Are you watching your favorite show or movie on HBO Max and the audio lags or doesn’t sync, ruining the entire viewing experience? It can be easily fixed by making a few alterations.
Recently, I was streaming Rush Hour 2 on my HBO Max, and, to my surprise, the sound went out of sync. At first, I thought it might be a temporary issue, but even after restarting the app and later the TV the audio continued to lag and was completely out of sync.
Later, after checking if the out-of-sync problem was unique to one movie, I tried playing Wonder Woman 84, Babylon 5, Tacoma FD, and I saw the issue spreading like wildfire.
Initially, I thought it must be the soundbar, but when I tried to stream videos through other apps on my TV, they were working perfectly fine. So I started researching the issue on social media, forums and contacted HBO Max support.
In addition to me, there were several other users who were having the same issue. All of them reported that when they are watching movies on their HBO Max the sound lags and goes out of sync, resulting in the complete lip-sync being ruined.
I contacted HBO Max support but they said they are working on it, which was not an immediate help and I decided to dig deeper into it since it was making me curious as to how this can occur on some videos but not others.
Table of Contents
Why is my HBO Max Audio Out of Sync ?
According to initial research, the issue is mainly affecting users who are using a soundbar or external audio. However, it is reported on PCs, Smart TVs, mobile devices, Xbox, and Roku. Strangely, the iPad does not have the issue, but the Apple TV does.
HBO Max strives to provide high-quality content and seeing the pattern of affected content, it was all released at very high quality on HBO Max, resulting in audio synchronization glitches when being viewed on external speakers or soundbars.
HBO Max audio goes out of sync due to a glitch that can conflict with the audio codecs of the device, causing the sound to lag while playing any video, or due to internet issues or settings of the device.
In the following sections, I’ve outlined all the steps you need to perform on your device to resolve this issue.
How To Fix HBO Max Sound Out of Sync Issue?
It was my soundbar HDMI cable which I replaced with an optical cable and changed the audio output on my TV. I did this because I thought that if the picture is working fine in high quality but the sound is out of sync, then the audio data could be messing up.
It might be different for you depending on the device you are using such as if you are experiencing this issue on Xbox, Apple TV, PC, smartphone, tablet, Roku, etc.
You will be able to find out what was the main reason behind it and it will be fixed by the end of the guide because I have organized the resolutions in such a way that will narrow down the root cause.
- Restart HBO Max App
- Power Cycle Device and Router Internet
- Switch Audio Output
- Change Audio Settings
- Reduce HBO Max Streaming Quality Manually
Restart HBO Max App
Ensure this isn’t a temporary glitch first, and try closing and re-opening the HBO Max app in that case.
In some cases, we may encounter audio out of sync when the device met with a minor glitch, which we cannot see directly, but on a base, the level has an effect on the opened app.
If that is the case, closing the app and opening it again after a few minutes will work.
Power Cycle Device and Router Wifi
As a second step, you should do a proper power cycle of your device and router wifi if relaunching the app did not improve the situation.
If there are any incomplete sync data or glitches on the device, and if there are any conflicts with the router, this will fix them.
If you are not aware, a power cycle is not a simple reboot. It is when we remove the power cable or turn off the device and then turn it on again after at least 3-5 minutes.
Switch Audio Output
If restarting your HBO Max app, device, and router doesn’t resolve the issue and you still experience audio lags, then the problem may be with your soundbar or device’s connection.
HBO Max out of sync mostly occurs when using HDMI, ARC, and external speakers or soundbars.
The reason it happens most of the time is that the HDMI cable is either incompatible (poor quality) or faulty, which causes the Audio/Video data transfer to be incomplete.
For me, I replaced my HDMI with an Optical cable, which fixed the problem. Alternatively, you can switch the audio output to a different receiver or port, or you can replace the cable.
Temporary Fix: You can use your Airpods. By connecting your Airpods to the device on which you are streaming HBO Max, you will be able to hear perfectly sync audio.
Change Audio Settings
Depending on the device, you can try tweaking your Audio settings, as most of the time, it is either an incorrectly configured Dolby Atmos or another compressed uncompressed feature that leads to this kind of problem.
Reduce HBO Max Streaming Quality
Although it is not a permanent fix, HBO Max works in such a way that it tries to push the maximum quality content which often is not compatible with the device, resulting in such a problem.
So, It is possible to solve the audio lag problem on HBO Max by manually lowering the streaming quality.
Wrapping It Up
These were the possible reasons why HBO Max is out of sync and causing out-of-sync audio.
In fact, it is quite irritating, and once it occurs, we will not want to continue watching our shows or movies, as it spoils the moment and sometimes even gives spoilers.
As a conclusion, here’s what you should do if your HBO Max app is experiencing audio out of sync:
- Restart the HBO Max App
- Do a proper power cycle of the device and your Wifi router
- Clear Cache and Cookies of your Device
- Change Audio Settings
- Replace the HDMI cable or turn off external Audio settings
- Try reducing streaming quality
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Kazhiko Kuro is the Founder of StreamingStash.com. Over a span of 8+ years, He has tested, researched, and written hundreds of articles and guides on how to fix common issues with TVs, streaming media players, streaming services, and related devices. See our Editorial Guidelines and Content Integrity.