LE Audio is a new standard for Bluetooth that offers more options in many areas. A new codec can also increase battery life.
The Bluetooth SIG has some innovations to announce for the Bluetooth standard. The focus here is on LE Audio, which is intended to improve Bluetooth audio performance and offer expanded support. LE Audio, for example, has a new codec that is definitely a step up. LC3 is the new codec that, compared to the classic Bluetooth SBC codec, enables higher quality with up to 50% lower bit rates. This results in longer battery life or allows for smaller batteries with the same runtime. But there are many other improvements and innovations in different areas that LE Audio makes possible.
Multi-stream audio enables the transmission of several independent but fully synchronized audio streams between an audio source, for example a smartphone, and one or more audio output devices.
“Developers are using multi-stream audio to improve the performance of products like wireless headphones,” said Nick Hunn, chief technology officer for WiFore Consulting and chairman of the Bluetooth Headphones SIG Task Force. “For example, they can offer a better stereo experience. This also enables smooth use of voice assistant services, as well as seamless switching between multiple audio sources ”.
Improvements for people with hearing loss
Thanks to low power consumption, LE Audio supports high-sound quality headphones with multi-stream functionality. LE Audio will enable the development of Bluetooth hearing aids that will bring all the benefits of Bluetooth audio to the growing number of people with hearing loss.
“LE Audio will be one of the most important advancements for hearing aid and hearing implant users,” said Stefan Zimmer, Secretary General of the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA). “EHIMA engineers contributed their expertise to enhance the sound experience, especially for people with hearing loss. Most new smartphones and televisions will be able to be used with the same quality for hearing impaired users within a few years. “
The new sharing of audio through streaming is no less exciting. This can be used in different versions, which seems equally interesting for private users and larger institutions.
With LE Audio, the Bluetooth SIG announces Broadcast Audio. With this function, a transmitter can transmit sounds to an unlimited number of recipients. Streaming audio opens up entirely new opportunities for innovation, including audio sharing.
Bluetooth audio sharing can be both personal and location-based. Personal audio sharing allows people to share their Bluetooth audio experience with others around them, such as music from a smartphone with family and friends. Thanks to location-based audio sharing, public facilities such as airports, bars, gyms, cinemas, or conference centers can now use Bluetooth audio to enhance the visitor experience.