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Apple TV Audio Out of Sync / Sound Delay (FIX Lip Sync)

If your Apple TV audio is out of sync, then this guide is for you.

Whether you are experiencing an sound delay, or the audio is faster than the video on your Apple TV or Apple TV 4K device, this article has you covered. 

Apple TV sound delay and lip sync issue

A number of users reported that the issue started after updating the TVOS software, others after switching their TV and some noticed the issue straight-out-the-box after purchasing a new Apple TV device. 

You may also notice it across different apps like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, YouTube TV, Showtime, HBO Max, and Apple TV+. 

In this troubleshooting guide, I am going to show you some quick and proven methods to fix an Apple TV with audio out of sync. 

Without any further ado, let’s dive right in!

Apple TV Audio Out of Sync / Sound Delay (Lip Sync Fixes)

Follow the step-by-step troubleshooting guide to fix Apple TV audio/lip sync issue:

1. Restart Your Apple TV

If your Apple TV audio is out of sync, the first thing you need to do is to simply restart the Apple TV box or perform a soft reset.

This can sometimes fix any minor software glitches that may be causing the problem. 

  • You can restart your Apple TV by grabbing the remote and going to Settings > System

click on system settings

  • Then, click on “Restart”.

restart apple tv

  • Click on Restart again, and wait for the TV to restart. 

Alternatively, you may perform a soft reset, which is a step further than the system restart. 

Here’s how to perform a soft reset:

  • Unplug your Apple TV box from the power outlet

Turn off the TV by unplugging the power cord

  • Leave it unplugged for 30 seconds
  • Then, plug it back into the power outlet and turn it on

If that doesn’t fix the issue, go ahead and restart the TV as well as the sound bar or external speaker (if you currently use one with your Apple TV).

Once you perform a restart/soft reset on all your devices, the audio lag should be fixed if it’s caused by a minor software glitch.

However, if restarting your devices does not fix the audio sync issue or it fixes it, but the issues comes back after a few hours, then move to the next step. 

2. Change the Audio & Video Format

The audio and video formats selected on your Apple TV box may cause audio delay or sync issues with the video. 

In that case, changing the audio format on your Apple TV will most likely fix the issue for you. 

Here’s how to do that:

  • Go to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Format

click on audio format on apple tv

  • If the change format option is set to off, change the option to “On”. 
  • Under New Format, choose “Dolby Digital 5.1”

change audio format to dolby digital 5.1 on apple tv

The sound delay or video delay should now be gone. 

If that doesn’t work for you, change the audio output format on your TV directly as well

What you need to do is to go to the audio settings on your TV, and switch the audio output to “Passthrough”

This will prevent your TV from taking the stream from the Apple TV and re-encoding it to another format. 

That is, the audio and video signals go from your Apple TV to your receiver or your output device unchanged.

This should fix the audio sync issue if your Apple TV is connected to your TV, and the TV (Sony, Samsung, LG, Hisense or any other) connects to the sound bar.

Otherwise, move to the next fix. 

3. Disable “Match Frame Rate” on Apple TV

Disabling the “match frame rate” feature on Apple TV is another proven way to fix the sound delay or sync problem. 

If the feature is turned on, Apple TV will attempt to automatically determine which determine the frame rates that are supported by your TV, and switch it automatically. 

However, this can cause the audio and video to go out of sync.

Together with “match dynamic range” option, these content matching features are also associated with flickering screen on Apple TVs

Therefore, try turning it off and see if the issue is fixed for you. 

Here’s how to do that:

  • Go to Settings > Video and Audio

select video and audio settings on Apple TV

  • Select “Match Content”

match content option turned off on Apple TV

  • Turn OFF both and “Match Frame Rate” options

turn off match dynamic range and frame rate

You may need to restart the TV from by menu for the change to be effected. Simply go to Settings > System > Restart

5. Change the Video Format

The next thing to try is to change the video on your Apple TV. 

The idea is to select a format that matches the resolution between your Apple TV box and smart TV  in order to produce a high-quality steady picture that does not lag behind the audio. 

Here’s how to do that:

  • Go to Settings > Video and Audio > Format
click on format under video settings
  • Now, select a different format until the audio and video are in sync
select a compatible video output format

Normally, what you want to do is to select a lower resolution. 

However, if the audio/video sync issue is not resolved by this, simply change it back to the old format and move on to the next step. 

6. Reset Video Settings

Another quick fix for lip sync issues on Apple TV is to reset the video settings. 

Here’s how to do that:

  • Go to Settings > Video and Audio
  • Select “Reset Video Settings”

reset video settings on apple tv

Confirm on the next page to reset video settings.

Once the reset is done, check if the audio and video are now back in sync on your Apple TV. 

7. Change the Audio Output

If you are using an external speaker with your TV (whether it’s Denon, Sonos, Marantz, Yamaha, Onkyo, Sony or any other brand), you need to confirm that the sound delay is not actually coming from the external speaker or sound bar

To do that, simply change the audio output to TV speakers, and see if the issue persists or not. 

Here’s how to do that:

  • Go to Settings > Video and Audio
  • Under audio, select “Audio Output”

select audio output on apple tv

  • Select “TV Speakers”

select tv speakers as audio outout

If it persists, then you know the issue is coming from Apple TV.

Otherwise, if there’s no vide or sound delay while using TV speakers as audio output source, then you know the issue is coming from your external speaker. 

7. Change TV Picture Mode to “Game Mode”

There are various picture modes available on TVs, each with its own custom picture and audio settings. 

Game mode is a picture mode that optimizes the TV’s settings for gaming, and therefore reduces the input lag (i.e the delay between the TV receiving a signal and displaying it on the screen). 

While this is usually done to improve TV’s responsiveness (and hence overall gaming experience), some users who had audio sync issues on their Apple TV were able to fix it by simply switching to game mode on TV

You can find this on Samsung TV, LG TV, Hisense TV, Vizio TV, Sony TV and some other TV brands. 

Just go to the picture settings, look for picture modes and set it to “Game mode”.

enable game mode on tv

NOTE: If switching to game mode does not fix the issue, check for “AV Sync” adjustment on the TV and set it to 0 or turn it off. This has also fixed the Apple TV audio delay issue for many users. 

If any of those options fixes the issue for you, great! If not, move on to the next step.

8. Update Apple TV TVOS Software

Outdated firmware can also cause audio and video sync issues on Apple TVs. 

What you need to do is to simply check if there’s a firmware update available, and if there is, download and install it. 

Here’s how to do that quickly:

  • To check for an update on your Apple TV, go to Settings > System > Software Updates
select software updates on apple tv
  • Select Update Software
select update software option
  • If an update is available, follow the onscreen instructions to install it.
click on download and install software button

If the audio sync persists, check for any available software update on your TV (and if any, download and install it). 

The exact procedure for your TV will vary depending on the brand, whether it’s Sony BRAVIA TVSamsung tizenOS TVLD OLED TVTCL Roku TV e.t.c.

For that, check the settings as well, or you refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to check for and install software updates.

Once both the Apple TV and TV’s software are updated, check if the sound delay issue and see if the issue has been fixed or not. 

9. Change the HDMI Cable

If you have an HDMI cable that cannot handle Apple TV’s transfer rate, then you will experience audio or video lag. 

In fact, Apple recommends HDMI cables that have the Compatible Dolby Vision mark as they have been tested with Apple TV 4K and a wide range of TVs.

It does not matter if you’ve been using the same cable for a while, since a lot of users who fixed the issue by simply upgrading to a higher quality cables had also been using their old HDMI cables for a long time.

The old HDMI cable may suddenly cause an audio sync problem after a TVOS software update, after changing the sound system or the TV.

check HDMI cable connection on Apple TV

Switching to a high-speed HDMI cable (4K or 8K HDMI 2.1 cable) is a proven fix for Apple TV sound delay or audio out of sync issue, especially if you have an Apple TV 4K box. 

use high speed premium certified HDMI cableAlso, it’s not uncommon to have multiple HDMI ports on TV with different rating.

Hence, you may also experience the issue when the HDMI cable is plugged into an HDMI port with a rating that does not fully support Apple TV 4K outputs.

Therefore, you need to ensure that the cable is plugged into the highest rated port, preferable HDMI 2.1 port on your TV.

Try a different HDMI port

Finally, if you are using an HDMI splitter box, remove it and plug the cable directly into the ports instead. 

10. Adjust Audio Delay on Sound Bar

If the audio is faster than the video on your Apple TV, then you can make bring them in sync by delaying the audio on your sound bar.

However. if the audio lags behind the video, this method will not work for you since delaying the audio will only make it worse.

A lot of sound bars have the option to delay the sound output. 

You can simply adjust this audio delay until the audio coming out of your sound bar matches the video on your Apple TV. 

The video below will show you how to do that. You may also check your sound bar instruction manual. 

11. Reset Apple TV to Factory Settings

If you’ve tried everything but you still have sound delay or audio lip sync issue on your Apple TV then you need to reset it to factory settings. 

This will remove all your information and settings, and you will need to configure it all over like a brand new device. 

Here’s how to reset your Apple TV to factory settings:

  • Go to Settings”
  • Scroll down and select “System”, then “Reset”
click on reset option on apple tv
  • On the reset screen, select either “Reset” or “Reset and Update”. While the former will only reset your Apple TV, the latter option will update your Apple TV to the latest firmware and then reset it. 
reset and update apple tv
  • Wait for the reset to be completed. Then, go ahead and set up your Apple TV.
setup apple tv after system reset

Hopefully, the audio delay issue should now be fixed after the reset.

12. Contact Apple Support

If you have tried all the fixes in this guide and your Apple TV sound is still delayed or out of sync with video, then you should trying contacting Apple support. 

In addition to the fixes discussed in this blog, Apple support team may have access to additional troubleshooting techniques or specialized solutions that can address the issue.

If your TV is still under warranty or you have an active AppleCare+, contacting customer support can help you explore warranty-related options for repair.

Here are the contact details for Apple TV customer support:

  • Website: Visit the official Apple TV support website.
  • Phone: To speak directly with an Apple TV customer support representative, you can call their support via 1‑800‑APLCAR. 

If you found this guide helpful, let me know which of these methods helped you fix the issue in the comment section below. 

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