Music to your ears: Meet the new Bluetooth LE Audio standard

·1-min read
Bluetooth LE Audio should considerably improve the wireless transmission of music.

Unveiled at CES 2020, the new Bluetooth LE Audio wireless standard should be coming to many connected devices by the end of the year. Based on low-power Bluetooth, it is fueled by a new codec promising improved sound quality, as well as the ability to broadcast audio to several peripherals at once.

Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio has been developed to transmit high-quality sound to one or several sources, all while keeping power use to a minimum. It debuts a new Low Complexity Communications Codec, or LC3, ensuring high-quality audio no matter what the source output. In terms of usage, this new standard will facilitate the simultaneous broadcast of music to several speakers, for example.

This is, in fact, a particularly interesting feature of the new standard, as transmitting multiple synchronized audio streams could prove a highly practical function. It will, for example, let users play music on several speakers. And, for wireless headphones, Bluetooth LE Audio will make it possible to send stereo streams, with one for the left ear, and one for the right ear. Other, more surprising applications could also be envisaged, such as sending audio streams to compatible hearing aid devices, with a different level to suit each ear's needs.

The first compatible devices are expected on the market in the latter half of 2021.

David Bénard

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