Once you switch to OLED, you won’t be able to go back. We certainly couldn’t, by awarding our best LG OLED TV, a buy recommendation year after year until Samsung finally caught up with its QN 90A Neo QLED in 2021.
As the owner of a 2019 LG OLED C9, I am continually in awe of the vibrant colors and deep inky blacks. Starting with an LCD TV, there is really no comparison. Well, other than some recent mini LED TVs. Unfortunately, there has been one major sticking point regarding my LG OLED C9, and that is Dolby Atmos audio.
For some reason when using Dolby Atmos with some devices, in my case an Xbox Series X console, there is significant audio delay. In games, lip sync feels bad for 1 to 2 seconds, which becomes squeaky. Unfortunately, there is no way to reduce the audio delay in the settings, whether on the TV, the soundbar, or the Xbox itself.
A Google search shows several Reddit and forum threads with users complaining about this specific issue. It seems largely limited to LG OLED TVs regardless of the model year, including the newer LG C1 OLED. The problem also appears to be most noticeable on Xbox Series X, although there is a lag on PS5, 4K Blu Ray players, and streaming apps. It just isn’t that important.
“I like the TV in other ways, but it’s a common problem with LG’s OLEDs and it’s crazy to see that with a TV over $ 1,500,” the user said. fight on a thread on the Resetera forum.
It’s a sentiment I share, as do many others who have saved up for an LG OLED. Solutions to minimize audio lag include changing digital audio from Auto to Passthrough or completely disabling Atmos for uncompressed 5.1. Of course, the problem here is that this solution takes away some of the oomph that Dolby Atmos brings, especially when it comes to its 3D audio experience, as discussed in our Dolby Atmos Explained article. Switching from eARC output to analog output via an optical cable is also an option, but with significant drawbacks in terms of audio quality.
The only solution I have found for this kind of work is that of a two year old child. Reddit thread. It requires a lot of specific manipulation between the settings of the internal TV speakers and the Dolby Atmos settings. Even then, the delay is still present, just less noticeable.
For Xbox Series X, a user on Audiovisual forums points out that switching the audio format in Xbox settings from Dolby Atmos to DTS may fix this annoying delay issue. The problem is, users lose 120Hz and a variable refresh rate, which was the point of buying an LG OLED to begin with.
Reddit user CoopaClown suggested to buy a Thenaudio eARC audio processor, a $ 228 device that appears to reduce latency considerably. But it’s a big demand for customers who have probably lost over $ 2,000 on a TV and audio setup.
And that’s the problem. With little communication from LG itself, users are left on their own with half-baked solutions that don’t go far. Unlike other brands, LG does not have a properly moderated community forum where customers can ask questions of LG technicians available with solutions. This pits Samsung, which has a large community forum with over 12 million members and 24,000 discussion threads.
Tom’s Guide has contacted LG regarding this issue but has not yet received a response. After response, we will update this article.
Until we get a response, users will have to keep changing settings or take more drastic action. On another AV forums thread, user BennyNL finally reaches a breaking point:
“I gave up and returned the 65CX. I tried everything imaginable, searched the internet for hours. Nothing helped.”
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