How to Fix Sound Delay on TV Tried and Tested Fixes

How to Fix Sound Delay on TV: Tried and Tested Fixes

When your TV experiences sound delay, you’ll feel out of the loop. Fortunately, there’s no need to set the alarm bells ringing as there are practical solutions you can learn how to fix sound delay on your flatscreen — and bring you back in tempo.

Sound delay on a TV can be fixed by turning on their AV sync or audio delay settings. For example, you can navigate to an LG TV’s settings menu, head to sound settings, and toggle on the AV Synchronization Adjustment switch.

In this guide, we’ll show you ten proven and tested troubleshooting solutions for TV sound delays. The best part’s it won’t matter what brand your TV is, as we’re going to cover every flatscreen in town, so we urge you to read up. 

FIX 1. Perform a TV power reset.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps3
Time to Perform Fix1 minute and 10 seconds
Things NeededA working power/wall outlet

Believe it or not, most issues on a TV can be resolved quickly by turning the unit off and on to make it reboot. One variation of this method is the power reset, which reboots your TV by cutting off its connection to the power supply you’re using.

Doing so will shut your TV completely while discharging the residual electrical energy stored inside its components. You can perform a power reset by unplugging and plugging the power cable of the TV back into the wall outlet.

We also recommend performing a power cycle by pressing and holding the power button of the TV, which is the most effective way to discharge residual energy. Then,  plug your TV back into the wall outlet and reintroduce electricity to its system.

You can refer to the instructions below that show how to fix the TV sound delay by performing a power reset. If you wish, you can skip the step for power cycling your TV, but it could do the trick. 

Step 1: Pull the power cable of the TV from the wall outlet for a complete shutdown.

Step 2: Press and hold the power button of the TV for about 30 seconds to discharge its stored residual electrical energy.



Note: The power button of the TV can be found on its underside, left or right side, or back panel. Refer to the TV user manual for the power button’s actual location.
Step 3: Leave your TV for another 30 seconds before plugging the power cable back into the wall outlet to boot it up.



Note: Most TVs will turn on when plugged into the wall outlet. If this didn’t happen for your TV, press the power button on the unit or remote control to boot it up manually.

Don’t forget about the time element. Remember that this is essential to ensure electricity dissipates properly and your TV reboots successfully. 

FIX 2. Turn your TV’s AV Sync Adjustment on.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things NeededA TV remote control

Sometimes, watching a movie on your TV that comes from an external input device can result in a delay between the audio and video outputs. Good thing most TV units have some form of AV Sync or Audio Delay Settings that can help you fix this issue.

A good example is LG’s AV Sync Adjustment option on their newer TV models. You should also find a similar Audio Sync/Delay option under the sound settings menu of some TV models from other manufacturers.

Please refer to the user manual supplied with your unit to find out where to access its audio synchronization option so you can learn how to fix sound delay on TV. You can also look up your TV manufacturer’s support page for further assistance.

Step 1: Press the menu, home, or settings button on your TV remote control to navigate to its settings menu.

Step 2: Scroll down and open the Sound settings of your TV.

Step 3: Scroll down and click Additional Settings under the sound settings menu.

Step 4: Scroll down and click AV Sync Adjustment.

Step 5: Toggle on the AV Sync Adjustment switch to enable it.

FIX 3. Reset the TV’s sound.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps6
Time to Perform Fix30 seconds
Things NeededA TV remote control

The sound settings on your TV have a significant impact on its overall sound output, which can cause audio delays if it ends up being misconfigured. Sometimes, the values on your TV’s sound settings can even be changed without your knowledge.

Such a situation can lead to sudden confusion, especially if your TV’s audio used to work without any issues. If you suspect some changes to have been made, your best recourse is to reset your TV’s sound settings to restore them to the default values.

Alternatively, you can also reconfigure the values on the sound settings menu of your TV manually. You can do this if your TV doesn’t have a dedicated sound settings reset option or if you remember the previous sound configurations you were using.

Whichever of these options works for you should be enough to resolve your TV’s audio synchronization issue. Otherwise, you can proceed to the next parts of this guide for more troubleshooting tricks that will show you how to fix sound delay on TV.

Step 1: Press the menu, home, or settings button on your TV remote control to navigate to its settings menu.

Step 2: Scroll down and open the Sound settings of your TV.

Step 3: Scroll down and click Expert Settings under the sound settings menu.

Step 4: Scroll down and click Reset Sound under the expert settings menu.

Step 5: Select Reset to start the sound reset on your TV.

Step 6: Wait for a confirmation that will tell you if your TV’s sound settings have been reset.

FIX 4. Connect the source device to your external speakers.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things NeededA TV remote control

Instead of connecting the input source device to your TV, we think you should directly connect it to your external speakers. That should be the more appropriate choice if you want to put things in order. 

The reason is to give both audio and video outputs the same travel points so the time it takes to be transmitted to your TV is the same.

If you connect your source device to your TV, its audio output will still have to travel from there before going to the external speaker. As such, it’s advisable for the source device and the TV to each be connected to the external speaker.

You might also need to disable HDMI ARC or CEC on your TV when connecting its source device to your external speakers. This can fix sound delay on TVs connected to home theater systems or soundbars via HDMI ARC or optical connection.

Step 1: Press the menu, home, or settings button on your TV remote control to navigate to its settings menu.

Step 2: Scroll down and open the general settings menu of your TV.

Step 3: Scroll down and open the External Device Manager menu.

Step 4: Click the HDMI-CEC option to toggle it off.

Step 5: Connect your source device to the external speaker.

FIX 5. Disconnect and reconnect your TV to its source device.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps2
Time Needed10 seconds
Things NeededA replacement HDMI cable

Another way to fix sound delay on TVs is to disconnect their HDMI connection to the input source device. We recommend you reseat the HDMI cable plugged into the ports on both devices to check if it’s a snug fit.

Inspect the HDMI cable you’re connecting to both devices as it might have signs of damage, like a missing connector pin or wear and tear on its wire. In this case, you’ll need to switch to a different HDMI cable that’s in good working condition.

After all, it’s not advisable to keep using a damaged HDMI cable even if it can still transmit data between your TV and the source device. The risk of doing so might cost you a lot more than simply buying a replacement HDMI cable.

Step 1: Unplug the HDMI cable connecting your TV to the external source device.
Step 2: Plug in the HDMI cable connecting your TV to the external source device.



Note: Check if the HDMI cable connector fits securely on the ports of your devices. If their connection is loose, you need to reseat the HDMI cable over and over until you get it to fit nicely, or you can also use another cable that plugs in well.

If you have eye issues, you will have to recruit someone to check on the HDMI connections. Dust and dirt could escape an untrained eye but they can block signals over time as they add up. 

FIX  6. Enable or disable the Game Mode on your TV.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things NeededA TV remote control

The Game Mode feature that comes with most TV models helps lower input lag when playing video games on the unit. This feature improves the responsiveness of your TV to make sure that the displayed images are in sync with your inputs.

It’s very advisable to use this mode whenever you’re connecting a game console to your TV to get the most optimal gaming experience. Unfortunately, Game Mode might instead cause sound delays when you’re only watching shows on your TV.

In such cases, we believe it’s better to disable the Game Mode feature so it doesn’t mess up the audio synchronization when streaming on-demand videos. Toggling the Game Mode feature on or off will depend on what you’re currently doing on your TV.

Step 1: Press the menu, home, or settings button on your TV remote control to navigate to its settings menu.

Step 2: Scroll down and open the general settings menu of your TV.

Step 3: Scroll down and open the External Device Manager menu.

Step 4: Scroll down and click Game Mode to toggle it off.

FIX 7. Close multiple apps running on your TV’s background.

Leaving multiple apps running on your TV’s background can cause it to experience lag and sound delays due to the processor being overworked. We recommend forcefully closing the apps you’ve recently used on your TV to make sure that they’re not running.

You can do this by going to your TV’s application menu to open a list of your installed apps. From there, you can forcefully stop the recently used apps on your TV one after the other.

If you have an Apple TV, you have the option to navigate between your recently used apps and close them individually. For Android TV users, you can also install an app manager from the app store to close multiple background apps at once.

Use your Apple TV remote to close multiple apps running in the background

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps3
Time to Perform Fix10 seconds
Things NeededApple TVApple TV remote control
Step 1: Press the TV/Control Center key on your Apple TV remote to display your recent apps on the screen.

Step 2: Swipe left or right on the trackpad of your Apple TV remote to navigate between your recent apps.

Step 3: Swipe up on the trackpad of your Apple TV remote to close the displayed app.

Don’t worry. If you’re using an Android TV which includes most of the TV brands on the planet today (e.g., Samsung, TCL, Sony), follow the instructions below to get going. 

Use an app manager on your Android TV  to close multiple background apps

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps3
Time to Perform Fix10 seconds
Things NeededAndroid TVAndroid TV remote control
Step 1: Launch your Android TV’s Google Play Store.

Step 2: Go to the search function and search for a “background app manager” using the search bar.

Step 3: Select the background app manager and click Install to download and install it on your Android TV.

Step 4: Click Open once the background app manager is installed to launch it on your Android TV.

Step 5: Click CLOSE ALL APPS to close every background app running on your Android TV.

FIX 8. Clear your TV’s cache.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps7
Time to Perform Fix40 seconds
Things NeededA TV remote control

Aside from background apps, your TV’s performance can also take a hit from running low on storage space due to its cached memory. The data on your TV’s cache consists of temporary files from various apps you visit on the internet.

The cache data on your TV helps load apps and pages faster since the necessary files are already saved, which means you don’t have to re-download them again. However, having too much cache data can fill up your TV’s small storage space causing it to lag.

A poor and sluggish TV performance will then lead to various issues such as app crashes, screen freezes, and even sound delays. As such, we think that clearing out the cached memory on your TV is a viable solution to fix sound delay on TVs.

Step 1: Press the menu, home, or settings button on your TV remote control to navigate to the Settings and head up to the Quick Settings panel.

Step 2: Scroll right and open the TV Device Manager.

Step 3: Select the Clean Now option for Memory Boost to clear all the cached memory on your TV.

Step 4: Select the Clean Now option for Clear Running Apps to close all background apps and free up your TV’s system memory.

Step 5: Select Show App List to show the installed apps on your TV.

Step 6: Clear the cache memory of each installed application on your TV.

That should be easy. Still, if the issue persists, the solution below should be a more effective way to deal with it. 

FIX 9. Reset the TV to its factory settings.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps6
Time to Perform Fix5 minutes
Things NeededA TV remote control

We think that the best way to straighten out sound delay on TVs is the factory reset, which restores the device to its default settings. You’ll lose the account data, installed apps, and system settings on your TV during the factory reset process.

WARNING: Back up your personal data, preferred apps, and TV preferences stored on your TV before doing a factory reset. In the process, all data will be erased except those that came as part of the default settings. 

Fortunately, there are TV models that have built-in Cloud functionality, which allows you to back up all of your data for easy restoration afterward. If your TV doesn’t have Cloud support, you must only consider the factory reset as your last resort.

Since you lose your data during the factory reset, there’s no other way to restore them unless you have a backup. You can at least re-download your apps but your TV’s system settings will need to be reconfigured once more.

Step 1: Press the menu, home, or settings button on your TV remote control to navigate to its settings menu.

Step 2: Scroll down and open the general settings menu of your TV.

Step 3: Scroll down and click Reset on the general settings menu of your TV.

Step 4: Enter the PIN passcode of your TV if asked for one and click Done to start the factory reset process.

Step 5: Select Yes on the pop-up window to allow the factory reset.

Step 6: Wait for your TV to complete its factory reset.

Bear in mind that a factory reset cannot be reversed. So, make sure you’re ready for all the consequences that such an action will entail before you start the process. 

FIX 10. Update the version of the TV’s firmware.

Updating the firmware version of your TV is an effective alternative to a factory reset or if you want to know how to fix sound delay on TVs. Unlike a factory reset, firmware updates install a new version of your TV’s system to improve its performance.

Not only will this process fix any software-related issues on your TV but it will also improve its compatibility with most apps and external source devices. The improvement in compatibility and performance could resolve your TV’s sound delay.

You can download and install the latest version of your TV’s firmware by connecting to a WiFi network. Or, you can download the firmware update from your TV manufacturer’s support page to do a manual installation.

Connect to the internet and install your TV’s firmware update

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix10 – 20 minutes
Things NeededA TV remote controlA working internet connection
Step 1: Press the menu, home, or settings button on your TV remote control to navigate to its settings menu.

Step 2: Scroll down and open the support menu on your TV.

Step 3: Click Software Update to access the software update page on your TV.

Step 4: Click Update Now on your TV’s software update page.

Step 5: Wait while your TV downloads and installs the latest software or firmware version available.

Use your USB stick and update the firmware of your TV manually

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix10 – 20 minutes
Things NeededA TV remote controlA working internet connection
Step 1: Press the menu, home, or settings button on your TV remote control to navigate to its settings menu.

Step 2: Scroll down and open the support menu on your TV.

Step 3: Scroll down and click About This TV to see the model number and firmware version of your device.

Step 4: Use the internet browser on your PC to visit your TV manufacturer’s product support page.

Step 5: Enter the model number of your TV on the search bar to open its product page and download its latest firmware version.

Step 6: Plug your USB into your PC to extract the downloaded firmware version to its directory.

Step 7: Plug your USB into the TV and press the menu, home, or settings button on your remote control to navigate to its settings menu.

Step 8: Scroll down and open the support menu on your TV.

Step 9: Click Software Update to access the software update page on your TV.

Step 10: Click Update Now on your TV’s software update page.



Note: The update check will fail if your TV isn’t connected to a WiFi network. This will allow you to scan the USB stick plugged into your TV for the latest firmware version.
Step 11: Click Yes in the pop-up to install the firmware version inside your USB stick.

If, at this point, you’re still unable to go over the issue of TV sound delays, you may have to change tactics. Get in touch with your TV manufacturer’s official support team, and they should be able to take it from there. 

What causes audio delay on TVs?

Audio delay on TVs can be caused by faulty sound settings configuration, loose cable connection, and enabling Game Mode. Other causes include connecting the source device to the TV and having multiple background apps.

FAQs about Sound Delay on TV

What does it mean when my TV is delayed?

An out-of-sync audio and video is what a TV delay refers to. This happens when one of these outputs is ahead of the other.

Why is my TV’s sound and picture out of sync?

Several reasons can cause delays between your TV’s sound and picture outputs. A common cause of this is a loose HDMI cable connected to your TV and its external source device. 

A misconfigured sound setting can also cause the sound and picture out of sync on your TV. It’s a big reason why we recommend performing a sound reset to restore the values on your TV’s sound settings to default.

How can I stop the soundbar delay?

Stop soundbar delay by connecting it directly to the external source device instead of your TV. This way, the sound output will have the same travel points as the video output, which results in them being in sync.

How can I fix the audio delay on my TV?

Enable your TV’s AV Sync or Audio Delay settings to sync the video and audio outputs from the source device. If this doesn’t work on your TV, follow the other solutions listed in this guide.


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