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How to correct group playback delay

To enjoy great group playback, all the speakers in the group need to play in sync. Different speaker models that are compatible with Chromecast Audio may have an inherent playback delay due to their unique design. One speaker’s playback delay may cause the group playback to sound out of sync.

To provide a great group playback experience, Chromecast Audio has a setting to correct a speaker’s inherent delay.

Important: For most speakers, the inherent delay is extremely short, so group playback will be in sync without any additional adjustments. Please DO NOT adjust the group delay correction unless you notice a consistent, significant delay. Please refer to “Tips for group delay correction” below for further details.

Note: The group delay correction setting only affects group playback. This setting will have no effect when casting to a single speaker.

How to correct group playback delay

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Group delay correction adjustments should only be made while music is casting to the group. This allows you to immediately hear the changes you’ve made.

  1. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
  2. In the upper right corner of the home screen, tap Devices  to see your available Chromecast Audio devices and Chromecast built-in speakers. 
  3. In the top right corner of the device you'd like to correct group playback delay, tap the device card menu  > Settings.
  4. To adjust Group delay correction, 
    1. Look for Group delay correction. The setting will show the current delay. To adjust the delay, tap Group delay correction.
  5. Stand between the out-of-sync speakers (or as close to in between as you can) and adjust their volume levels so you hear them both playing at about the same level (see “Tips for Group delay correction” below for best practices on when adjusting the delay).
  6. Move the slider to the left or right to help correct the speaker’s delay.

Note: A speaker’s group delay correction setting will be applied to all the groups that the speaker is a part of. If you connect a Chromecast Audio device to another speaker, the previous group delay correction setting might be incorrect. Make sure to reset it to ‘0’ delay again and listen to see if additional correction is required.

Tips for Group delay correction

How do I know if I should correct a group delay?

Ask yourself the following questions to decide if you should correct a group delay:

  1. Is the out-of-sync playback consistent across different group playback sessions? (Or was it a single session?)
  2. Is the out-of-sync playback consistent during the group playback sessions? (Or is it just a temporary glitch?)
  3. Is the out-of-sync playback distinguishable in large areas of your home? (Or is it happening in a very specific area?)
  4. Does the out-of-sync playback prevent you from enjoying the music?

If questions (1) & (2) are true, one of your speakers has an inherent delay that can be corrected.
If questions (3) & (4) are also true, you should try to correct the group delay.

How do I know which speaker should I correct?

You should always increase the group delay correction for the speaker that is playing last. 
You can identify that by:

  1. Casting to the group and trying to distinguish which speaker is playing last (works well if the difference is big).
  2. Choosing one of the speakers and start to increase the delay correction. If the sync improves, continue with this speaker. If the sync gets worse, set the delay back to ‘0’ and switch to one of the other speakers.
How do I know what is the correct adjustment?

Please follow these steps to ensure correct adjustment:

  1. Group delay correction adjustments should only be made while music is casting to the group. This allows you to immediately hear the changes you’ve made.
  2. If the group includes more than 2 speakers, start by choosing 2 speakers that are out-of-sync, and mute the rest.  
  3. Stand between the out-of-sync speakers (or as close to in between as you can), and adjust their volume levels so your hear them both approximately at the same level. 
  4. Start increasing the delay correction to the speaker that is playing last (see tip 2 above on how to identify this speaker), until playback is in sync.
  5. Repeat these steps if further adjustments are needed. 
What is a common delay for my speaker/soundbar/receiver?

Speaker delays vary between different models.

The following are typical numbers for specific categories:

  • Speakers: 0-40ms - but typically no delay
  • Soundbars: 0-80ms - inherent delays are common
  • Receivers: 0-70ms - inherent delays are common

Note: The above numbers provide some common values. Some models' delays may be outside of the typical range.

Note: Multi-room group creation functionality is only available on a phone or tablet. This feature is not supported from the Chrome browser. However, you can still cast to a group from Chrome.