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.

As human beings, our sense of hearing connects us. The Bluetooth SIG believes in a connected world, free from wires, and the first wire that Bluetooth® technology cut was the audio cable, forever changing the way we experience sound. The Bluetooth SIG is honored and excited to support World Hearing Day.

Mark Powell
CEO, Bluetooth SIG

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 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted 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

The Bluetooth SIG worked closely with the hearing aid industry to define and introduce LE Audio, the next-generation of Bluetooth® wireless audio. LE Audio adds support for the development of standard Bluetooth hearing aids as well as support for Audio Sharing, which is expected to enable the next generation of Assistive Listening Systems (ALS).

MORE, AND BETTER, BLUETOOTH®
HEARING AIDS

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.

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