Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the company that manages the Bluetooth audio standard, recently announced a spin-off standard called LE Audio (low-energy). Engadget reported that the new standard is touted to bring better sound and music sharing functions.
According to Bluetooth’s announcement posted on its website, LE will offer an enhanced version of the short-range wireless technology. It is also expected to provide assistance to people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Engadget noted that LE Audio is different from versions of Bluetooth such as 4.2, 4.1 and 5. The company said that it operates on a different radio compared to Classic Audio. LE uses the new Bluetooth Low Energy radio, hence, the name.
This does not mean that the standard will not support sound products that operate on the Classic radio. SIG clarified that LE will be able to use Classic products while introducing “exciting new features that promise to improve their performance as well as enable the creation of new products and use cases.”
It also revealed a new function, Audio Sharing, which is “an innovative new use case with the potential to once again change the way we connect with each other and experience the world around us.” This means that the standard will allow users to connect to other people and share what they are listening to.
Engadget noted that Sharing can also be used by organizations to broadcast sound to users in a public space. This location-based connectivity could allow the use of silent TVs in public settings. It can also be used in theaters and lecture halls.
Other features of the standard include native support for hearing aids. Moreover, it has a Multi-Stream function that will allow the “transmission of multiple, independent, synchronized audio streams.” Multi-Stream is seen as a potential improvement to true wireless earbuds.
LE is also equipped with a new codec called the Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3). This way, the standard will be able to present high-quality sounds even at “low data rates.” Moreover, it opens up more opportunities for developers because of its flexibility.
With a more flexible development feature, Bluetooth anticipates the surge of better design creation that balances the key product attributes. This means that developers will soon be able to create applications that give high-quality sound without draining the device’s battery.
SIG will be releasing LE Audio within the first half of 2020.