Bluetooth has become an integral part of our connectivity and the most important tool in preventing cord clutter. While we expect a seamless connection at all times, Bluetooth stuttering becomes a hindrance to this ideal situation. This can be very frustrating, especially if you have no idea on how to fix it. Read on, for tips on how to fix Bluetooth lag.
How to Fix Bluetooth Lag
To fix Bluetooth lag, you can try turning Bluetooth on and off, pairing and repairing, or reducing the number of devices connected via Bluetooth at the same time. These steps cut across all devices. However, if they fail to improve your Bluetooth connection, there are specific steps you should take for each device.
What Causes Bluetooth Lag?
Before we go into fixing, let’s get to understand why Bluetooth stuttering occurs in the first place. Bluetooth lag occurs because of:
- Changes in the operating systems of computers or mobile devices
- Software and app updates in devices
- Firmware changes in devices
- Bugs in the car stereo system
- Physical objects disrupting the connection
Once you understand these culprits, it is time to understand how to fix Bluetooth lag on various devices;
For PCs or Macs, signal interference is one of the main causes of audio stuttering. This is because household devices such as cordless phones, baby monitors, laptops, and smart TVs all operate in the same frequency range thus causing signal interference.
To fix this problem, you can reset your router to channels with the least interference such as the 2.4 and 5 GHz. Change the channel on your router by logging into the router’s web interface via the web browser. Go to Wi-Fi settings page and find “Wi-Fi channel.” On the drop-down menu under the Wi-Fi channel, “select a new channel.” Apart from that, reduce the number of active Bluetooth devices connected to your computer.
If you are a Mac user, consider turning off Handoff. This is a feature that usually allows seamless continuity across Mac, Apple Watch, and iOS device, enabling users to continue a task started on one device on another device. For instance, you can finalize an email you started on your Mac on your iPhone.
Turn off Handoff by going to “System Preferences” then select “General.” Once there, deselect “Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.” On your iPhone, go to “Settings” then select “General” just like on your Mac. Select “Handoff” and disable it.
Also, check out all your audio settings to ensure they are as they should. Sometimes simple issues such as your computer recognizing your Bluetooth speaker as both a speaker and a headset can cause stuttering. In this case, you should deselect the headset and enable it as a wireless speaker.
Listening to podcasts, watching movies, and playing games on your phone is not only convenient, but also fun, because you can do it anywhere you are, whether on the subway or in a coffee shop. When audio delay happens, your experience is disrupted and the enjoyment is gone. To solve audio lag on your mobile phone, you should:
Ensure your Bluetooth headphones are within range. This is because most products offer a maximum of 33 ft (10 m) of Bluetooth signal range because Bluetooth uses short-wavelengths to transmit data over short distances. So, the further you move from the Bluetooth source, the more the audio delay. In this regard, always carry your mobile phone with you. Alternatively, you can buy a Bluetooth headset that supports a maximum range of more than 100 ft.
Your phone should be charged at all times. When your mobile phone is out of charge, the system usually limits its performance in a bid to conserve battery, which is why you experience an audio lag. Therefore, if you experience Bluetooth stuttering when your mobile phone is running out of battery, charge it immediately and try to reconnect your Bluetooth connection.
Another step is to set the performance level of your phone to high. System power-saving settings or battery saver apps usually limit phone performance to improve battery life. Just like when the charge is low, these settings cause audio delay. Go to “Performance profile” or “Battery saver” options and turn it to a high-performance setting and check your Bluetooth connection.
If your battery level and the settings are okay, check out for signal interference. Turn off Bluetooth devices that are not in use to reduce signal interference or move to a room with fewer devices.
Lastly, remove any objects that can physically block the Bluetooth signal. For instance, if you accidentally place a book on your mobile phone, Bluetooth signals from your phone to your headphones will be obstructed. An overly thick mobile cover can also cause Bluetooth lag.
When pairing your mobile device to your car’s audio system, you may experience stuttering. While you may have to look for specific solutions for your phone brand and car model, a possible fix may be to clear cache on your phone. Over time, cached files become corrupt due to changes on the OS. After deleting these files, suitable files are recreated to allow seamless Bluetooth connection between your phone and car.
If after clearing the cached files your Bluetooth is still lagging, then it could be that the Bluetooth codec used by your car’s audio system or mobile phone is old. Bluetooth codecs usually work to combat latency or lagging. The most common codecs are; aptX, SBS, AAC, and LDAC.
You can change the Bluetooth codec in Android, but you will have to enable developer options, which could be tricky for newbies. One wrong move and you may damage your mobile phone. Since most cars don’t have aptx and iPhones don’t use it, you may have to use USB. If your car offers Apple or Android CarPlay, you can as well skip on Bluetooth.
Wireless headphones connect to several devices via Bluetooth. In some instances, outdated operating systems on mobile phones may hinder smooth Bluetooth connection. To fix this issue, make sure your phone is running on the latest version of an operating system. Other times, it could be the headphone app that is outdated, therefore, ensure it is also updated.
Similarly, replace any old generation Bluetooth headphone with one that is compatible with your mobile phone. Using previous generation Bluetooth headphones will limit your experience as it prevents you from realizing the full potential of your headphones.
In comparison to other wireless models, earbud-style headphones may represent more lagging issues. Issues such as dropped calls, dropped connection between the two earbuds, and difficulty in syncing are the major reasons for Bluetooth lag. Fixing this stuttering could be difficult as your head could also be the reason for signal interference.
Some brands have come up with firmware improvements that fix the syncing issue. You can also checkout the manufacturer’s website for firmware updates and troubleshooting guidelines to keep your headphones updated.
If you have paired your Bluetooth headphone with too many devices, this can also be a cause of lagging. To fix this, factory rest your Bluetooth headphones to delete all the pairing data from the device. Specific information on how to reset your headphone can be found in the manufacturer manual.
Essentially, most headphones will require you to turn the headphones off and press on the power button. In other devices, you may be required to press down on a combination of power and volume buttons for some seconds.
Can Bluetooth Lag Be Prevented?
To stop Bluetooth lag:
Yes, you heard that right! This is the easiest and surest way to eliminate audio delay. If you opt for this method, get wired headphones and speakers instead. But if cord clutter is what you don’t want in your space, then this is not the way forward for you.
Adjust your Device’s Audio Delay Settings
Most TVs with built-in Bluetooth technology offer this feature. Some PCs also have this feature. You can find the audio delay settings under the Bluetooth menu. By adjusting these settings, your device’s visual is forced to slow down so as to move in sync with the audio, giving you improved latency.
For mobile phones, most mobile app developers already have counter-measure steps added into the app coding. This explains why audio lag issues are rarely experienced when watching or listening to stuff on Facebook or YouTube while on your mobile.
Qualcomm’s aptX Low Latency
This technology has been rated highly for its ability to reduce audio lag and yet provide above-average audio quality as well as excellent synced visual-audio. When watching TV while using Bluetooth headphones, this technology is able to reduce the lag to unnoticeable levels.
Qualcomm’s aptX low latency technology is also efficient when using Mac and Windows.
Best Bluetooth Speakers that Have aptX Support
When we talk Bluetooth codecs, aptX has two superior wireless qualities – low latency and high audio streaming. Some of the best Bluetooth speakers with aptX include:
- Avantree Torpedo Plus – includes aptX LL thus provides high streaming with minimal audio latency. It is affordable and suitable for tabletops and counters.
- Fugoo Sport 2– in addition to its trendy design, this Bluetooth speaker delivers quality audio output with low latency. Its long battery life is another plus.
- Marshall Stanmore II – this Bluetooth speaker has the classic Marshall amplifier-look. It offers a beautifully balanced audio output, and with the Treble and Bass knobs on top, one can tweak the sound as they see fit.
- Bowers and Wilkins T7 – this uniquely designed Bluetooth speaker delivers loud and balanced sound that can reach all corners of a medium-size room.
Best Bluetooth Headphones that Have aptX Support
Like Bluetooth speakers, Bluetooth headphones also offer low latency support. Some of the best brands include:
- Bang and Olufsen Beoplay H9 (third generation) – sounds great and keeps audio in sync.
- Avantree Aria Pro – offers excellent codec support at a worthy value.
- Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 – offers broad codec support alongside great sound and balance.
Bluetooth technology is amazing, yet it has disadvantages such as lagging. Luckily, there are ways to overcome this given the right tips as we have analyzed above. To further avoid Bluetooth audio delay, buying devices that support low latency is the way to go. Get a device that suits your style, budget, and of course, sound capabilities.