The full set of specifications that defines Bluetooth LE Audio, the next-generation Bluetooth® audio technology, have been completed. Bluetooth LE Audio improves wireless audio performance, adds support for hearing aids, and introduces AuracastTM broadcast audio, a new Bluetooth capability that will enhance the way we engage with others and the world around us. Bluetooth LE Audio offers a new, flexible architecture that provides an ideal platform for future wireless audio innovation, and work within the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is already underway to bring additional Bluetooth LE Audio features and capabilities to market.

One of AIROHA’s main product lines is a Bluetooth® wireless audio system solution that continues to evolve with time and adopts the latest technology to meet market needs. Recently, a new series of AIROHA Bluetooth audio chips became some of the first products to complete the Bluetooth LE Audio qualification process. I had an opportunity to talk with Kaku Kuo, senior director, marketing division, short-range wireless product business unit of Airoha Technology, about their views on the development and future applications of Bluetooth LE Audio.

Q&A with Kaku Kuo from Airoha Technology

Can you describe your portfolio of Bluetooth products? How do you apply Bluetooth technology to products?

As a member of the MediaTek Group, Airoha Technology has long focused on the development of chips and integrated services in four major areas: Bluetooth® audio, GNSS, broadband, and ethernet. Our Bluetooth wireless audio system solutions feature low energy consumption, a stable Bluetooth connection, and clear sound quality, as well as integrated Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), microphone noise suppression, and power-management functions to offer a rich and flexible application platform to a wide range of Bluetooth devices, such as true wireless stereo (TWS), earphones, and speakers.

Our new series of Bluetooth audio chips have successfully completed the latest Bluetooth LE Audio qualification process. This is one of AIROHA’s most important R&D achievements. Its Bluetooth audio R&D team consists of hundreds of engineers who continue to revolutionize the wireless audio end-device market. Bluetooth LE Audio is standardizing the connection of Bluetooth audio and data and allowing more devices to further help data transmission to achieve the Internet of Everything (IoE). 

We have also launched a flagship and professional series of chipsets to support Bluetooth LE Audio and Bluetooth Core Specification version 5.3. Not only do the products satisfy diverse terminal application scenarios, including TWS earbuds, Bluetooth smart speakers, assistive listening devices, and Bluetooth transmitters, but they are currently being tested by many brand customers and are expected to be available worldwide in the first half of 2023.


What Product Developers & Public Locations Need to Know About Auracast™ Broadcast Audio

Watch this discussion on how Auracast™ broadcast audio will introduce new opportunities for wireless audio developers and allow public locations to enhance their visitor satisfaction while increasing audio accessibility for all.


Why does AIROHA choose Bluetooth technology as the primary technology for wireless audio system solutions?

Bluetooth® technology covers a wide range of data transfer, audio streaming, and positioning applications and is equipped with flexible, easy pairing, and connection functions. Its diverse capabilities and applications boast a mature ecosystem that is beneficial to the expansion of the IoT application market. Moreover, 100 percent of smartphones, PCs, and smart TVs in the market have built-in Bluetooth capability, and, therefore, we have chosen Bluetooth as our core technology.

Bluetooth LE Audio, with its specifications finalized, has the advantages of low energy consumption, low cost, and a mature and widespread ecosystem over other wireless communication technologies. The energy consumption of Bluetooth LE Audio is only 10-20 percent of that of Wi-Fi.

Adopting Bluetooth LE Audio helps us to develop more additional functions, such as AuracastTM broadcast audio, for our mid- and high-end TWS products. Moving forward, AuracastTM broadcast audio will be in AIROHA’s full-range of products.

What are AIROHA’s views on the future applications and development of Bluetooth LE Audio and AuracastTM broadcast audio?

“Auracast TM broadcast audio…will massively change the audio service model of existing dedicated earbuds.”

The Bluetooth SIG announced the completion of Bluetooth LE Audio specifications, which is the most important milestone in the Bluetooth® audio industry in the past decade. Market demands for Bluetooth LE Audio technology have consequently emerged. As one of the first companies to qualify Bluetooth LE Audio products, AIROHA’s R&D team is fully dedicated to proposing total solutions, such as introducing a software development kit (SDK) with the most optimal efficiency, ultra-low energy consumption, and rich resources. By integrating comprehensive capabilities needed for different Bluetooth application markets and further simplifying the R&D of Bluetooth connections between different devices, we can expedite the launch of more end products and create new audio experiences for users.

Auracast TM broadcast audio, the most significant innovation in the Bluetooth LE Audio feature set, is the industry standard for one-to-many audio playback, which will massively change the audio service model of existing dedicated earbuds. AuracastTM broadcast audio improves the convenience and experience of users and reduces the cost of service to providers; it will inspire more innovative applications and scenarios. For example, museum tours no longer need to rent dedicated headsets, and visitors can receive audio indoors while wearing their own Bluetooth headsets with Auracast™ broadcast audio. Other venues, such as public gathering places, stadiums, concerts, and even corporate events, can also rely on this feature to provide personalized and innovative services that will dramatically change the consumer experience and service model of a company.

“LC3 will become the standard high-quality and energy-efficient Bluetooth® audio codec.”

In addition to supporting Auracast™ broadcast audio, Bluetooth LE Audio also offers two major benefits: improved sound quality and low latency. In the past, true wireless stereo (TWS) Bluetooth enabled earphones were limited by size, weight, and battery capacity, making it difficult to balance hardware requirements and audio performance. According to the Bluetooth SIG, the LC3 codec introduced by Bluetooth LE Audio can transmit audio at half the bit rate of traditional SBC without compromising sound quality. Besides, Bluetooth LE Audio reduces the latency problem by 70 percent. Therefore, in the foreseeable future, LC3 will become the standard high-quality and energy-efficient Bluetooth audio codec.

With the continued increase of Bluetooth bandwidth and improvement of low latency, it is expected that more Bluetooth audio applications for IoT devices will emerge in the future.


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.


次世代のBluetooth®オーディオ技術、LE Audioを規定する一連の仕様が完成しました。LE Audioではワイヤレスオーディオのパフォーマンスが向上し、補聴器対応が追加されるほか、人と人、そして人と周囲の世界との関わりをより豊かにするBluetoothの新機能、Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオが新しく導入されます。LE Audioの新しく柔軟なアーキテクチャは、将来的なワイヤレスオーディオの技術革新プラットフォームとしても理想的です。既にBluetooth SIG(Special Interest Group)では、LE Audioのさらなる機能追加に向けた作業が進められています。

AIROHAの主力製品シリーズの一つに、Bluetooth®ワイヤレスオーディオシステムソリューションがあります。このシリーズは、常に進化を続け、最新のテクノロジーを搭載することで市場ニーズに応えてきました。最近も、AIROHA Bluetoothオーディオチップの新シリーズがLE Audioの認証プロセスを完了し、認証済み製品の最初の一つとなりました。先日、Airoha Technologyの短距離ワイヤレス製品事業部門マーケティング部シニアディレクターのカク・クオ(Kaku Kuo)氏に、LE Audio製品開発と将来的な応用に関する同社の見解についてお話を伺いました。

Airoha Technologyのカク・クオ氏とのQ&A

Airoha TechnologyBluetooth製品について教えていただけますか。Bluetooth技術はどのように応用されていますか。

Airoha TechnologyはMediaTek Groupの一員として、長年にわたりBluetooth®オーディオ、GNSS、ブロードバンド、イーサネットの4つの主要分野を対象とした半導体チップの開発と総合サービスに注力してきました。 当社のBluetoothワイヤレスオーディオシステムソリューションは、低消費電力、安定したBluetooth接続、クリアな音質を特長とし、ハイブリッドアクティブノイズキャンセリング(ANC)、マイクノイズ抑制、電力管理の各機能を備え、TWSイヤホンやスピーカーなど幅広い種類のBluetoothデバイスに対し、機能豊富なアプリケーションプラットフォームを提供しています。

当社のBluetoothオーディオチップの新シリーズは、最新のLE Audio認証プロセス完了に成功しました。これはAIROHAの研究開発における最も重要な達成の一つです。Bluetoothオーディオ研究開発チームは、ワイヤレスオーディオデバイス市場に変革をもたらし続ける数百人のエンジニアによって構成されています。LE AudioはBluetoothのオーディオおよびデータ接続を標準化し、より多くのデバイス間のデータ通信を可能にすることにより、IoE(すべてのインターネット)の実現に役立っています。 

当社では、LE AudioとBluetoothコア仕様5.3対応のフラグシップシリーズとプロフェッショナルシリーズのチップセットも発売しています。両製品とも、TWSイヤホン、Bluetoothスマートスピーカー、聴覚補助デバイス、Bluetoothトランスミッターなど多様な機器用途に対応しているだけでなく、現在多くのブランドでテストが行われており2023年前半にも製品が世界中で発売される見込みです。



仕様が完成したLE Audioは、低消費電力、低コストに加え、他のワイヤレス通信技術に比べ成熟し普及したエコシステムという利点を持ちます。LE Audioが消費する電力はWi-Fiのわずか10%~20%なのです。

LE Audioを採用することにより、当社のミッドエンド/ハイエンドTWS製品向けにAuracastTM ブロードキャスト オーディオなど追加的な機能の開発も可能になります。将来的に、AuracastTM ブロードキャスト オーディオはAIROHAの全製品に搭載されていく予定です。

LE AudioAuracastTM ブロードキャスト オーディオの今後の応用や発展についてAIROHAではどのようにお考えですか。

Bluetooth SIGが発表したLE Audioの仕様完成は、Bluetooth®オーディオ業界の過去10年間における最も重要な節目となっています。その影響から、市場ではLE Audio技術を利用した製品への需要が台頭しました。LE Audio製品の認証を受けた最初の企業の一つとして、AIROHAの研究開発チームはトータルソリューションの提案、すなわち最適効率、超低消費電力、豊かなリソースを持ったSDK(ソフトウエア開発キット)の導入に全力を挙げていきます。Bluetoothを活用するさまざまな市場が必要とするあらゆる機能を統合し、各種デバイス間でのBluetooth接続の研究開発をさらにシンプルにすることによって、より多くのエンドユーザー製品の登場を促し、ユーザーに新しいオーディオ体験を届けられると考えています。

LE Audioの各種機能の中でも最も象徴的な革新的技術であるAuracastTM ブロードキャスト オーディオは、1対多のオーディオ再生における業界標準であり、既存の専用イヤホンによるオーディオサービスモデルを大きく変えるでしょう。AuracastTMブロードキャスト オーディオは、ユーザーには利便性とユーザー体験の向上を、事業者にはコスト削減をもたらします。これに触発される形で、革新的な応用の方法や用途がさらに生み出されるでしょう。たとえば博物館ツアーでの専用ヘッドセットの貸し出しは必要がなくなり、来場者はAuracastTM ブロードキャスト オーディオ搭載の自分のBluetoothヘッドセットを身につけたまま屋内オーディオを受信できるようになります。そのほか人が集まる公共の場所、スタジアム、コンサート、さらには企業イベントなどの場所でも、この機能を利用することにより、利用者の体験と企業のサービスモデルを劇的に変えてしまうような、パーソナライズされた革新的なサービスを提供できるのです。

AuracastTM ブロードキャスト オーディオに加え、LE Audioには高音質と低遅延という2つの大きなメリットを提供してくれます。従来、TWS Bluetoothイヤホンはサイズ、重さ、電池容量の制約があるために、ハードウェア要件とオーディオ性能の兼ね合いが難しくなっていました。Bluetooth SIGによると、LE Audioで導入されたLC3コーデックは従来のSBCの半分のビットレートで、音質に妥協のないオーディオ伝送が可能です。また、LE Audioでは遅延の問題が70%削減されます。このため近い将来、高音質とエネルギー効率を誇るLC3が標準的なBluetoothオーディオコーデックになるでしょう。


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