If you’re wondering why the Roku Express audio out of sync, keep reading the guide ahead!
Diagnosing issues with the audio and video sync on your Roku Express is only possible after understanding what causes discrepancies in the output.
The Express can lose sync due to an issue with the current channel, improper audio settings, or a connected third-party device.
To fix audio sync issues with Roku Express, exit and reload the channel on your Roku and reinstall the streaming device from the TV. Also, set the audio setting to “Stereo” and reset the Roku Express to factory defaults.
Let’s learn more!
Why is the Roku Express Audio Not Syncing?
Audio and video syncing issues on your Roku Express are typically caused by improperly configured audio settings and malfunctioning speakers.
However, there are many other things involved, so it’s worth taking a while to explore everything:
Let’s proceed with the guide and explore reliable tips and resolutions for the issue!
Roku Express Audio Out of Sync – Easy Solutions
Tip: Follow the steps in consecutive troubleshooting order!
1. Exit & Reload the Roku Channel
The syncing issue may be caused by the Roku channel or broadcast currently being streamed on the Express.
So, the first solution is to return your Roku to the home page, wait until the temporal memory is fully cleared, and simply launch the channel you were attempting to stream.
Bonus Tip: Test On Other Channels!
If you’re unsure whether the issue is related to a single channel on your Roku, test on at least 5-7 different channels installed on your Express.
You can view all of the installed channels on your Roku Express by selecting the “Home” button on the remote control and scrolling down.
Tip: To reinstall channels, go to “Home” → “Channel Store” → “Installed Channels” on Roku.
2. Reconnect the Roku Express
The next step is to reconnect the Roku Express from the TV device, which will power cycle the streaming device and resolve issues with the audio sync.
A potential connection failure between the device and the monitor or TV could cause the audio and video output to lose sync.
Follow these steps to reconnect and power cycle the Roku Express:
- Disconnect the Roku Express’s USB cable from the TV or power.
- After that, disconnect the streaming device from the TV HDMI port.
- Next, wait for 60 seconds while the Roku Express is powered off.
- Reconnect the Roku Express’s USB into power and plug the unit.
- Verify that the correct HDMI source is selected and test the Roku.
Can I Power Roku Via TV USB Ports?
Powering the Roku Express through your TV’s in-built USB ports can lead to issues such as overheating or fluctuating electricity supply.
It is recommended to install the Express directly into an electrical outlet, primarily if it supports 4K and consumes a large amount of power.
Tip: Connect your Roku via power adapter directly to the electrical source!
3. Set Roku’s Format to “Stereo”
Although your Roku has few audio settings, you can modify the Digital Output Format through the streaming unit’s settings.
Setting the audio output to “Stereo” is a resilient solution to fluctuations in the audio output and the losses of sync, or muffled audio output.
Here’s how to set the Roku Express’s audio output setting to “Stereo:”
- Press the “Home” button on the Roku remote control.
- Go to the “Audio” and enter “Digital Output Format.”
- Select “Custom” and wait for the available format options.
- Set the Roku’s “Digital Audio Format” setting to “Stereo.”
- Save the changes and exit the settings configuration pane.
Tip: If there’s still desync after setting the Roku to “Stereo” mode, adjust the format to “Auto.”
4. Use Different TV HDMI Input
A potential fault with the HDMI input on your TV or monitor could result in the audio or the video playback falling behind, causing the bothersome desync.
It is strongly recommended to connect the Roku Express to a different TV input to address audio and video transfer issues, which helps in most situations.
To determine whether the desync is caused by improper data transfer, test the Roku Express on all available HDMI inputs on the back of the TV or monitor you’re viewing through.
Remember that the Roku Express will not function properly if connected to an HDMI ARC input on the TV!
Note: If using any HDMI extenders or connectors, remove them and connect the Roku directly.
5. Unplug Output Audio Devices
A potentially defective third-party audio device could be causing issues with your Roku Express’s audio sync.
So, the next step is to test the streaming unit while the in-built TV speakers are specified as the default audio output device within the settings configuration.
Third-party audio devices can connect with one of the following cables:
- HDMI (ARC) cable.
- Component cables
- RCA patch cables
Devices such as soundbars or 2:1/4:1 setups can be predominantly responsible for audio and video sync losses on your Roku Express.
The Roku uses the default audio device specified in the TV’s settings, so let’s learn how to specify the TV’s built-in speakers as the default device
- You can find the “Default Audio Device” within “Settings” → “System” → “Audio” tab in your TV’s settings.
Note: When ready, reboot your Roku Express and TV.
6. Connect Roku to Mobile Hotspot
Although rarely, the desync might be caused by an unstable internet connection, which will parallel with constant broadcast buffering.
To determine whether an unstable Wi-Fi connection causes the audio issue of your Roku Express, you must connect the device to a mobile hotspot.
How to Enable Hotspot On Mobile Device?
- On Android, go to Settings → “Cellular” → “Mobile Hotspot.”
- On iOS, go to Settings → “Mobile Data” → “Mobile Hotspot.”
Note: The mobile hotspot password will be required during the Roku’s wireless setup!
How to Connect Roku Express to Mobile Hotspot?
- Press the “Home” button on the Roku Express’s remote control.
- Enter the “Settings” tab and select “Network” from the options.
- Select “Set up connection” and choose the “Wireless” option.
- Keep the mobile device within a 10-15 feet radius of the Roku.
- Once discovered, select your mobile device’s hotspot network.
- Insert the Wi-Fi password for the hotspot and tap on “Connect.”
- Wait until the Roku Express establishes the wireless connection.
Note: If the Roku does not connect, reset your mobile network settings!
7. Reset Roku to Factory Defaults
Resetting the Roku Express to factory defaults is one of the most essential solutions to audio or video output issues.
So, the next step is to revert the Roku Express’s system settings to default values by starting the System Reset procedure through the settings of the Roku streaming unit.
Here’s how to factory reset the Roku Express in easy steps:
- Press the “Home” button on the Roku remote control.
- Scroll up or down and highlight the “Settings” section.
- Select “System” and go to “Advanced System Settings.”
- Choose “Factory Reset” and “Factory Reset Everything.”
- Finally, confirm the factory initialization of the Roku Express.
Once the factory reset begins, do not interact with the Roku Express until all system settings and installed content are initialized and reset.
Note: Remember that the Roku can reboot up to 3 times during the factory reset procedure, causing the TV’s screen to go black temporarily.
8. Replace the Roku’s HDMI Cable
The audio sync problem could come from your setup’s HDMI cable or HDMI port on your TV.
If you’ve already tried connecting your Roku Express to an alternative HDMI port on the TV and this didn’t work, the only possibility is that the HDMI cable is faulty.
Hence, if you have another HDMI cable at home, even if engaged in another setup, we recommend trying to use it.
Important: HDMI Cable’s Length
When streaming 4K content, the length of the HDMI cable connecting the TV and Roku Express is fundamental.
For UHD quality, you must use as short an HDMI cable as possible, where the maximum length you can have is 9.8 feet.
Otherwise, you will experience out-of-sync issues.
Tip: You can explore and order an HDMI cable here!
When Roku Express audio is out of sync, reload the channel and set Roku’s audio format to “Stereo.”
If the issue persists, unplug all external devices and perform a factory reset to reinstall the Roku’s operating system.
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Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues. Check out more about him here.