Question Audio Lag/Latency

Jul 7, 2021
Hi all

I have audio lag on my laptop, and was hoping someone might be able to help me out. Laptop specs are as follows:

Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-53
Intel Core i7-10750H
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit
512GB M.2 NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD,
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB Graphics

I get audio lag when watching Netflix, Youtube, even on downloaded content watched on VLC. I have tried all the following fixes but nothing worked:

Updated Realtek audio drivers
Uninstalled Realtek audio and used the default Microsoft audion driver
Disabled Sound Enhancement
Changed the Bitrate
Disabled exclusive mode
Tried different browsers
With/without headphones
Updated BIOS

I even sent it off to Acer, who said they'd fixed the issue (it was them who updated the BIOS), but the audio lag is still there.

Any suggestions?

Thanks all.
Jul 7, 2021
Is this a new machine or a machine you had for a while that suddenly developed the lag? If you look at your Windows update history, do you see an update that corresponds in time to when the problem started?
It's a brand new laptop (as of February 2021). Unfortunately, I can't check the update history right now.

Another thing I remembered, I don't have any audio lag when using Zoom.
That's where is is useful to see if you can tie the problem to a specific update. Here's what I would do (in order);
  • Try to tie the issue to a specifc update, as I mentioned earlier.
  • Search on several forums to see if others had a similar problem and, if so, how they fixed it. Especially focus on the Acer forum.
  • Make sure all windows updates are installed (also check if there are optional updates related to audio/video). Check Acer support for any updates.
  • Try to roll back the audio/video drivers to earlier versions.
  • Do a clean reinstall of Windows. This is a drastic step as you will need to reinstall EVERYTHING.
Jul 7, 2021
I forgot to mention I also did a factory reset and it didn't work. I've also been on the Acer forum but didn't get much advice beyond driver update and being told that Windows says audio lag on Netflix is a windows update issue. But I'm having audio lag on Youtube and even on downloaded content (VLC).

I'll take a look at the windows update history tomorrow.

Thanks for the advice.
Jul 7, 2021
An update:

I've supplied four Google Drive links to show the kind of thing I an experiencing (you may have to turn the volume up - I recorded this with my phone):

Just received my laptop off Acer (for a second time), and they couldn't fix it. What is more, because Acer cannot replicate the audio lag in their shop (so there is nothing to fix as far as they see it), they said they are not going to reimburse me with a replacement laptop or a cash refund. And I took out a 3 year extended warranty too. And the laptop is barely 7 months old. So right now, it seems I have a £1,350 laptop and I can't watch Netflix, Youtube, the Sky Sports app, pretty much everything.

The last two audo lag examples happened right after I reformatted my SSD and installed a clean install of Windows 10 (i.e. there was no pre-loaded software interfering from a factory reset install).

Here are the fixes that have been attempted but did not fix the audio lag issue:

  • Tried different browsers (Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox)
  • With and without headphones
  • Reset to factory defaults
  • Complete reformat and 'clean' reinstall of Windows* (with no pre installed factory settings)*
  • Tried numerous options in 'Sound Panel'
  • Reinstalled drivers (both audio and video)
  • Uninstalled all audio drivers and used just the Microsoft default, audio driver
  • Disabled wi-fi and only used the ethernet cable
  • Acer updated the BIOS
  • Removed all extensions from chrome
  • Removed all traces of NVIDIA drivers with DDU and reinstalled
  • Turned off Fast Boot (and in BIOS)
  • Checked Windows Update for optional downloads
* Frustratingly, immediately after reformatting the drive and doing a clean install of Windows, the audio lag disappeared. But it soon came back, and I removed the three software programmes that might have caused the issue - but the audio lag remained.

I wanted to boot in safe mode with internet and audio. I can get internet, but not audio, so that was no good.

I am running out of troubleshooting options.