Navigate via Bluetooth LE. Next generation Bluetooth LE Audio will radically change the way we listen to music wirelessly.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably wondering what the new Bluetooth LE Audio technology is that you suddenly heard about. In short, it’s nothing short of a revolution when it comes to the features our wireless audio devices will soon support.
But before you can understand Bluetooth LE Audio, you need to have a brief understanding of Bluetooth technology and Bluetooth LE in general.
What is Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE?
Bluetooth is a technology with a long history that allows devices to wirelessly connect to other devices and send (relatively) small amounts of data between them.
Bluetooth devices first rose to prominence in the late 90s with the introduction of the first wireless Bluetooth mice and keyboards. The Bluetooth technology in these common accessories was revolutionary, as if it freed our accessories from the need for wires.
However, like all technology standards, Bluetooth has evolved. Prior to the introduction of Bluetooth LE Audio this year, Bluetooth LE was the most advanced Bluetooth standard. Bluetooth LE stands for “Bluetooth Low Energy” and is a critical technology that allows Bluetooth devices to have much longer battery life.
For example, those original Bluetooth mice and keyboards from the 90s needed frequent battery changes. But thanks to Bluetooth LE, battery life Bluetooth devices lasted longer because Bluetooth technology was less energy intensive. Bluetooth LE also allowed us to use our gadgets – for example, wireless headphones – to get smaller as they didn’t need the old larger batteries inside them.
If you love your wireless headphones, you have Bluetooth LE to thank for them.
But now your tiny audio devices are even better with Bluetooth LE Audio.
What is Bluetooth LE Audio?
Bluetooth LE Audio is the next generation of Bluetooth. As the name suggests, its foundation is built on Bluetooth LE. But the “audio” part of Bluetooth LE Audio tells you what new technology is really thriving on: making your wireless audio better than ever.
Bluetooth LE Audio introduces three major new features for Bluetooth LE Audio compatible devices:
1) Bluetooth LE Audio provides better sound quality
The first major benefit of Bluetooth LE Audio is that it greatly improves the sound quality when listening via Bluetooth. This is due to its low latency capabilities.
We’ve all been annoyed when we’re playing a video game with Bluetooth headphones and the sound just seems to be out of sync. This is because Bluetooth audio typically has a millisecond delay that is noticeable to the human ear.
But with Bluetooth LE Audio, this latency will be greatly reduced, so your wireless audio will sound more in sync.
2) Bluetooth LE Audio allows you to use the new smaller wireless audio devices.
With power saving features, Bluetooth LE Audio devices can be smaller than today’s wireless headphones. This is because manufacturers won’t need as much space inside these gadgets for the battery as they do today.
This means we’ll see new smaller audio devices thanks to Bluetooth LE Audio. This will include anything from wireless headphones to hearing aids.
Or, if manufacturers so choose, they can keep the size of the device the same, but get a lot more battery life out of it. This means your Bluetooth LE Audio wireless headphones will last longer than today’s wireless headphones.
3) Auracast Bluetooth LE Audio allows the device to broadcast to an unlimited number of receivers
But perhaps the coolest feature of Bluetooth LE Audio is the addition of Auracast. This name, given by the Bluetooth consortium to Bluetooth LE Audio, allows a single device (for example, smartphone or TV) is broadcast to multiple receivers (say 20 wireless headphones). And this number of receivers is actually not limited either.
This means that huge groups of people can listen to the sound coming from just one smartphone or TV. As the Bluetooth consortium states on their Bluetooth LE Audio page:
“The introduction of Auracast™ broadcast audio opens up significant new opportunities for innovation in wireless audio. It will allow us to invite others to share our audio experience, it will allow us to fully enjoy television in public spaces by turning on the sound of what was once silent and creating a more complete viewing experience, and it will allow us to hear the best in various public spaces. . sites and environment. Over 60 million locations could benefit from the deployment of Auracast™ broadcast audio in the long term.”
All in all, Bluetooth LE Audio is a game changer for Bluetooth technology.
Apple expert and writer, Michael Grothaus has been covering technology on KnowYourMobile for the better part of 10 years. Prior to that, he worked at Apple. Before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted one of the best Hollywood novels by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer for other publications including VICE and Fast Company.