Why is My Bluetooth Headphones Lagging? (Quick fixes)

Whether you’re listening to your favorite songs or watching a movie, a lagging headphone will spoil the fun. What may be responsible for your headphones playing out of sync? 

You may notice lagging in your headphones if it has low Bluetooth CODEC, interference, or using an old Bluetooth version or outdated firmware.

This guide explains why your Bluetooth headphone is lagging and how to fix them. 

Why Do Your Bluetooth Headphones Lag? 

Here are the common reasons your Bluetooth headphone is lagging. 

Bluetooth CODEC

Bluetooth CODEC is an algorithm that encodes and decodes audio data, and it can cause audio lag in Bluetooth Headphones.

CODEC compresses audio data and converts it to audio signals before sending it to an output device. There are different types of CODEC, with each functioning differently. 

The Bluetooth CODEC on a device determines how fast it encodes and decodes audio data implying your Bluetooth CODEC can process your audio output seamlessly or make it lag.

The most basic CODEC with the lowest audio quality is SBC CODEC. Next to SBC are the AAC and AptX CODECs. Both have a moderate audio quality but still less than LDAC and LHDC CODECS. LDAC and LHDC CODECs are the most advanced CODEC and produce higher quality audio.

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How CODEC Can make Your Bluetooth Headphone Lag

Your Bluetooth headphone will lag if:

  • It has SBC CODEC.
  • Your audio device has SBC CODEC. 
  • Your headphones have a higher Bluetooth CODEC than your phone.

Suppose CODEC is why your Bluetooth headphone Lags; you can fix it by replacing either the headphone or the audio device. Ensure both Bluetooth CODEC devices are compatible. 

Pairing Error

Bluetooth headphones can lag if there is an error when pairing your audio device. Pairing errors can result from bugs or malware in the operating system on the headphone or in the audio device.

Bugs in an operating system can make the system’s software behave unexpectedly, and it can also crash the operating system if you do not fix it fast.

Also, low storage memory and low battery on audio devices can cause malfunctions that result in pairing errors.

To fix this:

  • Disconnect the devices and pair them again.
  • Restart your audio device to delete bugs and malware. 
  • Reset your Bluetooth headphones and try to pair them again.

Bluetooth Interference

Bluetooth interference is a factor that can cause audio lag in Bluetooth headphones. Anything that disrupts a Bluetooth connection causes an interference.

A typical example is the Wi-Fi connection. Usually, Wi-Fi connects over 2.4GHz wavelength, the same as Bluetooth; both connections can overlap and cause interference. You may also experience Bluetooth interference if other wireless devices that pair with your audio source are on.

Physical objects lying between your device and the headset can interfere with the Bluetooth connection. Some of these objects include walls, bulletproof glasses, and metals.

Turn off other wireless devices not in use to fix this anomaly, especially if the devices pair with the audio source. Also, ensure no physical objects between the audio source and the Bluetooth headphone. You should also keep the two devices within range to improve the connection strength.

Low Battery 

Every rechargeable device works more effectively when the battery is full. On the other hand, performance may decline when running on a low battery, and it can cause Bluetooth to malfunction and result in audio lagging.

You can fix this by charging your devices regularly and using original chargers only, and it is best to use a charger recommended by your brand manufacturer.

Too Many Apps Running in the Background

Having too many background apps can make your device process audio slowly. This problem is peculiar to personal computers, game consoles, and phones with low RAM.

A phone with low RAM storage may hang or become hot when you run too many apps at a time. This malfunction will affect the Bluetooth connection, and it can cause audio lag in Bluetooth headphones.

You may have the same experience with personal computers and game consoles that run many heavy apps in the background.

Closing background apps that are not in use will free up space on the RAM and improve performance. You can also restart the device to clear the memory.

Device Not in Range

Bluetooth connection between your devices will get weaker as the distance between both devices increases. The maximum range for an effective Bluetooth connection is about 30 feet, and if it goes beyond, audio lag may be unavoidable.

Therefore, it is best to keep both devices as close as possible for maximum connectivity.

Bluetooth Version

There are different versions of Bluetooth, and every new version is an improvement to the previous versions. The most recent version is version 5.2, and it features an increased speed and encodes and decodes audio faster than older versions.

Devices with older Bluetooth versions like 4.0 and below may not function well even when they connect to devices with the latest Bluetooth versions because older versions do not have the same speed as the latest versions. 

If your headphone audio lags, the culprit may be the Bluetooth version. Ensure your headphone has an updated Bluetooth version that matches your audio device.

Outdated Firmware

An outdated firmware will malfunction because it lacks the latest drivers and software. Bluetooth headphones with outdated firmware may result in pairing problems, audio distortion, or audio lag issues. 

Your audio device may also be running outdated firmware, which can cause delays in encoding or decoding audio. Update the firmware to overwrite the existing ones and install missing drivers or software.

Conclusion

With this information, you can improve your headphone performance and get a better listening experience with low audio latency.

Jude is a music and headphone lover. He has tested and reviewed several audio listening devices and enjoys writing helpful tips and information for readers like you.