Bluetooth SIG Announces 'LE Audio' With Audio Sharing, Lower Data Consumption, Hearing Aid Support and More

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) today announced the upcoming launch of LE Audio, which is the next-generation of Bluetooth audio. LE Audio will bring enhanced Bluetooth audio performance, it will add support for Audio Sharing, and it will add support for hearing aids.

LE Audio features a new high-quality, low-power audio codec that will bring improved performance and better power consumption by offering high-quality audio even at low data rates. Developers will be able to create audio products that offer longer battery life or are smaller thanks to the need for less battery capacity.

bluetoothleaudio
With support for multi-stream audio, Bluetooth LE will allow for the transmission of multiple, independent, synchronized audio streams between an audio source device like a smartphone and one or more audio sink devices like earbuds. This will improve performance of wireless earbuds, offering a better stereo imaging experience, plus it will make it easier to use voice assistant services and swap between multiple audio sources.

LE Audio includes support for hearing aids, and it will allow for the development of hearing aids that also include the benefits of Bluetooth audio.

Broadcast Audio, another LE Audio feature, allows an audio source to broadcast one or more audio streams to an unlimited number of devices, officially enabling audio sharing capabilities.

Bluetooth Audio Sharing will allow people to share their Bluetooth audio experience with others around them (i.e, listening to music from the same smartphone), and there's also a location-based feature that will let public venues like airports, bars, gyms, and cinemas share Bluetooth audio that "augments the visitor experience."

"Location-based Audio Sharing holds the potential to change the way we experience the world around us," said Peter Liu of Bose Corporation and member of the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors. "For example, people will be able to select the audio being broadcast by silent TVs in public venues, and places like theaters and lecture halls will be able to share audio to assist visitors with hearing loss as well as provide audio in multiple languages."

Apple, a Bluetooth SIG member, has already enabled audio sharing functionality with its AirPods and Powerbeats Pro headphones, but that functionality is specific to iOS devices and a limited number of earbuds. LE Audio will bring those capabilities to all headphones that have LE Audio support.

When LE Audio launches, Bluetooth audio will support two operation modes. The LE Audio will operate on the Bluetooth Low Energy radio, while classic Audio will operate on the Bluetooth Classic radio. LE Audio will be a replacement for Classic Audio, as it supports the same audio products and use cases while also adding new features.

The Bluetooth specifications defining LE Audio will see a release throughout the second half of 2020. More information about LE Audio is available on the Bluetooth SIG website.

Top Rated Comments

SgtPepper12 Avatar
54 months ago

Firmware update or throw-away-thousands-of-dollars buy new hardware kinda thing?
Fun fact: You don't actually have to throw away your old equipment when new one is released. It'll still work just fine!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
christarp Avatar
54 months ago
To anyone thinking of waiting for this in new earbuds: The specification is being released in the later half of this year. It will probably be another year or 2 after that before it's implemented in products that you can buy.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
konqerror Avatar
54 months ago

Is there any advancement on lower delay?
I'd like to use bt for monitoring video camera's audio and Apple does not support any aptX, do they?
There's no latency problems watching video on any modern smartphone because the phone will delay the video to sync up. The main issues are with gaming.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
54 months ago

Any detail on radiation levels, effects on oxidative stress levels, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage or endocrine changes from the new version compared to existing Bluetooth devices?
From what I read on the internets, all of the above are increased by at least a factor of 100 to 1000. However, chem trails are almost entirely eliminated, as is cancer from windmills. So overall I think it’s worth it. ymmv.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
konqerror Avatar
54 months ago

Key words: video camera.
I know. I read. I repeat: not an issue. Network buffering and compression latency (H.264 and whatever audio codec you're using) is far greater than the 100 ms of Bluetooth audio.

In fact, you should not use aptX because you don't stream aptX from a video camera. You should have the video camera compress audio into AAC, and Airpods can decode that natively, eliminating a whole round trip compression.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the.snitch Avatar
54 months ago
Le audio is magnifique

Attachment Image
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....