Recently, the Bluetooth Standards Body announced the completion of Bluetooth LE Audio, an umbrella term used for a set of new features for Bluetooth devices.
Under these new standards, we could see an improvement in power and sound and witness a new feature that allows us to connect ‘unlimited’ devices to a single source.
Bluetooth LE Audio
Although Bluetooth LE Audio was announced in 2020, its progress was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it has finally reached its end, allowing manufacturers to start adding support for the standards in their up-and-coming devices. Hence, we could see compatible devices roll out by the end of this year.
LE Audio Features
There are multiple elements to Bluetooth LE Audio, but the most exciting one is the LC3 codec, which is designed to be a more efficient way to transmit audio. Under this, we would notice higher audio quality at the same bit rate or better audio quality at less than half the bit rate. This could simultaneously reduce power consumption and increase battery life.
‘Auracast’ is one feature that could genuinely change the game, as it brings the ability to connect numerous audio devices to a single source. You could connect two pairs of headphones to one smartphone or pair multiple headphones to your laptop. Users could search for audio sources in multiple ways; you could scan a QR code, tap an NFC-enabled surface or connect as you would to a Wi-Fi network.
This feature was already available in other smartphones; Samsung’s Dual Audio is one example, which lets audio devices tune in to the same audio feed. However, now we could see it be incorporated into more devices.
There will also be support for Bluetooth hearing aids. Bluetooth LE will provide benefits like adjusting the hearing aid settings from connected devices while utilizing other features like power efficiency and customization.
The last thing that is left is whether or not it will be integrated into existing devices. While it may be possible to add support for Bluetooth LE Audio through updates in the present devices, most people might have to purchase better hardware.