The need for better audio accessibility is greater now than ever before. According to the World Health Organization, half a billion people currently need audio accessibility, and 2.5 billion people are projected to have some degree of hearing loss by 2050.

“Hearing and understanding speech in various environments can be a daily struggle for people with any degree of hearing loss,” says Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America. “Audio quality innovations can benefit everyone while also improving communication access to those with hearing loss.”

Existing ALS Challenges

While current assistive listening system (ALS) technologies, 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.

With loop systems, deployment is expensive and labor intensive. Venues that want to provide assistive listening have been scared off by the price of installation. Non-loop assistive listening solutions are typically not convenient for the user. It usually means picking up an FM or infrared receiver at the venue since they are not standardized. “Currently, there is just no way to equip all the possible places offering live audio with telecoil systems,” said Jeff Solum from Starkey

To help overcome the challenges associated with current ALS technologies, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) worked closely with the hearing aid industry to define and introduce the next generation of assistive listening system technology, Auracast™ broadcast audio.

FEATURED INNOVATION

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.

LEARN MORE

Audio Accessibility for All

Auracast™ broadcast audio will 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. Overcoming the challenges of traditional ALS solutions using a familiar, proven technology ubiquitous in most consumer audio devices will provide the added benefits of enabling broader deployment and increased availability of ALS for people with hearing loss.

According to Nikolai Bisgaard from the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA), Auracast™ broadcast audio will enable easier listening of audio in venues where noise can prevent a quality experience. “For instance, TV monitors in public areas are normally muted, and you must read the transcribed text in ticker lines,” said Bisgaard. “With Auracast™ broadcast audio, you will be able to pick the sound directly in your hearing instruments, headsets, or earbuds and listen without disturbing other people.”

Thanks to Auracast™ broadcast audio, more venues will be able to easily deploy assistive listening. “Being able to place an RF audio gateway based on the new Bluetooth® LE standard just about anywhere there is a power source and an audio source is a complete game changer for people with hearing loss,” said Solum. The applicability of these systems will also expand to consumers with all levels of hearing health. 

“Having choices in technology to meet the varying needs of people with hearing loss is critical,” says Kelley. “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.”

FEATURED INNOVATION

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.

LEARN MORE

Packetcraft And ESPICO Accelerate Development Of Bluetooth LE Audio Devices On Arm

The technology we use in our homes and pockets today allows effortless access to…

Unlimited Audio Sharing is Now Possible with Bluetooth® Auracast™

Auracast™ broadcast audio breathes new life into how we audibly experience our day-to-day lives.…

LE Audio Ready For Developers Of Next-Generation Wireless Sound Products

Technology described as the ‘future of wireless sound’ allows engineers to enhance the sound…

Game Changer: Live Experiences Reinvented Wirelessly

Bluetooth® LE Audio wireless streaming presents a radical paradigm shift for live music and…

Bluetooth SIG Announces Auracast™ Broadcast Audio, Allowing Unlimited Audio Sharing to Earbuds, Speakers or Hearing Devices

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the trade association that oversees Bluetooth® technology, today…

Auracast is coming to Bluetooth, boosting movement, inclusion, and participation for hearing device users

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the standards mover and shaker for the short-range…

Auracast™ Broadcast Audio – the Next-Generation ALS

The need for better audio accessibility is greater now than ever before. According to…

Bluetooth Auracast will make the shared audio experience possible

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has announced Auracast, an upcoming broadcasting capability in Bluetooth…

Auracast™ Broadcast Audio Will Deliver Life-Changing Audio Experiences

Until recently, Bluetooth® technology only supported point-to-point communications for audio. LE Audio changes that by…

Bluetooth Auracast™ broadcast audio demo by CEVA

CEVA’s Bluetooth 5.3 Platform IP supports Auracast™ broadcast audio, transforming the shared audio experience.…

Introducing Auracast Broadcast Audio

See how Auracast™ broadcast audio will deliver life-changing audio experiences and bring a new…

Important Updates on LE Audio Schedules, Branding & Requirements

Download the webinar Q&A (PDF) Thanks to the tireless commitment of our member companies,…

2022 Bluetooth Market Update

Featuring new market insights and industry forecasts from ABI Research and other analyst firms...

The Future Of Sound: Envisioning The Ecosystem Of Bluetooth LE Audio

When the Bluetooth 4.0 specification was released, Bluetooth Smart (now Bluetooth Low Energy (LE))…

Introducing Bluetooth® LE Audio

Now available for free digital download, get your copy of this in-depth, technical overview of the LE Audio specifications.

The 2021 State of Sound Report

The State of Sound Report is an annual study featuring research insights based on…

Bluetooth® Core Specification Version 5.3 Feature Enhancements

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

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…

 Get Help