As the world transitions towards more Bluetooth devices for their audio needs, there are some much-needed features that are currently missing in the protocol. These issues will be addressed by Bluetooth LE Audio, and the protocol’s specifications have just been finalised. With the addition of Auracast broadcast audio standard and audio streaming for low-energy Bluetooth, this new technology increases battery life and allows multiple users to tune in to the same audio feed.
The Bluetooth SIG has been developing this standard since 2020. Bluetooth LE Audio is tailored specifically for audio applications. It is anticipated to perform well in terms of battery savings and, in some cases, offer better audio quality. Additionally, it adds compatibility for Bluetooth hearing aids, which has been a long-requested feature.
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Bluetooth LE Audio has various drawbacks despite offering some functions that were highly wanted. One is that a new kind of codec is needed for the new audio streaming. It substitutes the modern LC3 codec for the antiquated SBC codec. Although it is still speculation, the LC3 codec is anticipated to provide better sound at a lower bit rate. You can listen to a comparison between the two codecs that Bluetooth SIG has published on their website. We will start seeing products using Bluetooth LE Audio in the next months as the specifications have been finalised.