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in “ Tech news in brief“, 
July 12, 2022.

Bluetooth Low Energy Audio standard

Man listening to music in a park.

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The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), an industry group that devises the Bluetooth wireless standard, advertised the completion of the Bluetooth Low Energy Audio specification announced in 2020. As with Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth LE Audio focuses more on energy efficiency than the original Bluetooth and is intended to improve audio quality and introduce new functionalities. With this standard finalized, the first compatible products should be available before the end of the year.

Bluetooth LE Audio’s major feature is probably its new LC3 codec that promises a much better audio quality at the same bit rate as the current SBC codec. Bluetooth SIG mentioned that while Bluetooth Classic’s SBC codec usually encodes a 1.5 Mbps audio stream as a 345 Kbps (0.345 Mbps) stream, Bluetooth LE Audio can compress the same stream to 160 Kbps (0.160 Mbps) and claims better audio quality than Bluetooth Classic. Reducing bit rate while maintaining good sound quality makes for a lower power consumption, and therefore longer battery life. Auracast is another promising feature, with which several devices can plug into a single audio source.

Ars Technica, Scharon Harding, “What’s Bluetooth LE Audio? Explaining the spec and what it means for wireless sound.”


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