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Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek
To fix your sound delay issue, bring your devices close to each other, reconnect or re-pair the headphones, try a different audio player app or Windows' Bluetooth troubleshooter, disable audio enhancement, reboot Windows audio services, and update Bluetooth drivers.

Are you hearing delayed sound coming from your Bluetooth headphones or earbuds when using a Windows 11 PC? Chances are a minor glitch on your computer is causing the problem. Here are a few ways you can use to potentially fix your problem.

Ensure Your Devices Are in Range

Bluetooth operates within a specific range, which means both your devices must be in this range to be able to communicate with each other. Most Bluetooth devices use class 2, which has a range of 10 meters (30 feet).

If you’re wearing your headphones and far from PC, do what you can to bring them closer to resolve your issue. You should do this with all your Bluetooth accessories, as this allows your devices to talk to each other properly. If you’d like to bring your PC closer to you instead, learn what you need to move your PC to another room.

RELATED: Bluetooth 5.0: What's Different, and Why it Matters

Disconnect and Reconnect Your Bluetooth Headphones

If bringing your devices closer didn’t fix the issue, the next fix to try is to disconnect and reconnect your headphones or earbuds to your PC. This helps fix any issues with your device connection.

To do that, open your Windows 11 PC’s Settings app by pressing Windows+i. In Settings’ left sidebar, select “Bluetooth & Devices.” On the right pane, in your device box’s top-right corner, click the three dots and choose “Disconnect.”

Select "Disconnect" in the menu.

Then, use the “Connect” option to reconnect your headphones to your PC.

RELATED: How to Fix Bluetooth Audio Delay

Unpair and Re-Pair Your Bluetooth Headphones

If reconnecting the headphones didn’t resolve the problem, unpair your headphones from your PC and then re-pair them. Unparing is different from disconnecting because it essentially wipes your device and its settings from your computer’s memory.

To do that, on your PC, open the Settings app by pressing Windows+i. In the left sidebar, select “Bluetooth & Devices.” On the right pane, in the top-right corner of your device’s box, click the three dots and choose “Remove Device.”

Select "Remove Device" in the menu.

In the prompt, select “Yes.”

Choose "Yes" in the prompt.

Your headphones are now unpaired. To re-pair them with your PC, on the “Bluetooth & Devices” page, click “Add a Device.”

Select "Add a Device."

Follow the standard Bluetooth pair process, and your headphones will be re-paired with your PC.

Try Playing Audio in a Different App

One reason your headphones delay playing sound is that your PC’s media player app is faulty. The app may be sending audio signals with a delay, causing your issue.

In this case, use another audio player on your PC and see if that fixes the issue. For example, if you’re currently using the built-in media player, use something like VLC Media Player and see if your issue is fixed.

If the app you want to use is indeed causing the sound delay issue, try repairing it or reinstalling it on your PC.

Use the Windows Bluetooth Troubleshooter

Windows 11 has many troubleshooters to help you find and fix issues with your various devices. When you have a Bluetooth problem, use the Bluetooth troubleshooter to detect and resolve issues with your headphones or earbuds.

To launch that troubleshooter, open your PC’s Settings app by pressing Windows+i. In the left sidebar, select “System.” On the right pane, choose “Troubleshoot.”

Select "Troubleshoot."

Select “Other Troubleshooters.” Then, next to “Bluetooth,” click “Run” to launch the troubleshooter.

Select "Run" next to "Bluetooth."

Wait for the troubleshooter to find issues and offer solutions for your Bluetooth problems.

Turn Off Windows’ Audio Enhancing Feature

Depending on your device, Windows 11 may offer an option that will enhance the audio of your sound devices. When you experience issues like sound delays, it’s worth toggling off this feature to see if your issue is resolved.

To turn that option off, on your PC, head into Settings > System > Sound > All Sound Devices. Select your Bluetooth headphones and toggle off the “Enhance Audio” option.

Disable "Enhance Audio."

Play your music and see if the audio is delayed.

In our testing, the Enhance Audio feature didn’t appear on every device, so if you don’t see it, move on to the next step.

Restart Windows’ Audio Services

Windows 11 runs various audio services in the background to support your music apps. One or more of these services may not be working properly, causing a sound delay problem.

In this case, restart those services, and your issue will likely be fixed.

To do that, first, open a Run dialog box by pressing Windows+R. Then, type the following in the box and press Enter:


Open Windows Services.

On the “Services” window that opens, in the right pane, find the service named “Windows Audio.” Right-click this service and choose “Restart.”

Select "Restart" in the menu.

Similarly, find the service named “Windows Audio Endpoint Builder,” right-click it, and choose “Restart.” Then, close the “Services” window and play your music.

Update Your Bluetooth Driver

One possible reason you have a sound delay problem with your headphones is that your PC’s Bluetooth drivers are obsolete. Old drivers often have many issues that new drivers have patched.

You can resolve that problem by simply updating your PC’s Bluetooth drivers. To do that, first, right-click your “Start” menu icon and choose “Device Manager.”

Select "Device Manager."

In Device Manager, expand “Bluetooth,” right-click your Bluetooth adapter, and choose “Update Driver.”

Select “Search Automatically for Drivers.”

Choose "Search Automatically for Drivers."

Wait for Windows to find and install the latest drivers. When that’s done, reboot your PC and play your audio.

Replace Your Bluetooth Adapter and/or Headphones

If the above methods didn’t resolve your issue, it’s likely your Bluetooth hardware that’s at fault. Noto matter how many software fixes you apply, your issue will remain as is. Bluetooth has different versions and, especially if your Bluetooth version is ancient, limits and bugs in that version could be causing the sound delay.

In this case, assuming the issue is with your PC’s Bluetooth adapter (and you’ve confirmed it by using other headphones with your PC), add an external Bluetooth dongle to your PC and your issue will be resolved. It’s actually very easy and quick to set this dongle up, and you’ll be ready in no time.

If the issue is with your headphones, then you can replace them with one of the many excellent wireless headphones and earbuds available on the market. There are a variety of such audio devices to choose from, and if your wallet is lean, we’ve curated the best budget headphones too.

And that’s how you try to resolve the sound delay issue with your Bluetooth headphones and Windows 11. Happy listening to your favorite music tracks!

RELATED: The Best Headphones of 2023

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Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
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