The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced LE Audio, the next generation of Bluetooth audio. With LE Audio, hearing aid users will benefit from high quality sound from many types of media directly in their hearing instruments.
Since 2013, the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) has been collaborating with Bluetooth SIG to develop a new suite of standards which bring improved features and performance, specifically for hearing aid users. LE Audio introduces broadcasting of signals to any user in the range of the transmitter that has a hearing aid. This means that the user can connect to the transmission with a simple action in their hearing instrument. This new technology is more cost effective and simpler to install compared to the induction-based system used hitherto.
Better service for users of hearing instruments
“With direct streaming of audio signals in noisy situations, Bluetooth LE Audio helps us to provide better service for users of hearing instruments, such as hearing aids and implants. We expect the simplicity and affordability of this solution to lead to higher popularity and coverage compared to previous systems”, says EHIMA Secretary General Stefan Zimmer.
Users will be able to listen to high quality, stereo music in theatres, concerts and churches as well as to voice messages from public information infrastructure. Used in public transportation, LE transmitters will allow hearing aid users to be up to date on information pertaining to their journey.
Both public and private venues will find installation of these systems much more economical, resulting in a step change in accessibility for anyone with hearing loss.