how to fix delay between tv and soundbar

How To Fix Delay Between TV And Soundbar? Watching TV and getting the audio only after the video is awful.

Certainly, one of the worst experiences when you want to relax watching TV in the comfort of your living room. So how do you fix it?

Fixing the delay between the TV and the soundbar often involves checking many configurations, such as the lip sync feature, audio presets that slow your TV’s audio processing or if the audio format is not ideal for your soundbar.

Does the above sound too otherworldly for you? You have nothing to worry about!

The guide below will walk you through all the steps to solve the issue on your TV or soundbar.

Plus, the technical words will easily become familiar.

How To Fix Delay Between TV And Soundbar?

fix delay between tv and soundbar

Do you experience sound bar sound delay when connected to your TV? Multiple reasons can cause that. 

First, it becomes impossible to watch anything and get cozy on the couch when that occurs.

No one likes to see the actors speak and hear the audio only a few seconds later. It is beyond annoying, right?

Fortunately, there are easy solutions you can employ to get rid of the issue. However, before checking those, we advise you to check the reasons first. 

By knowing the reasons, you can sometimes prevent the issue from even happening.

That is because sometimes the problem is caused by misconfigurations on the software or between devices.

Understanding The Causes

understanding causes

Once you understand what is causing the malfunction on the sound connection between your TV and the soundbar, you will be able to troubleshoot it quickly.

So hold just a bit longer before checking the solutions. 

Common causes behind the soundbar and tv being out of sync include:

Lip-Sync Issues

Some TVs include the “lip sync” option to help you decide how you want audio and video to match. 

Audio Processing

Some TVs and soundbars have built-in audio processing that can cause a delay.

Audio Format

an audio format

All soundbars do not support some audio formats. You must check if your soundbar is compatible with the audio formats you want to play.


Different connectivity solutions have varied response times. If there is too much data to process, some will show an evident delay/lag. 

Outdated Software

Whether the TV or soundbar, you must always ensure the devices are up to date.  

Fixing The Delay Between TV And Soundbar

With all of the above in mind, you are probably no longer desperate about the delay between TV and soundbar.

The next step is learning to fix the soundbar delay, so bear with us a bit more.

Solution #1: Adjust Lip Sync

adjust lip sync

The lip sync feature is a new feature some modern TVs have so that you can adjust the audio with the video. 

That is perfect when the data your TV receives or processes is splitting the audio and video and playing them out of sync.

Worse, sometimes the source is out of sync. Unfortunately, that sometimes happens with YouTube videos of amateur channels.

However, the feature also works when you have an extra audio output, such as a soundbar. In that case, the lip sync feature is also perfect.

However, you must be aware that the issue might not lie in the TV but in the device configurations.

Thus, adjusting lip sync is only a temporary solution for a bigger issue.

Anyway, here is how you can use lip sync to solve this situation:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Find Audio/Video configurations.
  3. Look for the “lip sync” feature.
  4. Use the “+” and “-” buttons to adjust the audio sync

Solution #2: Check Audio Processing Presets

check the audio processing presets

Both soundbars and TVs have audio processing presets you can choose to try and enhance your experience.

However, when there is too much data to process and the TV’s processor is not very powerful, a delay is what you get.

Suppose you don’t understand what we mean by “audio processing presets.”

Some common audio processing presets include:

  • “Sports” presets to enhance audio quality while watching sports matches
  • “Movies” presets to enhance the audio effects of movies
  • Dialogue enhancers
  • Virtual 3D audio
  • Volume levelers

For example, if you activate the “movies” option, the TV will process audio to optimize it for movie watching. That processing, however, depends on the TV’s processor.

Smart TVs have processors, but not all are very powerful, so sometimes they can’t handle what they are supposed to.

How To Deactivate/Change The Processing Preset

how change the processing presets

Don’t you remember if you have ever activated such a preset? We will help you out:

  1. Find Settings on the TV
  2. Go to audio/video settings
  3. Find anything mentioning presets/audio processing
  4. Deactivate any preset you have chosen

After deactivating, try watching any shows again.

As you imagine, there are two possibilities: either the issue is gone, or the presets are not doing any harm.

If the presets are not the issue, move to the next solution.

Solution #3: Check The Audio Format And Change It (If Possible)

Current devices, such as TVs and soundbars, use many audio formats.

Some audio formats, when together with whatever configurations you set up, might cause a delay between audio and video.

check audio format first

And that delay will be aggravated when using a soundbar. 

As in the other solutions, you must also find the audio settings.

If you’ve skipped the other solutions because they make no sense for your situation, we help you out:

  1. Find the settings in your TV
  2. Find the audio options
  3. Find a tab where it is possible to switch audio formats
  4. Switch to a different format

Common audio formats are PCM, Dolby Digital, bitstream, and passthrough.

Depending on your TV’s processing power, a few will cause lag when connected to an audio output such as a soundbar.

Our recommendation is you change the audio format to PCM. However, if it is already on PCM, you might want to try other formats and see if they change anything.

Tip: Check your soundbar’s user guide for information regarding supported audio formats. If there is any indication of the best supported audio format, change to that.

Solution #4: Try A Different Connectivity

try a different connectivity

Right now, soundbars feature the following connectivity solutions:

  • Bluetooth
  • HDMI
  • RCA
  • Optical 

We reckon that RCA is no longer as common as it was ten years ago. Optical is also not always on the table.

However, HDMI and Bluetooth are two major standards available in almost every soundbar and TV. If Bluetooth is not available, HDMI most certainly is.

So, what you have to do is very simple. First, you must switch the connectivity solution to use.

For example, if you are using Bluetooth, turn Bluetooth off (on either device) and connect via one of the cabled options. 

The same applies to every other connectivity being used. So you must try each option available until one of them gets rid of the annoying delay.

Solution #5: Update Soundbar And TV

update the soundbar and tv

If nothing of the above has worked so far, the culprit might be the firmware being outdated on either the soundbar or TV (or both!).

So then, the next step is updating the firmware. 

Here is how to update the firmware on your TV:

  1. Navigate to Menu
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Support
  4. Choose Software Update
  5. Confirm on Update Now

We also recommend you update the firmware on your soundbar. That is a bit trickier to put in a step-by-step format because soundbars vary widely.

You must check for updates if there is a dedicated app for your soundbar.

Suppose no dedicated app is available for your soundbar. In that case, you must check the user’s guide or the brand’s website for information on updating the firmware. 

Note: Updated firmware enhances the functionality of the device’s very nature. An updated soundbar might exhibit clearer sound!

What We Learned

How To Fix Delay Between TV And Soundbar? If you are facing such an annoying issue, in a few minutes, you won’t!

The guide above has all the info you need to understand and put an end to the delay between the TV and the soundbar.

It can happen for many reasons, but you can control it easily.

Nicole B