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How Do I Fix a Soundbar Delay?

So you bought an amazing soundbar with all the bells and whistles, but that doesn’t matter if there is a significant lag time between the content and the audio.

Let’s take a look at why this happens and we’ll provide an answer to your main question: “How do I fix a soundbar delay?”  

man sitting on sofa and covering face

Why is There a Sound Delay on My Soundbar?

When you’re watching content on your television, you notice that the mouth movements of the characters onscreen are out of sync with the audio. There are a few reasons why there could be such a delay.

Sometimes, it may not be your problem at all. The broadcast itself from the station could be the culprit. Or, it’s just simply a bad connection between your cable and TV.

If you are watching a movie or show on Blu-Ray or similar players, a poor connection could be the cause as well. Our favored soundbars for dialogue and voice clarity may perform better, but it’s still important to identify the issue.

Now, if you are hooked up to a home theater system, the digital optical cable could be the problem. This could cause an audio delay, and it would need to be adjusted via your system. 

Soundbars could also have processing delays, but this is more commonly seen with HDMI and/or optical connections. 

How to Fix the Lag

Before even asking “how do i fix soundbar delay?”, you need to identify the problem first. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Check if there are any issues with anything else other than your soundbar. Take a look at the TV and other media sources or look for settings you may have entered by mistake. Also, check if your software needs to be updated. That could cause problems too.
  • You can always restart the soundbar. As you probably know, this is one of the most basic troubleshooting steps with almost any electronic device. Look for audio reset or restart options on your soundbar.
  • Take a look at the cables. Are they connected securely? Are they inserted all the way? A loose fit is one of the common reasons of delay in a soundbar device. 
  • Check the settings on all connected devices to make sure they are all correct and compatible.
  • Make sure everything is linked through the soundbar then connected to the TV to reduce lag.
man eating chips while looking at TV

The TV

The issue could be with your TV and not the soundbar. This is why checking the TV settings first is important. Once the settings are right, the lag may be fixed right away.

Check the TV with other media sources to see if the lag occurs with all of them. If they do, then you know it’s your TV causing the issues. In this case, you should reset the TV. A lot of smart TVs require consistent firmware updates so make sure everything is up to date on this end as well.

The Soundbar

As we said, every expert’s advice is to turn off and restart a device before you think it’s broken. So before you make a phone call into customer service and have them tell you this, try doing it yourself first.

Disconnect the soundbar completely from the TV and turn it off. Give it 30 seconds to 1 minute before turning it back on and reconnecting to your TV.

It also helps to follow the suggested placement of soundbars, which we have talked about in our list of top soundbars for TCL Roku TV. Any obstruction can also affect sound quality, so it’s possible this is where the issue lies.

The Cables

Next up is checking the actual connections. This means taking a look at the cables. Sometimes they aren’t fully inserted and could result in one-sided sound, a lag, or just quieter audio. 

Make sure the cables are uncoiled and that there are no damages to any of them. If they happen to be damaged, it could cause a problem in the information relay. 

The Settings

Another big issue that could cause lag in your devices is the settings. The wrong sound mode can cause lags and the incorrect soundbar settings can also cause audio delays.

Additionally, the source of the media, such as the Blu-Ray player, can have issues if the settings aren’t compatible with all three devices. In order to circumvent this, you need to take a look at your component setup and the settings themselves.

TV connections and cables

Internet

Some people wonder if their slow internet or weak connection could be the issue [1]. Actually, it depends on how you play the content on your soundbar. For example, if you only notice the lag while streaming via Wi-Fi and other sources, then it’s more likely that your slow internet is the cause.

Slow connections can cause a variety of problems. Out of sync audio and lag times are just a few of them. Unfortunately, if slow internet is the problem, there is little to nothing you can do except contact your provider.

According to our audio experts, it’s important to figure out if a slow connection is a problem early on before you start tampering with the settings. That’s because you can potentially create even more issues than before.

How to Sync a Soundbar with Your TV

When something is out of sync, you need to get it right back so you can enjoy watching TV. There are a few common ways to re-sync your devices but it also depends on the type of soundbar you have.

Common soundbars share the three methods below to sync:

  • There is an audio sync button right on the remote or soundbar. You press the + or – buttons until you pair up the audio with the content.
  • Another option that doesn’t involve the + or – will be the forward or back buttons under the audio sync function on the remote. You do the same thing by pressing either arrow until the audio is synced up.
  • The next one is sound control. If you don’t see an audio sync function, there are chances that you will see a sound control button. When you locate this, just use the left and right buttons to sync up the audio again.

We also have a guide specific to setting up Vizio soundbars.

couple sitting in front of TV

Conclusion

It can be very discouraging to encounter an audio delay that takes away from your media enjoyment. While this shouldn’t be a problem, it’s an issue that is more common than most of us would like.

How do I fix soundbar delay? This might be your major question, but to find the issue with the delay, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered first. With this guide, hopefully you can easily narrow down the possible reasons and fix it in no time.

Need help deciding which soundbar is the best? We have rounded up the top performing soundbars to make it easier for you.

Willie Greer

Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.
Willie Greer

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