11 Best Fixes for Bluetooth Audio Lag on iPhone and Android

When Apple launched the iPhone 7 without a headphone jack, most companies followed suit. Little did we know that this could become the new norm for smartphones. Thus, Bluetooth headphones have become more popular than ever. However, compared to wired headphones, they fall short in several areas, one of which is Bluetooth audio latency. So, in this article, we will look at ways to fix Bluetooth audio lag on iPhone and Android.

While we already have an article to help you fix Bluetooth headphone lag on Windows, now we’re bringing you eleven easy methods to fix the problem on both Android and iPhone. But before we get to the steps, let’s understand what the problem is.

What does sound delay mean

Have you ever watched a video where there is a slight delay between the movement of the lips and the actual sound of the dialogue? If this happened while you were using a pair of Bluetooth headphones, your Bluetooth headphones experienced a delay. This can happen when you’re watching videos, playing games, or receiving calls via Bluetooth.

So audio latency can be defined as the time it takes for audio data to travel from your smartphone (or any connected device) to your headphones. This data is measured in milliseconds. Wired headphones have a delay of 5-10 ms, while wireless headphones have a delay of 35 to 300 ms.

You read that right – wireless headphones have a longer audio delay compared to wired ones. Let’s find out more.

Why wireless headphones have longer audio delay than wired headphones

In a Bluetooth connection, you have a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter (smartphone) sends an audio signal (song) to the receiver. This whole process involves encoding, decoding, transmitting and receiving the signal – and they only happen during the wireless transmission of the signal.

During transmission, the audio signal uses bandwidth to travel from the transmitter to the receiver. Bandwidth is the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies of an audio signal. Simply put, the larger the size and quality of the audio file, the more bandwidth the audio signal needs to reach the receiver.

However, sometimes there may not be enough available bandwidth and this process will be slowed down – the lower the bandwidth, the slower the signal transfer process will be.

The delay can be slight or sometimes very noticeable. So, if this is something that is hindering your experience, let’s look at some ways to fix it.

How to fix Bluetooth audio lag on your smartphones

Here are eleven ways to fix Bluetooth audio lag on iPhone and Android. While we illustrated the steps for iPhone, the steps for your Android device are very similar. Let’s start by reconnecting the Bluetooth device.

1. Reconnect the device

If you “forget” a paired device on your phone and connect it again, you start over. All previously applied configurations will be removed. This can help you fix Bluetooth audio lag.

Step 1: Open the Settings app.

step 2: Click on Bluetooth and select the connected device.

step 3: Select “Forget this device” and click “Forget device” to confirm.

Step 4: Now try to pair it and select the device if your phone can find it.

Here’s how to reconnect your Bluetooth device. However, another important factor that affects latency is called interference. Here’s what you need to know.

2. Minimize obstacles

“Interference” occurs when unwanted frequency signals interfere with the clear signal between the transmitter (your phone) and the receiver (earphones). These signals originate from devices such as a wireless mouse, Wi-Fi connection, TV, etc.

Signal interference

If you notice audio delay only when such devices are present, turn off the likely interfering device. Or you can also isolate these devices and keep them at a greater distance while you use your Bluetooth headphones.

While this can help you solve the problem, being in range is another important factor. Read the next section to learn more.

3. Stay within range

The Bluetooth headset is only designed to work at a certain distance from the phone. For best results, keep this distance. The moment you go further than specified, you will have problems playing the audio and you will not be able to listen to the audio properly.

Along with staying in range with minimal interference, you also need to be mindful of what audio codec your headphones are running.

4. Work with the right Bluetooth codec

We mentioned earlier that wireless audio transmission involves encoding, decoding, compression, and transmission of the audio signal. They all operate on an algorithm that provides the correct sequence and methods to complete the process.

This algorithm is called Bluetooth Codec. There are several Bluetooth codecs available that have different mechanisms to facilitate the transmission process. Some codecs are better than others and provide better audio quality – and these are the codecs that are ideal for your device to work.

Source: Qualcomm AptX website

SBC is a basic audio codec and most basic headphones work with it. For best results, check if your phone and headphones support better codecs like AAC, aptX or LDAC. They are available in the specifications of your devices.

So, this is one way to get rid of Bluetooth audio lag on Android and iPhone. However, another important parameter is that your headphones have the latest version of Bluetooth.

5. Make sure you have the latest Bluetooth version

There is no single version of Bluetooth, and it has been refined over time through the release of various iterations. The latest version of Bluetooth 5.0 includes significant improvements in audio transmission, which helps reduce audio latency in Bluetooth headphones.

So, when you’re looking at the specifications of your Bluetooth device, make sure it’s running on the latest Bluetooth version.

Specifications of OnePlus Buds

While these were some methods that included checking the Bluetooth connection settings, we can also adjust a few settings on our phone to fix the audio delay issue.

6. Turn off power saving

Enabling power saving can limit the performance of various activities on your phone, and it may also affect your Bluetooth connection. So, turning off power saving can help you fix Bluetooth audio lag.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and select Battery.

step 2: Make sure “Low Power Mode” or “Battery Saver” or other alternative switches that offer the same are turned off.

If that doesn’t work, you can try restarting your device.

7. Restart your phone

Rebooting your device usually fixes most issues on your device. This may seem like an obvious method, but it might just help you fix Bluetooth audio lag on your device. Here’s how you can reset your device.

Restart your iPhone

Step 1: First, you need to turn off the device.

  • On iPhone X and above: Press and hold the Volume Down button and the Side button.
  • On iPhone SE 2nd or 3rd generation, 7th and 8th series: Press and hold the side button.
  • On iPhone SE 1st generation, 5s, 5c, or 5: Hold the power button at the top.
Restart your iPhone

step 2: Drag the power slider to turn off the device.

step 3: Then turn on your device by pressing and holding the power button on your iPhone.

Restart your Android device

Almost all Android devices show a power on/off menu when you long press the power button. You can use the Reboot option to reboot your device.

Reboot the device

8. Make sure the battery in the headphones is sufficient

Another major reason why you might experience audio lag issues is because your headphones have a low battery. A quick check of the battery level of the headphones and charging if necessary can help you solve the problem.

  • You can easily check the battery level of your headphones in the status bar on all devices.
  • Or you can download the utility of your bluetooth headphones. to get all the details of your headphones. You can search in Play Store or App Store if your brand has a companion app for the same.

9. Use a compatible Bluetooth headset

You can try all these methods to fix audio lag in Bluetooth headphones, but your efforts may be futile if your device is completely incompatible with your smartphone. So, read the specifications of your headphones carefully and check if there are any exceptions for compatibility with certain devices.

10. Update the Bluetooth headset software

If your headphones have a companion app developed by the brand, you can download and install a software update. These updates may fix bugs that cause audio lag.

We use Samsung Galaxy Buds Live and the Samsung Earbuds app will help you update the software.

If none of these methods work, as a last resort, you can reset your Bluetooth headset.

11. Reset the Bluetooth headphones

Resetting your Bluetooth headphones can help you get a fresh start and possibly resolve the audio delay issue.

Some headphones have a physical reset button. The instructions will be different for each device and you can read the quick guide included in the box.

However, if you have a companion app for the same, you can quickly reset your headphones.

These are all the methods we can offer to help you fix Bluetooth audio lag on iPhone and Android. If you have more questions, you can take a look at the next section.

Bluetooth Audio Latency FAQ

1. Does noise cancellation increase latency?

No, noise cancellation has nothing to do with Bluetooth audio delay.

2. What is the latency of AirPods?

AirPods have a latency of around 250-270ms.

3. How to get zero latency?

Audio delay in Bluetooth headphones is not a bug, but an internal characteristic. Therefore, zero latency is not possible in Bluetooth headphones. It is best to choose wired headphones.

4. Does Spatial Audio improve latency?

Spatial Audio is not known to significantly affect audio latency.

5. Can Hi-Res Lossless Audio on Apple Music increase latency?

Perhaps because the audio quality is high, this results in a larger audio file size. And if your headphones don’t have enough bandwidth to handle it, you might end up with audio lag.

Minimize audio delay for the best sound

These are all the ways to fix Bluetooth audio lag on Android and iPhone. Obviously, this problem can become very annoying when you are attending an important call at work. So, you can consider these Bluetooth headphones for calls.