Bluetooth unveils LE Audio

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced its new generation of Bluetooth audio, LE Audio, designed to add support for hearing aids and the enabling of audio sharing, a new use case that is designed to overhaul how users consume and experience audio.

Bluetooth Audio will support two operation modes, with LE Audio operating on the Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) radio in addition to Classic Audio operated on the Bluetooth Classic radio. 

LE Audio will introduce Multi-Stream Audio, which allows the transmission of multiple independent and synchronised audio streams between audio source device such as a smart device in addition to one or more audio sink devices. 

Broadcast Audio will also be added to LE Audio, enabling an audio source device to broadcast one or more audio streams to an unlimited number of audio sink devices.

Bluetooth audio sharing can be personal or location based, with personal audio sharing allowing users to share Bluetooth audio with other users around them while location-based audio sharing allows public venues such as airports, gyms and conference centres to share Bluetooth audio with visitors. 

Support for hearing aids will be added with LE Audio, enabling the development of Bluetooth hearing aids that benefit Bluetooth audio features such as wireless calling, listening and watching. 

LE Audio will also introduce LC3, a low-power audio codec that allows developers to make design tradeoffs between product attributes such as audio quality and power consumption. 

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