In this white paper, we’ll look at the core features and high-level overview of what’s new with LE Audio, Bluetooth LE Audio, and more.
When the Bluetooth 4.0 specification was released, Bluetooth Smart (now Bluetooth Low Energy (LE)) was introduced with central and peripheral roles to support low-power, intermittent communications for sensor devices. This did not include a low power alternative for audio – at least not until 2020, when the Bluetooth 5.2 specification announced inclusion of an exciting new feature: LE Audio. Bluetooth LE Audio will likely be the future of sound, but how will this ecosystem look?
By comparison to previous Bluetooth Classic audio, LE Audio significantly decreases the power consumption of Bluetooth audio via the LC3 codec and enables new use cases that were impossible with HSP and A2DP. An example: Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids, which are tiny by nature and cannot support a large battery to feed a power-hungry audio receiver. LE Audio introduced not just lower power consumption, but new broadcast options that support multi-channel for stereo, one-to-many broadcasting for multiple receivers, the Enhanced Attribute Protocol (EATT), Isochronous Channels, and more.
Bluetooth audio is widely understood and appreciated for its consumer applications: headsets, earbuds,
and speaker audio are often the public face of Bluetooth and its most recognizable use cases. But there are many possible use cases for Bluetooth audio, especially LE Audio, which take advantage of these new broadcast features and power consumption to enable completely new applications that are only now being devised. Much like the Bluetooth enabled hearing aid, these new feature sets make possible applications that were previously out of reach.
In this white paper, we’ll look at the core features and high-level overview of what’s new with LE Audio, some applications that make compelling and innovative use of LE Audio, and explore the roadmap to broad LE Audio adoption and availability.