Bluetooth SIG Announces New Bluetooth Standard For Audio

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group said the new standard is called LE (Low Energy) Audio and is designed to enhance the Bluetooth audio experience. It is a separate standard from Bluetooth 5.0 and includes a Broadcast Audio feature.

In 2019, professional audio manufacturers claimed their latest Bluetooth gear met professional standards. This included headphones for professional audio monitoring.

While attention has been focused on Bluetooth 5, LE Audio is a new and separate standard designed only for audio. LE Audio uses a new high-quality, but low-power audio codec called Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3), the Bluetooth SIG said. The new codec is designed to improve performance and reduce power consumption.

One new feature of LE Audio is Broadcast Audio, which is essentially universal audio sharing. This will allow for a device to broadcast multiple audio streams to different Bluetooth devices, such as headphones and earbuds. For instance, in a studio it could be used for a wireless headphones or allow one iPhone to transmit audio to three different pairs of earbuds.

The Bluetooth LE Audio standard creates a universal system for audio, expanding to a wide range of headphones and devices. Apple, a member of the Bluetooth SIG, has already enabled its own audio standard for earphones.

The Bluetooth SIG said that location-based audio sharing also means places such as “airports, bars, gyms, cinemas and conference centers” can offer shared Bluetooth audio features that “augment the visitor experience.”

Building on its low power and multi-stream capabilities, LE Audio adds support for hearing aids. The standard will enable the development of Bluetooth hearing aids that bring all the benefits of Bluetooth audio to the growing number of people with hearing loss.

LE Audio will enable the transmission of multiple audio streams. The Bluetooth SIG says that developers can use this multi-stream feature to improve performance of wireless earbuds and make it easier to switch between multiple paired devices.

The Bluetooth specifications that define LE Audio are expected to be released throughout the first half of 2020, the Bluetooth SIG said. 

You might also like...

“Eating The Mic” Remains A Major Problem In Recording

I often shoot video of bands in front of live audiences. It never ceases to amaze me how many performers ignore the rules of good microphone technique. They literally “eat the mic,” creating not only terrible sound quality but making it …

The Sponsors Perspective: How 5GHz Boosts Digital Wireless Intercom In Broadcast Applications

Development of new technology and moving to the newly available 5GHz spectrum continue to expand the creative and technical possibilities for audio across live performance and broadcast productions.

Audio Over IP Primer For Broadcast - Part 3

In Part 2 we looked at solutions to keep AoIP systems simple and discussed the compromise and efficiency vendor specific network systems provide. In Part 3, we look further into system management and network security.

Five Key Pro Audio Trends in 2020

As the price of professional audio equipment continues to fall and the sound quality rises, many pros enter 2020 with a renewed purpose to use the gear in more creative ways. With an increasing number of new users, creativity is driving…

Essential Guide: Microservices For Broadcasters

Computer systems continue to dominate the landscape for broadcast innovation and the introduction of microservices is having a major impact on the way we think about software. This not only delivers improved productivity through more efficient workflow solutions for broadcasters,…