With LE Audio, the Bluetooth® developer community has created a completely new audio architecture that will not only offer new features and support new use cases, but it will also help to improve the lives of people with hearing loss and introduce a new generation of hearing aids and assistive listening systems.

Bluetooth SIG Presents LE Audio Potentials at EUHA Congress

Thanks to lower energy consumption and higher sound quality with multi-stream functionality, Bluetooth® LE Audio can provide added support for hearing aids. At the Digital Future Friday on 9 October 2020, Ken Kolderup, Chief Marketing Officer at the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), presented the potential for this new audio standard to industry experts. 

Challenges for Bluetooth Audio in Hearing Aids

The existing support of Bluetooth® technology in hearing aids is based on proprietary implementations of hearing aid manufacturers. As a result, compatibility with different smartphone operating systems is sometimes limited. By standardizing the support for Bluetooth technology in hearing aids, LE Audio will enable true global interoperability between hearing aids and platform devices.

By standardizing the support for Bluetooth technology in hearing aids, LE Audio will enable true global interoperability.

This will enable those with hearing loss to enjoy the same benefits of Bluetooth audio as users of standard Bluetooth headphones and earphones.

Involved in the development from the very beginning, the hearing aid industry, along with EHIMA, was integral to making the many advantages of Bluetooth technology widely available to hearing aid users. LE Audio is a completely new audio architecture that will bring immense benefits to people with hearing loss.

Reduced Energy Consumption

To enable wireless transmission of the audio signal, it has to be compressed. For example, while the previous standard, the SBC codec available in Classic Audio, enabled a reduction from 1.5 Mbps to 345 Kbps, the new Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3) can compress that same audio stream to 192 Kbps. Thanks to LC3, LE Audio will therefore be able to transmit audio signals in higher quality at half the bitrate, which also means half the energy consumption. Hearing aid manufacturers can use the energy savings achieved by LE Audio to design hearing aids with longer battery life or reduce the form factor by using a smaller battery.

Assistive Listening Systems (ALS)

Without LE Audio, only one-to-one audio connections are possible via Bluetooth® technology. Thanks to Bluetooth Audio Sharing, LE Audio will offer one-to-many connections in the future. This means that one transmitter can simultaneously transmit to an unlimited number of devices.

Hearing aid manufacturers can use the energy savings achieved by LE Audio to design hearing aids with longer battery life or reduce the form factor.

With Bluetooth Audio Sharing, audio signals can be streamed, for example, from the TV to several headphones or directly to the hearing aid use at individual volume levels. Soundtracks in public venues, such as cinemas, concert halls, conference rooms, or theaters, will be received directly to the hearing aid user. The same will also be possible in public transport: notifications regarding changes to tracks on platforms, departure information at the airport, or the announcement of the next station on the subway could be streamed directly into the hearing aid.

Thanks to Bluetooth Audio Sharing, wherever there are announcements – from trade fairs to airports – transmitters can be installed whose signals are received by Bluetooth headphones and hearing aids. As such, many are regarding LE Audio as the successor technology to the T-coil.

Hearing Aids Turn Blue

“Bluetooth® LE Audio will be one of the most significant advances for hearing aid and hearing implant users,” said Dr. Stefan Zimmer, Secretary General of the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA). LE Audio makes it possible to integrate the same functionality of wireless headphones into hearing aids. In addition, LE Audio will make it easier and safer for hearing aid users to navigate their daily lives.

FEATURED INNOVATION

LE Audio

Building on 20 years of innovation, LE Audio will not only enhance the performance of Bluetooth audio, but will bring all its benefits to people with hearing loss. LE Audio will also introduce Audio Sharing, an innovative new Bluetooth use case with the potential to once again change the way we connect with each other and experience the world around us.

LEARN MORE

How LE Audio Empowers Xiaomi to Enhance the Audio Experience

Over two decades ago, the emergence of Bluetooth® technology created the wireless audio market,…

New Core Specification v5.3 Feature Enhancements

One of the key reasons why Bluetooth® technology has emerged as the global wireless…

Bluetooth® Core Specification Version 5.3 Feature Enhancements

Bluetooth® Core Specification version 5.3 includes several feature enhancements with the potential to improve…

Analysts Predict LE Audio Will Drive New Growth for Bluetooth Audio Devices

Thanks to its ability to enhance Bluetooth® audio performance, support a new generation of…

Bluetooth LE Audio Technology: Faster And More Efficient

Bluetooth LE Audio The connection type of the future. What is Bluetooth LE Audio? here are…

How Bluetooth Technology Supports Hearing Accessibility

Wireless audio is the largest Bluetooth® solution area, and, though mature, members of the…

Bluetooth shipments to reach six billion by 2025

Annual shipments of Bluetooth-enabled devices are set to top six billion by 2025, according…

Bluetooth® Technology: The Swiss Army Knife of Low-Power Wireless Technologies

Since its inception, Bluetooth® technology has undergone many enhancements and changes that have allowed…

Revealed: New Trends Driving the Future of Bluetooth® Technology

Watch Chuck Sabin, Senior Director, Market Development for the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG),…

Bluetooth Technology for Audio - When Technology Meets Market Demand

In this webinar, UL and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group explore the most recent…

The Future of Bluetooth Hearing Aids: How LE Audio Will Revolutionize the Way You Hear the World

Imagine walking into an airport and tapping a prompt on your smartphone. Immediately, your…

The Future of Bluetooth is Faster, More Flexible, and Sounds Great

If it feels like time is spinning faster and faster than ever before, you…

2021 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

Bluetooth Market Research Note - Assistive Hearables

Bluetooth Market Research Notes provide in-depth analysis of trends and forecasts highlighted in the…

2020 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

Bluetooth Core Specification Version 5.2 Feature Overview

This document summarizes and explains the three primary updates in Bluetooth Core Specification version…

 Get Help