Today, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced the completion of the full set of Bluetooth LE Audio specifications, enabling the release of products supporting the next generation of Bluetooth® audio. Bluetooth LE Audio improves wireless audio performance, adds support for hearing aids, and introduces Auracast™ broadcast audio, a new Bluetooth capability that will enhance the way we engage with others and the world around us.

“Today is a proud day for the Bluetooth SIG member community,” said Mark Powell, CEO of the Bluetooth SIG. “Our members overcame the many challenges placed on them these past few years to complete the largest specification development project in the history of the Bluetooth SIG. Bluetooth LE Audio extends the boundaries of what’s possible for the wireless audio market, including the introduction of Auracast™ broadcast audio, a new Bluetooth capability that promises to deliver life-changing audio experiences to consumers, bringing friends and family closer together and making public locations more accessible and enjoyable for all. I can’t wait to see the innovation Bluetooth LE Audio brings.”

The promise of Bluetooth LE Audio and the impact the adoption of the full Bluetooth LE Audio specification suite will have on industry forecasts is already reflected in this year’s Bluetooth Market Update.

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Higher Quality at Lower Power

Bluetooth LE Audio provides higher audio quality at lower power, enabling audio developers to meet increasing consumer performance demands and drive continuous growth across the audio peripheral market (headset, earbuds, etc.). Thanks, in part, to Bluetooth LE Audio, analysts predict in the 2022 Bluetooth Market Update that by 2026, annual Bluetooth earbud shipments will climb to 619 million, making up 66 percent of all wireless headsets.

The lower power capabilities of Bluetooth LE Audio will also enable new types of audio peripherals — such as a wider range of Bluetooth® enabled hearing aids — and allow greater flexibility for better form factors. With Bluetooth LE Audio, smaller, less intrusive, more comfortable hearing devices will emerge, enhancing the lives of those with hearing loss.

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Introducing Bluetooth® LE Audio

Download your free digital copy and find out how Bluetooth LE Audio will change the way we design and use audio.

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Auracast™ Broadcast Audio

“I have no doubts that Bluetooth® and Bluetooth LE Audio will dominate the market.” 
– Alexander Tschekalinkskij, Fraunhofer IIS 

Bluetooth LE Audio adds Auracast™ broadcast audio, a new capability that will enable an audio source transmitter (e.g., a smartphone) to broadcast one or more audio streams to an unlimited number of audio receivers (e.g., earbuds, speakers, hearing aids, etc.).

The introduction of Auracast™ broadcast audio opens significant new opportunities for wireless audio innovation. It will let us invite others to share in our audio experience, it will enable us to fully enjoy televisions in public spaces, unmuting what was once silent and creating a more complete watching experience, and it will allow us to hear our best in various public venues and environments. Over 60 million locations have the long-term potential to benefit from deploying Auracast™ broadcast audio.

“With broadcast audio, you’ll suddenly find that you can listen to anything, anywhere,” said Chris Church, senior staff engineer at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “I think we won’t truly appreciate how useful broadcast audio will be until people are using it every day. Much like when your internet goes down, when you start to experience a network without broadcast audio in a few years’ time, you’ll quickly wonder where has it gone and how did you manage to live without it for so long.”

Future Wireless Audio Innovation

In addition to introducing new features to Bluetooth audio, Bluetooth LE Audio offers a new, flexible architecture that provides an ideal platform for future wireless audio innovation, and work within the Bluetooth SIG is already underway to bring additional Bluetooth LE Audio features and capabilities to market.

Qualification for consumer products seeking to add support for Bluetooth LE Audio is now enabled. Initial consumer products supporting Bluetooth LE Audio, including those with Auracast™ broadcast audio, are expected to come to market in the coming months, and Bluetooth LE Audio product availability is expected to ramp up as we approach the holiday season and end of the year.

“We don’t really know how it’s going to all come together in this new ecosystem, but the sky’s the limit and I’m looking forward to all the innovations that will come.” 
– Jeff Solum, Starkey Hearing Technologies

Access a library of technical resources including a book, videos, study guides, and more designed to help you get familiar with the new Bluetooth LE Audio architecture, the individual specifications, and the capabilities Bluetooth LE Audio brings, including Auracast broadcast audio.

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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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Bluetooth SIGはLE Audioの全仕様が完成したことを7月12日に発表しました。これにより、次世代Bluetooth®オーディオに対応する製品の製造が可能になります。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、そして自分を取り巻く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 オーディオも導入されます。

Bluetooth SIGのCEO、マーク・パウエルは次のように述べています。「今日はBluetooth SIGのメンバーコミュニティにとって誇らしい日です。この数年、数多くの困難がありましたが、メンバーが力を合わせてそれら障壁を乗り越え、Bluetooth SIG最大の仕様開発プロジェクトの完成に至ることができました。LE Audioは、ワイヤレスオーディオ市場の可能性を拡げます。Bluetoothの新機能、Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオは私たちの生活を変えるオーディオ体験を約束し、友人や家族との距離を縮めると共に、共用施設をはじめとする公共の場をすべての人にさらに利用しやすく、楽しめる場に変えることでしょう。私自身、LE Audioがもたらすイノベーションにワクワクしています」

LE Audioがもたらす可能性とLE Audio全仕様の採択による業界予測への影響は、既に『2022年Bluetooth市場動向』にも反映されています。

低消費電力で高音質

LE Audioは低い消費電力でより高音質なオーディオを実現するため、消費者の性能に対する期待の高まりに応え、オーディオ周辺機器(ヘッドセット、イヤホンなど)市場全体にわたる継続的な成長を推進できます。『2022年Bluetooth 市場動向』のアナリスト予測によると、LE Audioの後押しもあり、2026年にはBluetoothイヤホンの年間出荷台数が6億1900万台に達し、全ワイヤレスヘッドセットの66%を占める見通しです。

LE Audioの低消費電力によって、Bluetooth対応の補聴器など、新しい種類のオーディオ周辺機器の可能性が広がります。低消費電力がもたらす柔軟性の向上で、より優れたフォームファクターも実現できます。LE Audioの登場で、さらに小型で快適かつ利便性の高い補聴器が登場し、聴覚障がいを持つ方々の生活の質の向上が期待できます。

Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオ

LE Audioでは、Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオも新機能として追加されます。送信機(スマートフォンなど)から、台数制限なく受信機(イヤホン、スピーカー、補聴器など)にオーディオストリームをブロードキャストできる機能です。

Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオの登場で、ワイヤレスオーディオに新たなイノベーションの可能性が大きく開かれることになります。自分のオーディオを共有したり、これまでは聴くことのできなかった公共の場でのテレビを音声付きで楽しめるようになるほか、共用施設や公共の場での放送を最高の状態で聴けるようになります。Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオを活用することによって、長期的なメリットを享受できる可能性のある場所は6000万カ所を超えます。

“With broadcast audio, you’ll suddenly find that you can listen to anything, anywhere,” said Chris Church, senior staff engineer at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “I think we won’t truly appreciate how useful broadcast audio will be until people are using it every day. Much like when your internet goes down, when you start to experience a network without broadcast audio in a few years’ time, you’ll quickly wonder where has it gone and how did you manage to live without it for so long.”

ワイヤレスオーディオの将来的な技術革新

新機能の追加に加え、LE Audioは柔軟なアーキテクチャを持つことで、ワイヤレスオーディオの将来的な技術革新のプラットフォームとしても理想的です。既にBluetooth SIGでは、LE Audioのさらなる機能追加のための作業が進められています。

また、LE Audio対応のコンシューマー製品の認証も開始されました。Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオを含むLE Audio対応のコンシューマー製品は、今後数カ月のうちに市場に登場し、年末商戦に向けて製品ラインアップの拡大が予想されています。

“We don’t really know how it’s going to all come together in this new ecosystem, but the sky’s the limit and I’m looking forward to all the innovations that will come.” 
– Jeff Solum, Starkey Hearing Technologies

技術資料ライブラリーでは、新しいLE Audioのアーキテクチャや個々の仕様、Auracastブロードキャスト オーディオをはじめとするLE Audioの機能の数々について解説する書籍、動画、スタディガイドなどを含む資料が用意されています。ぜひご利用ください。

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