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Advances in Bluetooth technology are coming

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Staff position| Sep 2022 Hearing assessment

LE Audio (Low-energy) and Auracast Broadcast Audio can provide hearing aid users with an enhanced hearing experience. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced in July that it has completed the full set of LE Audio specifications, enabling the release of products that support next-generation Bluetooth audio. LE Audio improves the performance of Bluetooth audio. Bluetooth (SIG) worked closely with hearing aid manufacturers to improve wireless technology for hearing aid users. When reviewing the specs, the consumer electronics group wanted to get involved in LE Audio technology and make it available to all consumers.1

The introduction of Auracast Broadcast Audio opens up significant new opportunities for wireless audio innovation. Auracast allows an audio transmitter, such as a smartphone, laptop, television, or public address system, to broadcast audio to any number of nearby Bluetooth audio receivers, including speakers, earbuds, and hearing aids.2

Kathryn Sutherland

The technology allows users to invite others to share their audio experiences; Watching a movie or listening to a favorite audiobook now becomes a social experience. It allows users to fully enjoy televisions in public areas, muting what was once silent and creating a complete viewing experience. Advances allow users to hear better in busy environments. Auracast broadcast audio is also expected to function as a next-generation Assistive Listening System (ALS) technology.2

The enthusiasm for these new technologies and the potential of wireless audio to improve hearing communication for all wireless audio users is clear. The overall benefits for the public and people with hearing loss are unknown, but the results so far are promising.

Consumer products that support LE Audio, including those with Auracast Broadcast Audio, are expected to hit the market in the coming months, and LE Audio products are expected to be available by the end of the year.2

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