Staff Standpoint| September 2022 Hearing Review
LE Audio (Low-energy) and Auracast Broadcast Audio can provide hearing aid users with an improved hearing experience. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced in July that it has completed the full set of LE Audio specifications, which will now permit the release of products supporting the next generation of Bluetooth audio. LE Audio will augment the performance of Bluetooth audio. Bluetooth (SIG) worked closely with hearing aid manufacturers to improve the wireless technology to serve hearing aid users. When the consumer electronics group reviewed the specifications, it wanted to be involved with LE Audio technology and make it available to all consumers.1
The introduction of Auracast Broadcast Audio opens significant new opportunities for wireless audio innovation. Auracast enables an audio transmitter—such as a smartphone, laptop, television, or public address system—to broadcast audio to an unlimited number of nearby Bluetooth audio receivers, including speakers, earbuds, and hearing devices.2
The technology will allow users to invite others to share their audio experiences; watching a movie or listening to a favorite audiobook will now be a social experience. It will enable users to fully enjoy televisions in public spaces, unmuting what was once silent and creating a complete viewing experience. The advancement will allow users to hear better in crowded environments. It is also expected that Auracast broadcast audio will function as a next-generation assistive listening system (ALS) technology.2
The enthusiasm around these new technologies and the potential for wireless audio to improve hearing communications for all wireless audio users is abundantly clear. The overall benefits for the public and those with hearing loss are unknown, but the results so far are auspicious.
Consumer products supporting LE Audio, including those with Auracast Broadcast Audio, are expected to come to market in the next few months, with LE Audio product availability expected by the end of the year.2
—Kathryn Sutherland Director of Business Intelligence
Citation for this article: Sutherland K. Advancements in Bluetooth technology coming soon. Hearing Review. 2022;29(9):6.
- Marcel J. The Making of LE Audio. https://www.bluetooth.com/blog/the-making-of-le-audio/. Bluetooth blog. Published July 27, 2022.
- Bluetooth press release. Bluetooth SIG Announces Auracast Broadcast Audio. https://www.bluetooth.com/press/bluetooth-auracast/. Published June 8, 2022.