Audio delay using Plugable Bluetooth USB Adapter

I have a Plugable USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter and Audio Technica bluetooth headphones. My system is Windows 10 (all latest updates installed, very clean install), Skylake 3.3GHz i5, 32GB DDR4 RAM, Samsung 950 Pro m.2 SSD (top of the line). I’ve never had another bluetooth device connected to the computer so there are no other/residual bluetooth drivers from another device. I installed the adapter into a USB port and let Windows 10 install drivers. I didn’t mess with any settings.

There is about a 0.2 second delay in the audio compared to the displayed video. This happens in all applications (games, browser, etc). There is no delay if I use a 3.5mm audio cable or my USB sound card.

Any solution for eliminating the audio delay?

Hi Chris,

Thank you for posting about your Bluetooth adapter. I’m sorry for the delay issues with it.

Generally when we see delay it is either due to something happening in the computer between the source of the sound and the Bluetooth adapter, or due to radio interference in the vicinity of the adapter.

The computer has to do much more processing for Bluetooth, and this can introduce a delay.

The solution depends on the cause of the problem. I have a few quick questions:

  1. How far is the adapter from the receiving device?
  2. Is the adapter plugged into the desktop computer?
  3. Is the adapter plugged into a USB 3.0 port?


Plugable Support

Thanks for getting back to me. The adapter is about 3 feet away from the receiving device. The adapter is plugged into a USB 3.0 port on the top/front of the desktop computer.

Processing power, I have a hard time believing. It’s a 6th gen 3.3GHz i5 quad core desktop processor, Z170 chipset, 32GB 2133MHz DDR4 RAM, all solid state drives. CPU utilization is rarely above 10% per the task manager.

Radio interference, possibly. Although I don’t experience any stuttering, or cut outs. I use hardwire Ethernet throughout my house to minimize wifi interference. My Wifi access point operates in 5ghz mode only (no 2.4ghz). I’m not aware of any other 2.4ghz devices in the vicinity.

I’ll take any advice I can get but I plan on trying the following troubleshooting tips:

  1. Uninstall the built-in Windows 10 drivers and install the drivers from the Plugable website.
  2. Try the Plugable USB adapter in another computer and see if there is any delay.
  3. Buy a USB Bluetooth adapter from Best Buy and see if that has any delay.

Hi Chris,

Thank you for your message.

A Bluetooth adapter just acts as a radio conduit for the information given it to send by the software in the computer. As such, it operates very quickly. Any lag would be caused by a software, processing, or radio interference issue. Some lag is always present with Bluetooth because of the processing necessary, but it typically happens fast enough that it isn’t noticeable.

It seems likely that the processor isn’t the issue. So I think we should focus on interference.

The best way to check is to use a USB 2.0 extension cable six feet long or so (like this one: to move the adapter away from the computer and into line of sight with the receiving device.

Some quick points about your troubleshooting plans:

Bluetooth doesn’t troubleshoot like most devices, where you can swap devices from computer to computer or check against known good devices, due to the sensitivity of Windows to any conflict among Bluetooth drivers.

  1. Please don’t uninstall the Windows drivers. The drivers from the website needs them. However, this is not likely to affect the problem, since the drivers on the website add some capabilities, but wouldn’t improve something that is already working. They won’t help lag.

  2. Plugging the adapter into another computer could cause problems for the other computer if it already has a Bluetooth adapter installed and Windows installs the Plugable driver over the existing adapter’s drivers. If the other computer has never had a Bluetooth adapter, then it would be OK.

  3. Buying and installing another adapter can also cause problems unless all the drivers from the Plugable adapter are removed first.

A better plan would be first to eliminate radio interference as the cause, then if that doesn’t help, we will test an adapter here for lag and send it as a replacement.

Also, if at any time, you would rather not continue troubleshooting, let us know, and we can issue a refund and send a prepaid label for returning the adapter.

Thank you,
Plugable Support

Thanks for the response.

I tried using a USB extension cable and plugging it into a USB 2.0 port. No improvement in the audio lag, even if I place the Bluetooth adapter inches away from the headphones. I also tried plugging the adapter into my monitor’s built-in USB hub. No change. I confirmed the headphones are fine because there is no lag if I try the headphones with my iPhone’s Bluetooth. During testing, the CPU utilization was around 3%. Not sure what else to do at this point. I’m willing to try a replacement.

Hi Chris,
Thank you for checking all that.

If you will send an email to our address with your Amazon order number and preferred shipping address, we will test an adapter and send it to you. If that doesn’t work, we can offer a full refund.

Thank you,

Plugable Support

Hi Chris,

I haven’t heard back on this yet, some I’m just checking back to see if you still want that replacement.

we afre the same problem of cris

Hi Eulogio,

Thank you for posting. Could you please contact us directly at about this? Thanks!