When we are listening to music or audiobooks, Bluetooth is our best friend. The problem appears when we want to watch videos or play video games, we begin to suffer audio delay in Bluetooth speakers and headphones . On many occasions, the latency is so much that it seems like a bad dubbing of those movies of dubious quality. While Bluetooth speakers and headphones will always have a slight delay, there are ways to minimize it.
Fix Bluetooth audio delay
Set up audio sync on your TV
Many televisions allow you to configure a video delay to match the Bluetooth audio delay. Thanks to this function, we can have a correct Bluetooth audio output and the video we see..
Obviously, this solution would not be ideal for video games, for obvious reasons. In reality, with anything interactive we are going to need to do something different to solve it.
In case our television does not have the function at a glance, we will have to look in the audio settings or in the manual to get the instructions, this will vary greatly depending on the brand and model of the TV..
Use an external Bluetooth transmitter or receiver
It is more than evident that no one wants to choose new speakers or headphones, even going so far as to buy a new television just to get better Bluetooth sound, it may not be necessary to do so. The reason is that there are several independent Bluetooth transmitters and receivers that offer us the latest technology and power.
Thanks to an independent Bluetooth receiver, we can connect any set of headphones or speakers using a wired connection. This is really interesting when we have headphones that we like too much or speakers for our computer that we can't get rid of, but they are outdated. A fully dedicated receiver will allow us to have good audio quality and latency..
How do they work? Actually, it's too simple, a Bluetooth receiver takes the audio signal from a device, for example, and television, and converts it into a Bluetooth signal. Generally, they plug into the same headphone jack on the TV.
Adjustments for distance and interference
Bluetooth performance may be affected if the signal is too weak. When we have objects between us and the receiver, we are very far away or we have other devices operating on the same radio frequency, this will generate problems in the connection, which will end up giving us greater latency.
How can we verify this? Too easy, we will simply get closer to the transmitting device, if the latency improves, it is a clear sign that the problem is the distance or objects in between. The solution is to get as close as possible, eliminate sources of interference or remove objects that could block the signal.
Use low latency codec
An excellent alternative is to use low latency codec. Codec describes the method used to encode audio and video, a way of reducing file size while maintaining file quality. We may, without realizing it, be familiar with MP3 codecs, although Bluetooth has several different codecs.
Several of these codecs are designed to reduce latency as much as possible. SBC, is the most common codec and comes with a considerable delay of 220 ms. AptX HD has 250 ms, even more. Obviously, in exchange, we get higher quality audio, a good option for listening to music, almost exclusively.
On the other hand, the standard AptX has a latency of 70 ms, which is much more decent and most people probably won't notice a sync problem, even in video games. Although we also have AptX LL (low latency) which has a 40ms delay, making it almost the same as a wired connection.
Use the latest Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 5.0 has been around for a long time and is a notable improvement over previous versions. It comes with performance improvements that will allow us to fully enjoy our headphones and speakers.
Use proprietary wireless audio instead of Bluetooth
Those people who have the latest generation consoles will notice that they do not have audio delay problems. That's because they don't actually use standard Bluetooth. They may use a modified version of Bluetooth or a proprietary wireless audio standard that addresses latency issues.
Another thing we can do is take advantage of the proprietary Bluetooth-free audio (Wi-Fi based wireless audio) which may even have better performance and quality.
How can we achieve this on a computer? Wireless headphones can be purchased that come with a proprietary USB dongle. In the case of televisions, there are wireless headphone systems that have input options typical of televisions.
Audio-Only USB Bluetooth Dongle
In case the problem comes from using our computer's integrated Bluetooth, we recommend trying an audio-only USB Bluetooth dongle. These devices do not appear as Bluetooth devices on your computer. What this does is make the PC think that the Bluetooth device is a regular USB audio interface.
So Bluetooth pairing and processing happens on the dongle independently of the computer. This is ideal for Bluetooth audio, because the adapter is not connected to different peripherals and the computer's Bluetooth drivers will not affect it at all.