Roku Audio Out of Sync? Easiest & Quickest Fixes!

Author: James Potts | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

Roku is one of the many, many streaming services available, and its growth in popularity is easy to understand. It comes with the option to stream live TV, as well as access to many other streaming services within its software.

This makes it an easy choice for those who don’t want to limit their viewing capabilities.

But it’s not always a seamless experience, and many users have complained of the audio coming out of sync with the video, resulting in a ‘laggy’ playback that is distracting.

So let’s take a look at why this is happening and what you can do to fix it.

Why Roku Audio is Out of Sync

The most common reasons for out-of-sync audio and video are a problem with your internet connection, a poor wireless signal, faulty connections, or the Roku and/or TV settings configured incorrectly.

A slow internet connection can affect streaming in all kinds of ways, and lagging audio and/or video is not uncommon to see. If your Roku device cannot connect to a reliable internet connection, something will suffer when it comes to playback.

Having too many devices connected to your network, or having the router placed too far from the TV can all impact streaming quality by weakening the strength of your wireless signal.

The Roku settings are home to a host of features and tweakable configurations that can affect your audio, such as ‘Night Mode’ and ‘Automatic Volume Leveling.’

How to Fix Out-of-Sync Audio

Anyway, enough with the possible reasons, as I’m sure what you want to know is how to fix it! So we’ll start with the fix that seems to work for most people.

Reboot Your Roku

If you’re experiencing audio delay, this should be your first port of call. It’s quick and easy, and fixes the audio delay issue for most users the first time. It will also clear the cache, which will free up memory and increase buffer speed.

To reboot your Roku, follow these simple steps:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Wait a few seconds, then press the following buttons in the exact order shown below, without pausing between buttons.
  • Press the Home button 5 times
  • Press the Up button 1 time
  • Press the Rewind button 2 times
  • Press the Fast Forward button 2 times

After following this procedure, your device should reboot itself at least one time, possibly more. Just be patient and don’t try to use the device until it’s settled. When the home screen has loaded and remained on for at least 10 seconds, you should be fine to start using your Roku device again.

Power Cycle your Roku Device

If rebooting didn’t solve your problem, you can try power cycling. This is easy enough to do, and works in a similar fashion to rebooting.

Simply turn off your TV and your Roku device and unplug them from the mains electricity. If your Roku is built into the TV, just turn off and unplug the TV.

Once everything is disconnected, hold down the power buttons on your device and/or TV to drain any residual power from them. This will reset all the power charges in the internal hardware of your device. Let everything sit, unplugged and drained of power, for at least 30 seconds.

Then, simply plug everything back in and turn it on. Hopefully; problem solved!

Check the Cabled Connections

This is a quick and easy step, and the last one relating to the physical hardware components of your devices.

Simply do a visual inspection of all the cables that connect your Roku device to your TV and to the internet. Make sure they’re free from damage and can run unimpeded between components.

If any cables show signs of damage then this might be the cause of your issues. Replace them and try again!

Check for Software Updates

Check that your Roku software is up to date! And if it’s not, download the latest update and see if your problem is fixed. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Click the Home button on your Roku remote
  • Select Settings > System > System Update
  • Click Check Now to manually check for any available updates

If there is an update available, your Roku device will automatically begin to download it.

Configure the Settings on your Roku Device

If none of the above solutions have worked for you so far, then you may have to try fiddling with the settings of the Roku device. There are many different settings that you can change, so work through this list and check your playback after changing each one.

Change Audio Settings to Stereo

To do this, follow these simple instructions:

  • Press the Home button
  • Scroll to Settings
  • Select Audio
  • Change Audio Mode to Stereo
  • Set HDMI Mode to PCM-Stereo

Disable Automatic Volume Leveling

There are a few audio options that can be accessed easily while you’re watching something.

One of these is ‘Automatic Volume Leveling,’ which is a method of maintaining a constant volume level across different channels and broadcast segments, such as commercials, which are usually louder. To access this menu, simply follow these steps:

  • Press the Star (*) button during playback
  • Find Audio Leveling from the audio settings menu
  • Disable Audio Leveling

Disable Night Listening Mode

Roku also has a volume option that regulates sound across different scenes within a film or TV show. For example, it will lower loud action scenes, like explosions or gunfights, and boost the volume of dialogue.

This is meant to provide a less jarring viewing experience, similar to automatic volume leveling, but specifically within one piece of media. On Roku devices, it’s called ‘Night Listening Mode.’

To disable (or enable) it, follow these steps:

  • Press the Star (*) button during playback
  • Select Night Listening Mode (it may be called Volume Mode on some models)
  • Toggle it on or off.

Adjust Video Refresh

Another way to try and get audio back in sync with video is to tweak video settings, instead of audio.

If your device is struggling to keep up a certain level of playback speed over your internet connection, it’s possible that audio can slip out of sync because all the bandwidth is going toward streaming high-quality video.

To change this, follow these simple steps:

  • Press the Home button 5 times
  • Press the Rewind button 3 times
  • Press the Fast Forward button 2 times

A ‘bitrate override’ menu should now appear on your screen. Click Manual Selection, and try selecting a lower bitrate than what your current settings are on.

If this doesn’t solve your problem, you can try selecting a lower bitrate again and see if the audio syncs up.

Final Thoughts

There you go, a list of reliable fixes for the pretty common and very annoying issue of out-of-sync audio and video! Hopefully, at least one of these simple steps will work for you.

If none of them do, the next logical step would be to contact Roku support and ask for official advice. It may be that your device is malfunctioning, and needs to be repaired or replaced. Good luck!

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About James Potts

James is an amateur guitarist and home-recording enthusiast. He loves all things music related - writing songs, playing in a band, and finding the best ways to listen to it. It all interests him, from the history of acoustic guitars, to the latest Bluetooth headphones, to his (ever-growing) collection of vinyl records.

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