From 5G-enabled smartphones that double as pro-level cameras and gaming devices to connected vehicles and cities to the technology behind the smart factories, you interact with products and technologies made possible by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. every day. For years, Qualcomm Technologies has worked extensively with Bluetooth® audio and connectivity, and their portfolio of Bluetooth audio solutions power many of the true wireless earbuds, headphones, and speakers from some of the world’s biggest audio and mobile OEMs.

I recently connected with Chris Havell, senior director, product marketing, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd., to gain a better understanding of what Qualcomm Technologies predicts for Bluetooth audio in the coming year.

Q&A With Chris Havell From Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd.

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Which Bluetooth technology trends from 2023 most stick out to you, and what impacts did these trends have on the market?

2023 has been an amazing year for Bluetooth® technology, and I think the launch of Auracast™ broadcast audio has captured the attention of the industry and end users. We know from our latest Qualcomm State of Sound research that consumers are very interested in the experiences that Bluetooth LE Audio and Auracast™ broadcast audio will enable. In fact, a massive 75 percent of our respondents this year said they were interested in Auracast™ broadcast audio features. That’s why we were so excited to be involved in The Auracast™ Experience event at Mobile World Congress and other global industry events this year.

During The Auracast™ Experience, visitors were able to experience, for the first time, multiple Bluetooth wireless audio broadcasts in the same location, as well as experience how Auracast™ broadcast audio will help users share audio with others, tune into audio assistance or translations during a conference, tune into airport gate announcements, and unmute silent TVs in public spaces. These experiences are supported by earbuds built on the Qualcomm® S5 Sound Platform, one of the first Bluetooth SoCs to support Auracast™ broadcast audio.

The launch of Auracast™ broadcast audio has captured the attention of the industry and end users.

In addition to these amazing audio-sharing experiences, we have also taken advantage of Bluetooth LE Audio to deliver lower latencies and more immersive experiences for gaming and spatial audio applications. Just two years ago, Bluetooth audio latency was at 200ms, and in 2023, we were able to deliver a solution optimized for gaming, utilizing our Snapdragon™ Sound Technology Suite and Bluetooth LE Audio to deliver a latency of less than 20ms. Spatial audio experiences will also benefit from lower latencies enabled by LE Audio, allowing the audio to instantly follow you when you move your head for a much more immersive and natural spatial audio experience.

What new Bluetooth trends do you anticipate seeing in 2024?

In 2024, I think we will see the expansion and adoption of hearing personalization capabilities on Bluetooth® earbuds and headphones. This is another area that we know consumers are interested in which was reflected in our State of Sound consumer research this year. In fact, 65 percent of our respondents said that they struggle to hear in busy workplaces, lecture halls, and meeting rooms. Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing assistant adoption has been slower than expected, and I think this is due to many people feeling that their hearing isn’t poor enough to warrant a dedicated hearing aid. However, if their day-to-day earbuds supported hearing assistance features, thanks to Auracast™ broadcast audio, then they would be much more likely to use and benefit from them.

Using earbuds for health and wellness monitoring is another area where I think there will be strong growth in 2024.

Using earbuds for health and wellness monitoring is another area where I think there will be strong growth in 2024, and there are some very compelling use cases around sleep improvement and management, personal health, and stress monitoring. Developers will be able to take advantage of the much lower power and flexibility enabled by Bluetooth LE Audio and combine this with the powerful on-earbud AI enabled by our latest Qualcomm® S7 Sound and Qualcomm S7 Pro Sound Platforms to deliver seamless and responsive user experiences that have the potential to make a positive impact on the daily lives of end users.

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LE Audio: The Future of Bluetooth® Audio

Get new forecasts about when and which audio devices will adopt Auracast™ broadcast audio, along with predictions for when public locations will deploy this new Bluetooth capability to enable new audio use cases in their venues.


What has been the biggest demand from your customers for 2023?

We’re seeing a very strong demand for support in developing devices with Bluetooth® LE Audio technology alongside multi-device co-existence with Bluetooth Classic source devices. This is because, as LE Audio adoption begins, there is still a need to support Bluetooth Classic audio.

What Bluetooth innovations have you been focused on in 2023, and what will you focus on in 2024?

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In 2023, we continued to focus on developing Bluetooth® audio platforms that enable our customers to bring all the benefits of Bluetooth LE Audio and Auracast™ broadcast audio to consumers. And I’m very excited to say that we will see many of these devices come to market over the next few months.

2023 has been about delivering platforms that will help enable the LE Audio ecosystem. Alongside the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) and other LE Audio vendors, we proved that the technology is ready for mass market adoption and will enable many breakthrough user experiences. One example of this was at our recent Snapdragon Summit event in Hawaii, where we delivered our keynote translation to delegates via Auracast™ broadcast audio.

In 2024, we will begin to see just how transformative LE Audio technology will be in the real world, and we will continue to leverage LE Audio technology to help develop more consumer-centric applications, including gaming and hearing personalization.

What comes to mind as you reflect on the last 25 years of Bluetooth technology, and what do you predict for the next 25 years?

I think the past 25 years have been amazing. We’ve gone from a position where few people would wear Bluetooth® wireless headsets to a time now where wireless earbuds are just the norm for most people. We’ve also evolved from a time when audiophiles would scoff at ever using Bluetooth wireless audio streaming to a position where lossless audio and high-res audio can now be delivered over a Bluetooth link thanks to technologies like Snapdragon Sound and Qualcomm® aptX™ Audio.

Bluetooth® technology will also have a huge part to play as we think about multi-device experiences.

And, as we look forward to the next 25 years, we’ll continue to see the capabilities evolve – expanding on range, latency, and audio quality to deliver wireless experiences that will enhance our day-to-day lives whether we are working, relaxing, traveling, or socializing. Bluetooth technology will also have a huge part to play as we think about multi-device experiences – in terms of how devices can transition between use cases and connect to each other, and also how connectivity has a fundamental role to play alongside AI in terms of delivering truly seamless experiences.

Qualcomm, Snapdragon, and Snapdragon Sound are trademarks or registered trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated. aptX is a trademark or registered trademark of Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. Qualcomm and Snapdragon branded products are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.


Auracast™ Broadcast Audio

Auracast™ broadcast audio will deliver life-changing audio experiences that will enhance the way you engage with others and the world around you.



先日、クアルコム・テクノロジーズ・インターナショナルの製品マーケティング担当上級ディレクター、クリス・ハヴェル(Chris Havell)氏に会い、Bluetooth オーディオについて2024年に抱いている展望についてお話しいただきました。 

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クアルコム・テクノロジーズ・インターナショナルのクリス・ハヴェル(Chris Havell)氏とのQ&A 


2023年はBluetooth®テクノロジーにとって素晴らしい年であり、Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオは、業界とエンド・ユーザーの両方から注目を集めました当社が実施した最新版「Qualcomm State of Sound」調査の結果によると消費者はBluetooth LE AudioAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオが実現するエクスペリエンスについて、多大な関心を抱いています今回の回答者のうち実に75%もの多くの人々が、Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオの各種機能に関心を示しています。そうした理由から、私たちはMWCでのAuracast™ Experience、その他世界各地での業界イベントに参画できることを非常に楽しみにしていました 

Auracast™ Experienceでは参加者は初めて、Bluetoothによる同じ場所での複数のワイヤレスオーディオ放送を体験しました。また会議中にAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオを使い他者と音声を共有したり、音声アシスタントや通訳の音声を受信する方法を体験できました。さらに、空港で搭乗ゲートのアナウンスを受信し、公共の場所の無音テレビをミュート解除できました。このような体験は、最初に開発されたAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオ対応Bluetooth SoCの一つであるQualcomm® S5サウンド・プラットフォームを基盤としたイヤホンによって実現しています。 

こうした数々の素晴らしいオーディオ共有エクスペリエンスに加え、当社ではゲーミングや空間オーディオといった用途に向けてBluetooth LE Audioを活用し、より低遅延、かついっそう没入感のあるエクスペリエンスの実現に成功しています。たった2年前には、Bluetoothオーディオの遅延は200msでした。しかし2023年には当社はSnapdragon™ Sound Technology SuiteBluetooth LE Audioの採用によりわずか20ms未満の遅延を実現し、ゲーミング用途に最適なソリューションを提供するに至っています。空間オーディオエクスペリエンスは、LE Audioが可能にする、さらなる低遅延の恩恵を受けています。これによってユーザーの頭の動きに音声が即座に追従できるようになり、より没入感があって自然な空間オーディオエクスペリエンスを堪能できます。 


2024年、Bluetooth®のイヤホンとヘッドフォンにはヒアリングパーソナライゼーション機能がより広く採用されてゆくだろうと考えています。2023年に実施した消費者を対象とした「State of Sound」調査の結果にも示されている通り、この分野にも、消費者の関心が集まっています。実際に回答者の65%が、ざわついた職場、講堂、会議室で音声を聞き取りづらいと感じると回答しています。処方箋なしで購入できるOTC補聴器の普及は予想より緩やかに進んでおり、これはおそらくまだ本格的な補聴器が必要なほど聴力は衰えていないと考える人が多いことが理由でしょうしかしAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオの機能によってもし日々使用するイヤホンが補聴機能に対応していたら人々はより積極的に補聴機能を使い、その恩恵を享受するようになるはずです 

健康管理のためのモニタリングでのイヤホンの使用も、2024年に成長が見込まれると考える分野です。睡眠の質の改善や管理、個人の健康管理、さらにストレスのモニタリングという、非常に魅力的なユースケースもあります。開発者はBluetooth LE Audioによって可能になる省電力と優れた柔軟性を活用し、これを当社の最新のQualcomm® S7 SoundQualcomm S7 Pro Soundの各プラットフォームが可能にするイヤホン搭載型の強力なAIと融合することでシームレスで応答性の高いユーザーエクスペリエンスをもたらすことができます。これにより、エンドユーザーの日常生活にポジティブな影響がもたらされる可能性があります。 


Bluetooth Classicソースデバイスとマルチデバイス共存しながら、Bluetooth® LE Audio技術を採用してデバイスを開発する際のサポートが最も強く求められました。LE Audioの採用が始まっても、依然Bluetooth Classic Audioをサポートする必要があることがその理由です。 


2023年は、Bluetoothのどのようなイノベーションに注力しましたか? また、2024年は何に力を入れるのでしょうか? 

2023当社は顧客企業がBluetooth LE AudioAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオの利点を余すところなく消費者にもたらすことを可能にするための、Bluetooth®オーディオプラットフォームの開発に継続的に専念しました。これらのデバイスの多くが今後数カ月のうちに市場にお目見えしますので、今からとてもワクワクしています。 

2023年は、LE Audioエコシステムの実現に貢献するプラットフォームの提供を重視しました。Bluetooth Special Interest Group(SIG)、そしてその他のLE Audioベンダー各社とともに、当社はこの技術が大規模市場での普及に向けた準備が整い、画期的なユーザーエクスペリエンスの数々を実現できることを証明しました。その一例として当社が最近ハワイで開催したSnapdragon Summitイベントで、基調講演の通訳を、Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオを通じて参加された代表者の方々にお届けしています。 

2024年には、LE Audioの革新的なテクノロジーが現実世界をどのように変えていくのか、実際に目にするようになるでしょう当社は引き続きLE Audioテクノロジーを活用し、ゲーミングやヒアリングパーソナライゼーションをはじめ、より消費者を中心としたアプリケーションの開発に役立てていきます。 

Bluetooth技術がこれまで歩んだ25年を振り返りどのような思いを抱かれていますか? また、これからの25年についての展望をお聞かせください。 

これまでの25年間は本当に素晴らしいものでした。Bluetooth®のワイヤレスヘッドホンを着用している人などほぼ誰もいないような状態から、今やワイヤレスイヤホンが多くの人の日用品となったその時代を駆け抜けてきたのですから。また当社も、Bluetoothのワイヤレスオーディオストリーミングなどオーディオ愛好家には鼻で笑われてしまうような時代から、Snapdragon SoundQualcomm®︎ aptX™ Audioといった技術によって今やBluetoothを介して劣化のない高分解能のオーディオを届けられる時代へと進化しています。 


Qualcomm、Snapdragon、およびSnapdragon Soundは、クアルコムの商標または登録商標です。aptXは、クアルコム・テクノロジーズ・インターナショナルの商標または登録商標です。QualcommおよびSnapdragonブランド名の製品は、クアルコム・テクノロジーズおよび(または)その子会社の製品です。 

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