Sound delays, lags and audio latency in Windows 10

Almost every action in Windows 10 is followed by a sound, especially on laptops. Now, what if you are experiencing a noticeable delay in that sound? I am not talking about a delay of a minute, but noticeable which could be 1-2 seconds. If that’s the case, in this post, we will offer a solution which can fix sound delays on a Windows 10 PC.

Sound Delay and Windows 10

Before we go ahead, let’s understand the reason behind the delay. According to Microsoft Low Latency delay is a routine in Windows 10, but it should not be noticeable. Before Windows 10, the latency of the Audio Engine was equal to ~12ms-~6ms, which is now reduced to 1.3ms for all applications.

Before Windows 10, this buffer was always set to ~10ms. Starting with Windows 10, the buffer size is defined by the audio driver. Bingo! So it’s not just Windows 10 responsible, but it is also the driver.

The good news is that Microsoft also says that If an application needs to use small buffers, then it needs to use the new AudioGraph settings or the WASAPI IAudioClient3 interface, to do so. However, if one application changes it, it will be applicable for all the apps. More on the official page.

Audio latency in Windows 10

Somebody reported this in our TWC forum as well, and when we researched a bit, it ultimately led me to an application which works in the background to reduce the latency.

The application is called REal or REduce Audio Latency. It is available at Github – but needs some skill to install it. It will work well with the High Definition Audio Device offered by Microsoft. To use it, you will have to:

  1. Run it directly from the Command prompt.
  2. Install HDAudio driver and run it.

1] Run REal or REduce Audio Latency from Command prompt

Sound delays, lags and audio latency in Windows 10

Once you download the application, open the location in the Command prompt. Type Real.exe –tray. This will keep the application running in the background. It will enable minimum auto latency enabled on the default playback device.

2] Install HDAudio driver and run it

Sound delay occurs on Windows 10 PC

  1. Use Win +X and then click on the Device Manager.
  2. Under Sound, video and game controllers, right click and select Update Driver.
  3. Next, Browse my computer for driver software -> Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.
  4. Select High Definition Audio Device and click Next.
  5. If a window titled “Update Driver warning” appears, click Yes.
  6. Select Close.
  7. If asked to reboot the system, select Yes to reboot.

You should know that the new driver might reset your volume to uncomfortably high levels.

You can download this tool from the Github page. The project was updated on April 14th, 2019.

Related read: Troubleshoot Windows 10 Sound and Audio problems.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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