How to Fix Pixel Buds From Lagging Behind

Reduce latency when watching videos and playing games

Pixel Buds are wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and some latency is expected in any wireless audio device. If you notice your Pixel Buds seeming to lag behind, there are some fixes you can try to reduce latency in Pixel Buds. Resetting sometimes also fixes the problem.

What Causes Pixel Buds to Lag Behind?

When Pixel Buds lag behind, the latency is usually caused by a Bluetooth problem. You can sometimes fix the problem by changing an important sound setting, reconnecting the Pixel Buds, removing sources of interference from other Bluetooth devices, or updating the Pixel Buds. In many cases, the latency is caused by the high definition sound setting. While this setting improves audio fidelity, it can also cause audio to lag behind visuals when watching videos or playing games with Pixel Buds.

How Do I Fix the Sound Delay On My Pixel Buds?

Pixel Bud latency can’t be removed altogether, but it can be mitigated in some cases.

If you’re having trouble with latency from your Pixel Buds, try these fixes:

  1. Disable HD Audio: AAC. This setting improves audio fidelity, but it also introduces extra latency. To disable this feature, open Settings > Connected Devices > Pixel Buds, and tap the HD Audio toggle to turn it off. With this setting disabled, check to see if your latency has improved.

    This option is only available when using Pixel Buds with an Android phone.

  2. Reconnect your Pixel Buds. Open the Bluetooth settings on your device, and have your device forget, delete, or remove the Pixel Buds. Then push and hold the button on your Pixel Buds case until it flashes white. When the light is flashing white, you can open Bluetooth settings on your device again and pair your Pixel Buds.

  3. Update the Pixel Buds firmware. If it's been a while since your Pixel Buds have been updated, Google may have already released a firmware update that mitigates the latency problems you’re experiencing. On your Android phone, open Settings > Connected Devices > Pixel Buds > More Settings > Firmware update, and install the update if one is available.

  4. Reset your Pixel Buds. If you’re still experiencing unacceptable latency, try resetting your Pixel Buds. Place the Pixel Buds in the charging case, close the lid, and plug the case into power. Then hold the button on the case. The white LED will eventually start to blink in a bouncing pattern. When the light stops bouncing, the Pixel Buds will have reset. After the process finishes, you’ll have to set up your Pixel Buds again before you can check to see if the lag is still there.

Do Pixel Buds Have Latency?

Pixel Buds have latency because all Bluetooth devices have some level of latency. Some apps, like YouTube, are able to prevent you from noticing the latency as much by delaying the video to match the sound you hear from your Bluetooth earbuds. That sort of correction isn’t possible in a lot of other applications though, like gaming, so you’re likely to notice at least some latency if you use your Pixel Buds all the time.

While Pixel Buds don’t have a low latency audio codec, it’s possible Google could offer a firmware update in the future to mitigate latency issues. It’s also possible the current firmware already offers improved performance over the version of the firmware running on your Pixel Buds, which is why performing a firmware update helps some people with this issue and doesn’t help others.

How Do You Calibrate Pixel Buds?

There is no way to calibrate Pixel Buds to correct for latency, but resetting Pixel Buds sometimes helps recalibrate. If your Pixel Buds used to work better, but have started lagging behind recently, then resetting may help. To reset your Pixel Buds, put the buds in the case, plug the case into power, and hold down the button on the charging case. The white light will eventually start bouncing. When the light stops bouncing, release the button. After resetting, you’ll have to set up your Pixel Buds again.

  • How do I turn off my Pixel Buds?

    To turn off Pixel Buds, place them back in the case, or disconnect them from your device's Bluetooth settings. You can also triple-tap on the right earbud to turn them on or off.

  • How do I use Pixel Buds to translate?

    To translate with Google Pixel Buds, your phone needs to be unlocked and on the Home screen. Press the right earbud and say, “Google, help me speak language.” Hold the right earbud each time you speak, and have the other person speak into your phone.

  • How do I find my missing Pixel Buds?

    If your Pixel Buds are connected to your device, open the Buds app and tap Pixel Buds > Find device > Ring Left or Ring Right. You can also set up Find My Device to see their last known location.

  • How long do Pixel Buds take to charge?

    It takes about 45 minutes to an hour for Pixel Buds to fully charge in the charging case. The charging case itself takes 1.5 hours to charge. Fully charged Pixel Buds last for 5 hours of listening time and 2.5 hours of talk time, which can be extended to 24 hours and 12 hours respectively with a fully charged case.

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