The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has just unveiled the next-generation Bluetooth LE Audio standard at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, which not only offers improved sound quality and better battery life but also supports audio sharing with other listeners (via TechHive).
The next-generation LE Audio will offer direct support for hearing aids and even allow listeners to receive location-based broadcast transmissions in airports, museums, auditoriums, and more. The new standard boasts the latest LC3 audio codec to offer a significant improvement in audio quality while using the same amount of bandwidth.
Meanwhile, Bluetooth LE Audio will continue to support optional, higher-quality codecs as Qualcomm’s aptX and aptX HD.
Another important Bluetooth LE Audio feature is its multi-stream capabilities, which for the first time will allow for multiple audio streams between Bluetooth audio devices.
Multi-stream Bluetooth audio will also make it easier for a single Bluetooth headset to connect simultaneously to, say, a phone and a PC, while also letting you wake up Alexa, Google Assistant, or another digital assistant without interrupting the audio stream.
Although all existing Bluetooth LE radios will support Bluetooth LE Audio, it will be up to device manufacturers to enable the new Bluetooth LE Audio features on their respective devices.