SIG announced Bluetooth low energy audio standard with LC3 encoding

In the past two years, we have seen more and more mobile and other device manufacturers are dropping the support of 3.5mm headphone jack, thus the wireless Bluetooth headset market has also begun to soar up.

At CES 2020, standards development organization, the Bluetooth SIG (Bluetooth Special Interest Group) announced the new Bluetooth LE Audio (Low Energy Bluetooth Audio Standard)

The key feature of the latest added standard that is Bluetooth low energy audio will consume less energy to play audio. Furthermore, it also includes the support for LC3 encoding, multiple streaming, hearing aid and Bluetooth broadcast function. Among them, compared with SBC, LC3 can reduce power consumption when transmitting high bit rate audio.

Multi-streaming is mainly designed for True Wireless Headphones (TWS), which allows binaural communication and improves stereo effects.

Bluetooth radio standard design has two mechanisms, for personal audio sharing and public broadcasting. The personal one mostly uses to share audio signals to nearby people, while the latter can be used in airports, theatres, bars, gyms, airborne, etc. Multiple Bluetooth receivers in the space receive device sound source information.

The new standard also aids people those are suffering from hearing loss by helping companies in developing better devices.

Bluetooth SIG study
Source: Bluetooth SIG Study based on ITU-R BS.1116-3. Bluetooth low energy audio standard announced: LC3 encoding has a higher compression ratio and better sound quality.

According to the published data, the same source of 1.5MBps and 48KHz, SBC will be compressed to 345Kbps whereas LC3 can be compressed to 192Kbps thus gives better listening experience to users.

first device with the LC3 will arrive in 2021
the first device with the LC3 will arrive in 2021

It is a misfortune that the Bluetooth SIG has not announced that the low-power audio standard will be carried based on that Bluetooth standard, such as 5.0 / 5.1 or future 5.2 and 6.0 instead they said the first device with the LC3 will arrive in 2021. Considering that 4 billion Bluetooth devices are shipped worldwide each year, it is hoped that old Bluetooth devices can also be supported through upgrades.