient for some audio files your computer handles and thus audio lag happens. Sadly, to fix the sound delay on Bluetooth headphones here you need to get a new set.

If you are using your Bluetooth headphones with a smartphone, is your battery sufficiently charged?

  • To get a better perspective, let’s just say that a good number of functions in your smartphone won’t work if your battery is low. At this point, your phone is preserving power. Therefore, it prevents the optimal performance of some of its functions and apps. Possibly, Bluetooth is among them, which may result in a sound delay. Try charging your phone first before retrying running an audio file.

Is your Bluetooth device close by?

  • Having a wireless Bluetooth headset does not mean you can listen to music when you are at your neighbor’s while your phone is at home. Or that you can run a sound tracklist, leave your phone at home and go shopping and still expect your headphones to receive sound and run properly. There’s a definite range you need to be within or sound delay is prone to happen. Check your headphones’ instructions to know it.

Are you sure there aren’t other Bluetooth-dependent devices running where you are using your Bluetooth headphones?

  • Just like your Bluetooth headset, other Bluetooth dependent devices receive signals from transmitters. A multitude of Bluetooth devices can cause signal interference that worsens if they are connected to the same device. This interference may lead to audio latency. Try to limit the number of Bluetooth devices running close by or connected to your device as much as possible.

If you are using your Bluetooth headphones with a smartphone, are you sure you have a Bluetooth audio codec app suitable for your smartphone?

  • Not all Bluetooth smartphone codecs are the same. For example, while HWA Alliance’s LHDC and LLAC codecs are suitable for Huawei phones, AAC is only compatible with iPhones. Make sure you have a Bluetooth audio codec that is suitable for both your smartphone and your headset.

After answering the above questions with yes, let’s move to the most important part of our topic today. 

How to fix sound delay on Bluetooth headphones? Here’s a list of what you can do:

  • Disconnect and reconnect your Bluetooth headset. This works sometimes, and once you do it the lagging ceases and sound runs properly. 

Here is how to reset the Bluetooth headphones’ connection:

  • Update your device’s Bluetooth driver. If you are connecting your Bluetooth headphones to your smartphone, make sure it is up to date. If they’re connected to your computer, make sure your computer has the latest Bluetooth driver update. Otherwise, lagging and disconnection might happen when trying to listen to audio with your headphones.
  • Try using windows audio playback troubleshooting for fixing audio latency when your Bluetooth headphones are connected to an updated windows 10. This is a function windows 10 employs for fixing sound problems. With it, troubleshoot audio problems, choose headphones in the list of choices presented, and then click next and apply the solutions the troubleshooter will give you until you solve the voice lag problem.
  • Restart the running of your audio system If none of the above windows-related solutions work, you would have to resort to this one. Start the cmd window and type in the following command:  “services.msc” and click enter. A window will pop up with a list of choices, choose windows audio. Select the following: properties > general > Automatic > recovery and then click ok for restarting audio service. Then restart your computer and retry your Bluetooth headphones.
  • As for fixing audio latency in Mac desktops and MacBooks, there are two things you can do: resetting the Mac Bluetooth module or deleting old corrupted Bluetooth files. For resetting the module, open the Bluetooth menu, then choose the debug submenu from which you choose to remove the connected Bluetooth devices. Restart this same chain of choices until you get to debugging; this time choose resetting the Bluetooth module. Try using your headset after.
  • The other option you can apply for fixing sound delay in Mac desktops and MacBooks is deleting old corrupted Bluetooth files. Delete the following files: “com.apple.Bluetooth.plist “and com.apple.Bluetooth.****, with **** referring to numbers and letters belonging to your computer. Move both to the trash and restart your computer.

These are all the things you can do to fix the sound delay on Bluetooth headphones. If none of them work, make sure you consult a smartphone technician or take the headphones to the shop you’ve gotten them from.

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