The full set of specifications that defines LE Audio, the next-generation Bluetooth® audio technology, have been completed. 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. 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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.

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 LE Audio is only 10-20 percent of that of Wi-Fi.

Adopting 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 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 LE Audio specifications, which is the most important milestone in the Bluetooth® audio industry in the past decade. Market demands for LE Audio technology have consequently emerged. As one of the first companies to qualify 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 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, 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 LE Audio can transmit audio at half the bit rate of traditional SBC without compromising sound quality. Besides, 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.


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