Once you’ve gone OLED, it won’t come back. We certainly couldn’t give our best LG OLED TV to buy recommendation, year after year, until Samsung finally absorbed the QN 90A Neo QLED in 2021.
As someone who owns a LG OLED C9 from 2019, I’ve always been in awe of the vibrant colors and deep blacks. Judging from an LCD TV, there’s really no comparison. Well, apart from some recent LED TVs. Unfortunately, there was a major sticking point regarding the LG OLED C9, and that was Dolby Atmos audio.
For whatever reason, when using Dolby Atmos with some devices, in my case, the Xbox Series X console, there is a significant audio delay. In games, lip sync fades for 1-2 seconds, which becomes annoying. Unfortunately, there’s no way to reduce audio delay in the settings, whether it’s on the TV, the speaker, or the Xbox itself.
A Google search brings up several Reddit threads and forums with users complaining about this exact issue. It appears to be largely limited to LG OLED TVs, regardless of model year, including the latest LG C1 OLED. The problem also seems to be more pronounced on the Xbox Series X, although there is a delay in PS5 players, 4K Blu Ray players, and streaming apps. It’s not nearly as important.
“I like TV otherwise, but it’s a common problem with LG OLEDs and it’s crazy to see that with a $1,500+ TV,” said one user on the Resetera forum.
It’s a sentiment I share, as do many others who have saved up for LG OLED. Solutions to reduce audio lag include changing digital audio from automatic to traversal or turning off Atmos completely for uncompressed 5.1. Of course, the problem here is that this solution removes some of the appeal that Dolby Atmos brings, particularly in terms of the 3D audio experience, as described in our article on Dolby Atmos. Switching from eARC to analog via an optical cable is also an option, but one that has major drawbacks in sound quality.
The only solution I’ve found that kind of works is from a 2 year old Reddit thread. It requires a lot of specific fiddling between the TV’s internal speaker settings and Dolby Atmos settings. Even then, the delay is still present, but it is less noticeable.
For the Xbox Series X, a user on the AV forums points out that by switching the audio format in the Xbox settings from Dolby Atmos to DTS, this annoying lag issue can be fixed. The problem is that users lose out at 120Hz and a variable refresh rate, which is what the LG OLED was intended to buy to begin with.
Reddit user CoopaClown suggested buying the Thenaudio eARC sound processor, a $228 device that appears to reduce latency dramatically. But this is a huge demand for customers who are likely to drop more than $2,000 on their TV and audio setup.
And that’s the problem. With so few connections from LG itself, users are left to fend for themselves with half-baked solutions that don’t go away. Unlike other brands, LG lacks a properly moderated community forum where customers can ask questions with LG technicians who are available with solutions. This is in contrast to Samsung, which has a large community forum with over 12 million members and 24,000 threads.
Tom’s guide has reached out to LG regarding this issue but has yet to receive a response. When we respond, we will update this article.
Until we get a response, users will have to keep fiddling with the settings or take more drastic steps. In another AV forum thread, user BennyNL finally reached a breaking point:
“I gave up and reset the 65CX. Tried everything imaginable, searched the internet for hours. Nothing helped.”