LE Audio and the Future of Hearing
Learn how Bluetooth® LE Audio will improve the lives of people with hearing loss and introduce a new generation of hearing aids and assistive listening systems.
Hearing loss, a global yet silent epidemic
World Hearing Day is held each year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world. On World Hearing Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) reminds us that timely and effective interventions can ensure that people with hearing loss are able to achieve their full potential. At all life stages, communication and good hearing health connect us to each other, our communities, and the world.
LE Audio introduced to improve lives of people with hearing loss
LE Audio adds support for the development of standard Bluetooth hearing aids as well as support for Auracast(TM) broadcast audio, which is expected to enable the next generation of Assistive Listening Systems (ALS).
MORE, AND BETTER, BLUETOOTH®
Support for Bluetooth technology in hearing aids to date has been based on proprietary implementations. As a result, relatively few hearing aids include Bluetooth technology and compatibility is limited. By standardizing support for Bluetooth technology within hearing aids, LE Audio will lead to the availability of more Bluetooth hearing aids and will enable true global interoperability. Thanks to LE Audio, people with hearing loss will be able to realize the same benefits of Bluetooth audio enjoyed by users of standard Bluetooth headphones and earbuds, including wireless calling, listening, and watching.
AN ADVANCED NEW TYPE OF ASSISTIVE LISTENING SYSTEM
While current Assistive Listening Systems (ALSs), such as inductive loops, have been providing tremendous benefit to people with hearing loss, they suffer from a number of challenges, including quality, cost, spill-over, and privacy issues, that have limited deployment. Bluetooth® Audio Sharing will enable an advanced new type of Assistive Listening System with higher audio quality and greater privacy that avoids spill-over challenges and will be significantly easier and lower cost to deploy.
What the industry is saying about LE Audio
“While current assistive listening systems, such as inductive loops, have been providing great benefit to people with hearing loss, they suffer from a number of challenges that have limited their deployment, including poor quality, high cost, and lack of privacy. Auracast™ broadcast audio is well positioned to become an advanced, new assistive listening system that will be significantly easier and lower cost to deploy while offering higher audio quality and greater privacy, improving audio accessibility and promoting better living through better hearing.”
Nick Hunn, CTO of WiFore
“Hearing and understanding speech in various environments can be a daily struggle for people with any degree of hearing loss. Audio quality innovations can benefit everyone, while also improving communication access to those with hearing loss. Having choices in technology to meet the varying needs of people with hearing loss is critical. The advent of technologies like Auracast™ broadcast audio has the potential to give people who wear hearing aids and cochlear implants an important new option for hearing access in their everyday lives.”
Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America
“Auracast™ broadcast audio is set to transform the way the world engages with wireless audio, enabling innovative new user experiences while delivering the next generation of assistive listening technology across a wide range of public venues. ABI Research expects the wireless and assistive listening industries to rapidly embrace LE Audio and Auracast™ technology, enabling more and more people to share their audio experiences with others, tune in to public broadcasts, and provide the hearing impaired with an easy to use, standardized, interoperable, and consistent assistive listening experience.”
Andrew Zignani, Research Director at ABI Research
“Train stations, airports and other public spaces with a lot of background noise can be challenging for people living with hearing loss. Understanding speech in these acoustically challenging environments requires technological support. Solutions such as Auracast™ broadcast audio can significantly improve the ability of people with hearing loss to communicate. Users of hearing aids or hearing implants will thus be able to move and orient themselves more easily and safely in their acoustic environment in the future. Participation and inclusion will be facilitated, and the overall quality of life will be enhanced.”
Dr. Stefan Zimmer, Secretary General of the EHIMA
“The impact of Bluetooth audio has been massive. A simple, wireless audio connection between two Bluetooth devices has helped make our roads safer, our lives more productive, and our relationship with music, podcasts, video streaming, and all types of personal audio more convenient and joyful. The launch of Auracast™ broadcast audio will trigger another massive change in the wireless audio market. The ability to broadcast and share audio using Bluetooth technology will reshape personal audio and enable public venues and spaces to deliver audio experiences that will improve visitor satisfaction and increase accessibility.”
Mark Powell, CEO of the Bluetooth SIG
“The ability to pair your smartphone to your earbuds or headphones using Bluetooth technology has brought new levels of enjoyment and convenience to personal audio and is now a part of the fabric of our lives. The introduction of Auracast™ broadcast audio will enable us to move from personal wireless listening experiences to shared wireless listening experiences, unlocking the full potential of wireless audio and bringing even more value and delight to our customers.”
Zeng Xuezhong, President of Xiaomi Smart Phone
“Bluetooth technology is extending its track record of innovation with the launch of Auracast™ broadcast audio. We are proud to work with the Bluetooth SIG and are excited to see this capability provide consumers with new, imaginative ways to connect with each other and hear their world.”
Peter Liu, Pixel Ecosystem Products at Google