What to do if the sound in bluetooth headphones lags behind


Bluetooth headphones have certain features that make them inferior to wired ones. One of them is the audio lag in the transmission of audio data, with which nothing can be done at the moment. The sound delay in the headphones can be different: it all depends on the audio codec and Bluetooth version, so sometimes it is not felt at all.

Although, often the delay is the only reason why users refuse a wireless headset in favor of a wired one. Despite this, the lag of sound can be reduced in simple ways. Let’s figure out what causes sound delay in bluetooth headphones and how to reduce it.

Why is the sound lagging behind in our headphones?

The sound lag is rather a feature, not a bug, and forced. It occurs because the audio data transmitted from a smartphone or laptop takes some time to be recognized. The duration of the delay for converting to an audio signal is measured in milliseconds – in Bluetooth headphones it is about 30 ms, and in wired headphones it is 5-10. One of the main causes of audio lag is the audio codec – a program for converting audio that compresses, encodes and decodes it. Due to some codecs, there is a large delay in the sound, so until it is changed, the sound in the headphones will lag behind .


Wired headphones also have audio lag, but it is extremely small compared to wireless ones.

  • In addition to the codec, the sound delay in the headphones occurs for other reasons.
  • Interference between phone and headphones or poor Bluetooth signal.
  • Your smartphone has third-party applications for adjusting the equalizer or improving the sound. It’s better to turn them off.
  • Old Bluetooth version: Best if it is Bluetooth 5.0 and above. For perfect operation, it is recommended that the version of the module matches both in the smartphone and in the headphones.
  • Sound delay occurs due to the connection of additional devices: for example, Wi-Fi, keyboards or smart watches.
  • The sound lags due to overheating of the processor of the smartphone or tablet.

And cheap bluetooth headphones are also to blame for this: their choice should be treated carefully, otherwise the filling will disappoint you, and the sound will freeze due to low-quality components.

How to remove delay in bluetooth headphones


There are several ways to get rid of latency in headphones

To make the delay less noticeable, you can try to reduce it programmatically. To do this, you can try changing one codec to another.

  • Check which codec your headphones use: in the connection settings, it will be displayed next to your accessory.
  • Check if your headphones support more modern codecs like aptX or LDAC.
  • After that, activate the developer mode and change it in the settings.

Modern headphones have separate settings applications, so you can change the codec right there without using the developer mode. Carefully study the instructions for them and try to adjust the settings manually. If suddenly the problem persists, try the following:

  • Connect your headphones to another device and check if there is any audio delay. If there is no problem, then the whole thing is in the smartphone, if it remains, in the headphones.
  • Turn on the “Visible to all” option in the connections.
  • Try leaving the headset set to “Audio Only” so that calls are not redirected to it.

If everything is set up correctly, but there is no visible effect, try restarting your smartphone and closing unnecessary applications.

What is the difference between Bluetooth versions


The quality of Bluetooth operation depends on the version of the module

In our articles, we always recommend checking the Bluetooth module version . It is desirable that the device has a version of at least 5.0 installed. Here’s why it’s so important.

  • Previous versions (Bluetooth 4.0 and 4.2) were released in 2010-2014, but you may notice that such devices sync extremely slowly. More modern modules connect many times faster.
  • Newer versions of Bluetooth allow for more accurate geolocation.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 and above allows you to connect one headphone to several devices , and the switching process is automatic. In addition, previously only one data application could be used, and the rest were blocked.
  • In new versions of Bluetooth, the data transfer rate and distance have increased, and the power consumption has been reduced. This is especially noticeable when compared with Bluetooth 4.2.

No less important is the LC3 codec – a new standard of operation for audio devices. Its feature is to reduce power consumption and improve sound quality. That is, the sound quality of the same track with the same bitrate is strikingly different: for example, you can not hear the crackling and “floating” of the sound at low quality.

So that’s what LC3 was made for, to replace the SBC codec we’ve been using for a long time. This is also a great way to save battery power, so the autonomy of the headphones should grow in the near future. But in order to feel it at 100, it is necessary that both the headphones and the smartphone support Bluetooth 5.2.

Bluetooth headphones are not perfect: in our article , we have analyzed the most serious shortcomings that should be fixed in the near future.