The number of wireless audio devices such as TWS and headphones continues to grow. For this reason, the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) announced a new bluetooth audio standard, namely Bluetooth LE Audio . Come on, let’s find out more!
What is Bluetooth LE Audio?
Bluetooth LE Audio is the next generation of wireless audio technology. LE as the name implies refers to Low Energy. So, the power consumption will be more efficient than a standard Bluetooth connection. This means that wireless audio devices that carry Bluetooth LE Audio technology in the future can offer longer usage times.
Bluetooth LE Audio Compatibility
Bluetooth LE Audio can be implemented to all wireless audio devices. Manufacturers can also develop wireless audio devices that support Bluetooth LE Audio and the Bluetooth standard together. In addition, Bluetooth LE Audio is still possible to be compatible with previous generation Bluetooth devices.
Codec Bluetooth LE Audio
One of the core technologies of Bluetooth LE Audio is the new audio codec, LC3 or Low Complexity Communications Codec. Note that the Bluetooth audio standard supports the SBC codec standard. This codec offers streaming capabilities with bitrates at 240-345 Kbps. Meanwhile, the LC3 codec supports a bitrate of only around 160Kbps.
In theory, a higher bitrate will offer better audio quality. However, according to the claim, the Bluetooth SIG codec LC3 is still able to offer better audio quality even with a lower bitrate than the SBC codec.
Bluetooth LE Audio Features
The advantage of Bluetooth LE Audio is that this Bluetooth technology is more feature-rich. First Bluetooth LE Audio supports multi-stream audio feature. For example, TWS with Bluetooth audio technology previously supported single stream audio. How it works, one of the earbud modules will receive a sound signal first. Then, the sound signal will be forwarded to the paired earbud module.
Well, that’s not how multi-stream audio works. Multi-stream audio allows sound signals to be directly received by both earbud modules at the same time.
In theory, there are at least three advantages that multi-stream audio offers. First, the connectivity to the device will be faster. Second, the latency rate will be lower. Third, the battery life of each earbud module will be the same.
Most interestingly, multi-stream audio also allows TWS to support surround sound and spatial audio without the need for additional software. In addition, multi-stream audio will also allow TWS to connect to multiple devices and switching between devices will be smoother.
In addition to multi-stream audio Bluetooth LE Audio also supports a feature called Auracast. Auracast is an audio broadcast feature that allows a single audio source device to transmit sound signals to multiple TWS devices or headphones without limitation.
To join and enjoy streaming audio at the same time, users only need to scan the QR Code or directly join the available Bluetooth LE Audio network. So, there is no need for the process of pairing to an audio source.
Lastly, Bluetooth LE Audio will support hearing aids. With multiple audio streams and lower power consumption, hearing aid batteries can last longer.