Le audio will enhance Bluetooth audio performance, increase support for hearing aids, and introduce audio sharing.

Las Vegas, Nevada – January 6, 2020 – twenty years ago, Bluetooth ® Cut audio lines and create a wireless audio market. Today, the Bluetooth special interest group (SIG) announced the upcoming release of the next generation Bluetooth audio Le audio. Le audio will not only enhance Bluetooth audio performance, but also increase support for hearing aids and enable “audio sharing”. This is a new use case, which is expected to change the way we experience audio and connect with the surrounding world again.

“Last year, Bluetooth audio products shipped nearly 1 billion, and wireless audio is the largest Bluetooth market,” said Mark Powell, CEO of Bluetooth SIG. “The launch of Le audio is a model of how the Bluetooth community can promote technology and product innovation and provide better and more powerful Bluetooth audio products.”

Bluetooth audio will soon support two operating modes. Le audio will run on a low-power Bluetooth (LE) radio, while classic audio will run on a Bluetooth classic radio (BR / EDR). Le audio will support the development of the same audio products and use cases as classic audio, and introduce new features to improve its performance and enable new features.

·Low complexity communication codec (LC3), which can achieve higher quality and lower power consumption. Le audio will include a new high-quality, low-power audio codec. LC3 can provide high quality even at low data rate. It will bring great flexibility to developers and enable them to make a better design compromise between key product attributes such as audio quality and power consumption.

“Extensive listening tests show that LC3 will improve audio quality over the SBC codec included with classic audio, even if the bit rate is reduced by 50%,” said Manfred Lutzky, director of communication audio at Fraunhofer IIS “Developers will be able to use this power saving function to develop products that can provide longer battery life, or reduce the size by using smaller batteries when the current battery life is sufficient.”

·Multi stream audio for better earplug effect. Multi stream audio will enable multiple independent synchronous audio streams to be transmitted between an audio source device (such as a smartphone) and one or more audio receiver devices.

“Developers will be able to use multi streaming audio to improve the performance of products like real wireless earplugs,” said Nick Hunn, CTO of wifore consulting and chairman of the Bluetooth SIG hearing aid working group. “For example, they can provide a better stereo imaging experience, make the use of voice assistant services more seamless, and make switching between multiple audio source devices smoother.”

·Bluetooth hearing aids for hearing impaired people. Le audio adds support for hearing aids based on its low power consumption, high quality and multi streaming functions. Bluetooth audio has brought huge benefits to most of the world’s population through wireless call, listening and viewing. Le audio will promote the development of Bluetooth hearing aids for more and more people

More people with hearing loss bring all the benefits of Bluetooth audio.

“Le audio will be one of the most important advances for hearing aid and hearing implant users,” said Stefan Zimmer, Secretary General of ehima, European Association of hearing instrument manufacturers “Ehima engineers have contributed their expertise to improve the audio experience, especially for people with poor hearing. As a result, within a few years, most new phones and TVs will be available to users with hearing loss.”

·Broadcast audio for audio sharing. Le audio will also add broadcast audio so that the audio source device can broadcast one or more audio streams to an unlimited number of audio receiver devices. Broadcast audio provides important new opportunities for innovation, including enabling the new Bluetooth use case “audio sharing”. Bluetooth audio sharing can be personal or location-based. Through personal audio sharing, people will be able to share Bluetooth audio experience with others around them; For example, share music on your smartphone with family and friends. With location-based audio sharing, public places such as airports, bars, gyms, cinemas and conference centers can now share Bluetooth audio to enhance the visitor experience.

“Location based audio sharing has the potential to change the way we experience the world around us,” said Peter Liu of Bose and members of the Bluetooth SIG board. “For example, people will be able to choose audio broadcast by silent television in public places, while places such as theatres and lecture halls will be able to share audio to help visitors reduce their hearing and provide multilingual audio.”

Availability and more

The Bluetooth specification defining Le audio is expected to be released in the first half of 2020.

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