What is Bluetooth LE Audio? How It Might Become The New Standard

What Is Bluetooth LE Audio? 

Bluetooth LE Audio is a fundamental change in how Bluetooth deals with audio, which is one of its primary uses.  LE Audio features a new, high-quality, low-power Audis codec (LC3) called Low Complexity Communications Codec.  LE Audio provides high quality even at a low data rate. Its LC3 codec will bring great flexibility to developers, encouraging fundamental design tradeoffs between product attributes such as audio quality and power.  

What is the difference between Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy?

The primary difference between the two is that Bluetooth LE remains in sleep mode unless a connection initiates.  The connection times lost only milliseconds, much less time than traditional Bluetooth, which can connect for hours at a time.  

What Are The Benefits of Bluetooth LE Audio?

Bluetooth LE Audio is bringing a lot with it as the new kid on the block.  It has enhanced compatibility, better sound quality, and the ability to connect to multiple devices simultaneously.  


LE Audio is compatible with several other codecs.  Bluetooth requires that LE Audio users use the LC3 codec but allows for the use of additional optional codecs as well.  The LC3 codec is much better than the existing Classic Audio codec.  It improves overall sound and listening quality even at lower bandwidths than Classic Audio supports.  Experts have said that extensive tests demonstrate that the LC3 will provide audio quality better than Classic Audio, even at a 50 percent lower bit rate.  Developers can use these power savings to create products with longer battery life or reduce the battery size required.  

Not all existing standard Bluetooth devices can use LE Audio, but all LE Audio devices will be able to use standard Bluetooth.  Newer standard devices can use both.  

codec comparison chart

Better Quality

Best of all, earbuds and headphones that do cross over to LE Audio will find that the quality of their listening experience is greatly enhanced.  The more advanced compression algorithm found in LE AUdio will discover they can choose between high quality or an increased battery life with little sacrifice in quality.  

Connect Multiple Devices

Le Audio allows users to connect to multiple devices for a shared experience with independently established bedtime. Multi-stream support in LE Audio permits a single source to send the same stream to many devices. Some systems previously supported this outside the standard, while in applications like earbuds, one of the earbuds typically received a stereo stream and sent one channel to the other earbud. Multi-streaming lets the host device send a stream to both earbuds, reducing the user's power requirements and the system's complexity.

What Devices Are Compatible with Bluetooth LE Audio 

Basically, LE Audio is compatible with any device that works with Bluetooth 5.2.  This means that any device made within the last two years should be able to pass the exam.  Best of all, since our previous Bluetooth change, earbuds and headphones that do switch over to the new device will continue to receive their funds for sales.

Applications of Bluetooth LE Bluetooth Audio 

Bluetooth 5.2 offers significant steps with the technical advances found in Bluetooth low energy and is a feature of the newer version.  The new system allows broader use of the BLE system in design.  The new system will add broadcast audio, enabling a given audio source device to broadcast to one or more other sites.  

Low energy Bluetooth features


The new broadcasting feature differs from Bluetooth's earlier beacon support.  

Bluetooth LE Audio adds broadcast audio to Bluetooth technology, a feature allowing an audio source device to broadcast an audio street to unlimited Bluetooth audio sink devices.  These broadcasts can be open, allowing anyone within range to join, or closed, where only those with passkeys for their audio sink devices are permitted to join.  This new technology offers significant opportunities for innovation, including creating the powerful Auracast™ broadcast audio. Auracast™ is a set of newly defined configurations for Bluetooth broadcast audio within the Public Broadcast Profile (PBP) that enable consumers' new, globally interoperable audio experiences.  The new capability will enhance how consumers engage with others and their world.          

Hearing Aids

LE Audio will be a boon to the deaf and hard of hearing community.  It can be used in advanced Bluetooth hearing aid products, enabling wireless calling, listening, and watching for those who need assistance with hearing.  LE also offers engineers the use of its software for more significant innovation in Bluetooth hearing aids technology.  The biggest challenge for LE Audio hearing aids is providing better support, particularly for the developer community.  

Sharing Audio 

In audio sharing, LE Audio will permit each sink device to control its volume independently.  The new feature, Multi-Stream Audio for Better Earbuds, also allows connecting devices independently to multiple devices.  Bluetooth LE Audio will support multiple approaches for scanning and selecting Auracast™ audio streams.  The plan is that third party devices, such as smartphones, will be able to facilitate this process.  LE Audio can handle audio streaming and essentially lets a local source stream audio to any number of devices, much like radio reception.  However, it does have a more limited range than a radio. Still, it can be used at concerts or sporting events. Or it can be used to provide multiple translations of a multilingual event.  

Why is Low-Energy Bluetooth Audio A Big Deal?

The most significant change that LE Audio offers is that the consumer will have access to higher-quality audio potential.  Indeed, Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) claims a 50 percent boost in audio quality over existing Bluetooth.  Certainly, even existing wireless headphones and wireless earbuds will sound better using the new LE Audio, while new devices will be truly improved.  

What is the future of Bluetooth audio? 

The future of Bluetooth is expected to be faster, more flexible, and much more aware of building on its past.

Final thoughts

Although most of your older technology won't work with the new LE Audio, you may have to replace some devices.  As the suffix “Audio” indicates, the safety standard is intended for transferring audio over a low-energy Bluetooth connection, something which wasn’t possible before.

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