Once you switch to OLED, it won’t come back. We certainly couldn’t, giving LG OLED our best TV buy recommendation, year-over-year, until Samsung finally caught up with its QN 90A Neo QLED in 2021.
As someone who owns a 2019 LG OLED C9, I am continually in awe of the vibrant colors and inky deep blacks. When going from an LCD TV, there really is no comparison. Well, aside from some recent mini-LED TVs. Unfortunately, there has been a major issue regarding my LG OLED C9, and that is the Dolby Atmos audio.
For whatever reason, when using Dolby Atmos with some devices, in my case an Xbox Series X console, there is significant audio lag. In games, lip syncing is lost for a good 1-2 seconds, which becomes irritating. Unfortunately, there’s no way to decrease the audio lag in settings, whether it’s on the TV, the soundbar, or the Xbox itself.
A Google search shows multiple Reddit threads and forums with users complaining about this exact problem. It appears to be largely limited to LG OLED TVs, regardless of model year, including the most recent LG C1 OLED. The problem appears to be more noticeable on Xbox Series X as well, although there is a lag on PS5, 4K Blu Ray players, and streaming apps. It just isn’t that significant.
“Otherwise, I love the TV, but it is a common problem with LG OLEDs and it is crazy to see that with a TV of more than $ 1500,” said the user. party in a Resetera forum thread.
It’s a sentiment that I share, as do many others who saved up for an LG OLED. Solutions to minimize audio lag include switching digital sound from Auto to Passthrough or turning Atmos off entirely to uncompressed 5.1. Of course, the problem here is that this solution removes some of the oomph that Dolby Atmos brings, especially when it comes to your 3D audio experience, as broken down in our Dolby Atmos Explained article. Switching from eARC to analog output via optical cable is also an option, but with significant audio quality issues.
The only solution I have found that works is for a two year old. Reddit thread. It requires a lot of specific manipulation between the TV’s internal speaker settings and the Dolby Atmos settings. Even then, the lag is still there, only less noticeable.
For Xbox Series X, a user on Foros AV notes that changing the audio format in the Xbox settings from Dolby Atmos to DTS can fix this annoying lag issue. The problem is that users lose 120Hz and variable refresh rate, which was the point of buying an LG OLED to begin with.
Reddit User CoopaPayaso suggested buying a Procesador de audio Thenaudio eARC, a $ 228 device that apparently reduces latency significantly. But that’s a great question for customers who have probably lost more than $ 2,000 on a TV and audio setup.
And that is the problem. With little communication from LG itself, users have to fend for themselves with half-baked solutions that only go so far. Unlike other brands, LG lacks a properly moderated community forum where customers can ask questions with LG technicians available with solutions. That’s opposed to Samsung, which has a large community forum with more than 12 million members and 24,000 threads.
Tom’s Guide has contacted LG regarding this issue, but has not yet received a response. After replying, we will update this article.
Until we get a response, users will have to keep fiddling with the settings or take more drastic action. In another AV Forums thread, the user BennyNL finally reached a breaking point:
“I gave up and returned the 65CX. I tried everything imaginable, I searched the internet for hours. Nothing helps ”.