Sound Delay in Bluetooth Headphones? – Best and Quick Solutions!

When you use Bluetooth headphones to make conversations, watch YouTube videos, play competitive games, or stream popular series on Netflix, Sound delay in Bluetooth headphones can ruin the experience.

Nobody loves it when the dialogue in a movie or a video game doesn’t sync or you hear gunshots after your character dies. In this article, we look at why this happens, along with a range of troubleshooting steps to resolve this issue. So, let’s find out exactly the Best way to Fix Sound Delay in Bluetooth Headphones.

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Sound Delay in Bluetooth Headphones

Why do Bluetooth headphones have these delays?

To begin, we’ll review the basics of how Bluetooth headphones function. First, a digital audio signal is processed from the source device (typically a smartphone, tablet, or computer). Then, it is transmitted to your Bluetooth headphones through radio frequencies, transforming into an analog audio stream, which is what you hear.

Because this process takes time, you may notice a delay from time to time. The signal arrives in between 5 and 10 milliseconds using wired headphones.

For fully wireless earbuds, Bluetooth headphones’ response time might range from 32 to 300 milliseconds. This is because they must also sync the left and right sides, which adds another step to the process.

What factors affect how much delay will be experienced?

A delay in the signal from your source device reaching your headphones is unavoidable. Several elements will influence the amount of time spent waiting. The following are the most common factors:

  • Bluetooth is currently in use.
  • Interference from the environment.
  • The separation between your device and your headphones.
  • What Bluetooth codec is currently in use?

What Bluetooth version is currently in use?

Bluetooth wireless technology has been present since 1999, with versions 1.0 through 5.1 now available. Every time a new version is launched, there are improvements to the quantity of data that can be transferred, the speed at which it can be transferred, and the energy efficiency.

Bluetooth is backward compatible in all versions. A Bluetooth 5.1 device can still communicate with a Bluetooth 1.2 device. However, this means that the 5.1 device’s performance will be limited to that of a Bluetooth 1.2 device.

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Sound Delay in Bluetooth Headphones – Best and Quick Solutions!

Is there interference from surrounding objects?

The signal is subject to interference because it uses radio frequencies. There are two ways that objects can interfere with a Bluetooth signal. The first category includes tangible objects like brick walls, concrete, bookcases, and cupboards.

Other gadgets that use the 2.4 GHz radiofrequency are the second. The amount of traffic that may be found in this spectrum will surprise you. Remote controls, wireless keyboards, children’s toys, WiFi routers, and microwaves can all affect.

What is the distance between your device and your headphones?

In general, regardless of whether the version of Bluetooth is being used, staying within 30 feet is suggested for maximum performance (10 meters). But, circumstances will influence the exact distance that can be traveled.

As previously stated, any environmental interference will lower the maximum distance allowed. While the ideal distance is 30 feet (10 meters), improvements have been made with each iteration. As a result, the newer generation of Bluetooth being used may allow you to go longer without harm.

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Which Codecs are being used?

Remember how we discussed how Bluetooth converts audio signals between your device and headphones? A Codec is the piece of software that completes this operation. Your headphones and your smartphone will each have their Codec installed.

Varying types of codecs have different capacities regarding how much data they can handle and how rapidly they can process it. This is frequently a part of the updated software when firmware upgrades are done.

So, How to Fix Sound Delay in Bluetooth Headphones?

Sound Delay in Bluetooth Headphones
Sound Delay in Bluetooth Headphones – Best and Quick Solutions!

It is only possible to eliminate all delays from any set of headphones, whether wired or wireless, inexpensive or expensive. What can be done, though, is to minimize the time spent waiting.

We’ll now look at a few strategies to make sure that any delay you have is so minor that it’s not even noticeable.

Compare Bluetooth versions.

You should double-check the Bluetooth version used by your device and your headphones. Although you cannot upgrade the version on your smartphone, tablet, or headphones, you can do it on your computer.

If your computer’s built-in Bluetooth version is older, you can upgrade it with a Bluetooth USB dongle. The small device connects to a USB port on your computer and downloads the most recent version.

Check out our reviews of the Best Bluetooth Adapters available on the market to find the best solution for your needs.

Consider the ASUS USB-BT400 or the TP-Link UB400.le, for example.

Make sure you have the most recent Codec installed.

Updates are only sometimes carried out automatically, which means that the software on your device may be out of the current. However, delays can usually be resolved by checking for and installing any updates or Firmware upgrades.

If it’s your smartphone, tablet, or computer, ensure you’re running the most recent version of the operating system and the most recent versions of your apps and programs. Then, connect your headphones to a computer or look for any accompanying Apps from the manufacturer.

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Reconnect your Bluetooth connection

When headphones connect to your device over Bluetooth, they occasionally fail to pair appropriately. This frequently occurs following an automatic update, as the connection mechanism may have slightly changed.

How to fix sound delay in Bluetooth headphones: the checklist

The preceding section looked at five possible causes of Bluetooth audio lag. First, double-check that none of them have any evident discrepancies. If a distance issue causes your sound delay, for example, reducing distance will solve the problem.

Before we go any further, let’s review a quick checklist of possible suspects.

Distance

This should be obvious. Suppose you only experience lag when the distance between the receiver and the transmitter is considerable. In that case, it’s time to upgrade to a better Bluetooth headphone or manually reduce the distance between the two components.

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Household items are also valid blockages that hamper Bluetooth transmission. Walls are the most significant blockages.

Suppose the sound becomes choppy or sluggish as the distance between the headphones and the source rises, but it is acceptable when the headphones are incredibly close to the source. Again, the problem is most likely with the transmitter or receiver’s effective range (the headphones are also less likely).

Interference

Other signals can interfere with the audio signal between the source and your Bluetooth headphones. WiFi signals from a router, television or cable transmissions, and other wireless devices are examples of these signals (such as wireless mice, speakers, keyboards, printers, etc.).

Many appliances use wireless technologies. First, test your headphones in a location that is as free of wireless transmissions as possible. Then, if the problem disappears, you know what to do next.

Check your codecs.

Some codecs are better for music streaming than others.

It’s simple for Android users. You can alter the Codec on your Android device if your sound device delivers music with lag.

You can’t alter the Codec if you’re using a Bluetooth transmitter device for your desktop PC or a laptop with built-in Bluetooth. Unfortunately, on Windows 10, you can’t even see what Codec your Bluetooth device uses.

The Codec for an external device will likely be listed in the product documentation.

Some third-party apps can assist you in locating the Codec, and some brutal ways rely on Windows’ built-in logs system. However, these solutions are generally not suggested because they need more user-friendliness.

Fixing sound delay in Bluetooth headphones at the hardware level

The above adjustments were relatively straightforward. If they couldn’t cure your sound delay issues, the problem is most likely caused by something inside, which we’ll try to find and correct in this area.

Optimizing a Bluetooth connection on your Windows PC

You’ve most likely tried reconnecting the Bluetooth device or restarting the Bluetooth device. The next logical step may be to update your Windows PC and restart it.

Bluetooth drivers

Bluetooth, like other sorts of connectivity, requires drivers on both ends. Therefore, you must have a copy of the most recent Bluetooth drivers to get the most vital connection.

Although Windows will install the necessary Bluetooth device drivers, it will not update them afterward.

Let’s get your Bluetooth drivers updated.

  • Select Device Manager from the list by right-clicking on the Start button.
  • In the left sidebar, select Bluetooth from the drop-down menu.
  • This is where you’ll find a list of all Bluetooth devices you’ve ever connected to your PC.
  • Right-click the item you’re trying to fix (the Bluetooth headphone causing sound delay).
  • Select Driver Update.
  • Follow the steps to install new updates and reboot your PC automatically.
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Does that address your issue? It will work, especially if you have a device that hasn’t been updated since it was first connected.

Restart the Windows Audio Service

Windows has numerous background processes and services that allow the operating system to function correctly.

Windows Audio is a process that runs in the background the entire time your computer is turned on. Its job is to control all music playback.

We’ll restart this safe service to see if it fixes the problem.

Open Run (press the Windows key and R together).

Hit Enter after typing “services. MSC” (without quotes).

The window for Services will appear. To locate the Windows native services, scroll below. For example, look for “Windows Audio.”

  • Open Run (press the Windows key and R together).
  • Hit Enter after typing “services.msc” (without quotes).
  • The window for Services will appear. To locate the Windows native services, scroll below. Look for “Windows Audio.”
  • Select Properties with a right-click.
  • The Windows Audio Properties dialog box will appear. Select Automatic startup type from the General tab.
  • Select the Recovery option. Select “Restart the Service” for the First and Second Failures. Click OK.

Carry out the identical steps for the Windows Audio Endpoint Builder service. Disconnect your headphones, restart your PC, and rejoin them once it’s up and running.

Final thoughts on Fixing Sound Delay in Bluetooth Headphones

We can’t wait for the day when Bluetooth technology has advanced so far that the issue of sound delay is no longer an issue.

Every couple of years, Bluetooth would upgrade to a major new version (sometimes 3). However, it has been five years since the most recent version, Bluetooth 5, was released, and we have yet to see the sixth version.

It’s worth noting that a variety of factors can cause audio delay. Codecs, for example, are a primary source of music streaming slowness. Codecs, on the other hand, have little to do with the lag you encounter while gaming.

FAQs on how to fix sound delay in Bluetooth headphones.

Why are Bluetooth headphones delayed?

It analyzes data faster than earlier Bluetooth versions, producing higher-quality audio with shorter delay periods. However, Bluetooth 5.0 only partially eliminates wireless audio lag. So instead, it uses a technology known as audio-video sync (or A/V sync) to correct for lag.

How do I get rid of Bluetooth lag on Android?

1. Instead, use wired headphones or speakers. 

2. Change the Audio Delay settings on the Audio Source Settings Menu. 

3. aptX Low Latency Technology from Qualcomm.

Instead, use wired headphones or speakers.

On the Audio Source Settings Menu, change the Audio Delay settings.

aptX Low Latency Technology from Qualcomm.

Does Bluetooth 5 reduce latency?

Bluetooth 5.0 has a reduced latency than Bluetooth 4.2, which is a considerable benefit. However, you could be asking yourself why delay occurs in the first place. The reason for this is that Bluetooth audio is compressed for transmission efficiency. This indicates that the signal being sent is not raw audio.

Barry Moroney

Hi, Barry here. I'm a tech writer and blogger. I write about the latest technology, gadgets, and software. I also provide the best how-to and guides on the latest sound systems. I'm always excited to share my knowledge with others!

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