A new and improved version of Bluetooth audio is on the way

midian182

Posts: 6,083   +50
Staff member

The LE part of the name stands for “low energy,” which has been connecting devices such as wearables and sensors without rapidly draining their batteries since 2012. Now, it’s coming to wireless audio devices that have always had higher power requirements, allowing them to send sound over the low energy spectrum.

One of the new features is Multi-Stream Audio. Rather than being able to stream audio to just one device, it will allow sound to be transmitted to multiple devices at the same time. The feature should be of great benefit to truly wireless earbuds like Apple’s AirPods, where only one bud receives a signal before forwarding it to the other side. It will also allow users to connect their wireless headphones to multiple devices at the same time, letting them seamlessly switch between audio sources.

Additionally, Multi-Stream allows a source device to broadcast a Bluetooth signal to an unlimited number of devices. “At airports, at gates and lounges, at sports bars and restaurants, at gymnasiums and waiting rooms—many of these locations now have televisions installed and they're largely silent,” said Bluetooth SIG vice president of marketing Ken Kolderup. “Now imagine being able to walk into any of those locations and, from a standard headset, being able to scan for and tune in to the audio from one of those TVs.”

Another change will be an improvement in the audio quality, thanks to the Low Complexity Communication Codec (LC3), which uses half the bandwidth of the current Bluetooth audio codes, thereby decreasing power consumption. This will enable wireless products that last twice as long or come with smaller batteries.

The Bluetooth SIG says more LE Audio specifications will be released in the first half of 2020, with compatible products expected to arrive later in the year. LE Audio listening in venues should arrive in the next three years.

Permalink to story.

 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,486   +5,994
Sounds like a pretty good improvement but we'll have to see what the field tests from our subscribers say ......
 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,081
I didn't see anything about the 1+ second delay on bluetooth audio we have had for over a decade. I get it across a variety of devices for many years. Has anybody heard if this brand new technology will finally fix that? Maybe they will "improve" it to a 2 second delay? ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: kira setsu and Puiu

GregonMaui

Posts: 225   +84
I didn't see anything about the 1+ second delay on bluetooth audio we have had for over a decade. I get it across a variety of devices for many years. Has anybody heard if this brand new technology will finally fix that? Maybe they will "improve" it to a 2 second delay? ;)
Are you sure you are actually current on technology?
 
  • Like
Reactions: herbalfire

Nobina

Posts: 2,673   +2,294
I didn't see anything about the 1+ second delay on bluetooth audio we have had for over a decade. I get it across a variety of devices for many years. Has anybody heard if this brand new technology will finally fix that? Maybe they will "improve" it to a 2 second delay? ;)
For me it varies but it's usually instant, never close to 1 second. Can't tell whether it's Bluetooth or wired. You might have some connection issues or really old devices.

A problem that I have with Bluetooth is it's slowing down my WiFi speeds sometimes to below 1 Mbps.
 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,081
For me it varies but it's usually instant, never close to 1 second. Can't tell whether it's Bluetooth or wired. You might have some connection issues or really old devices.

A problem that I have with Bluetooth is it's slowing down my WiFi speeds sometimes to below 1 Mbps.
Are you sure you are actually current on technology?
I have had several Samsung phones, from a S3 through a S10. I currently have both a S5 and also a S10. Is a S10 current enough? I have used numerous devices from bluetooth headphones, two different bluetooth home theater receivers, my car, etc etc. Also using different sound sources such as streaming audio to video to games. All of them have 1+ second delay. Anything interactive is laughable. Wired connections have been perfect every time. Numerous others also have the same issue as google searches agree.

My WiFi is full speed and have never had issues within a descent range.
 
Last edited:

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,464   +2,363
I didn't see anything about the 1+ second delay on bluetooth audio we have had for over a decade. I get it across a variety of devices for many years. Has anybody heard if this brand new technology will finally fix that? Maybe they will "improve" it to a 2 second delay? ;)
Latency on most Bluetooth headphones is about 200ms.... There are codecs, aptX low latency and Low Latency Audio Codec are the 2 main ones I know about, which claim to reduce latency considerably to about 30-35ms, but they're not available in very many headsets - yet... but this only accounts for 1/5 of a second - not sure where you're getting the 1 second lag from.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Danny101

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,081
Latency on most Bluetooth headphones is about 200ms.... There are codecs, aptX low latency and Low Latency Audio Codec are the 2 main ones I know about, which claim to reduce latency considerably to about 30-35ms, but they're not available in very many headsets - yet... but this only accounts for 1/5 of a second - not sure where you're getting the 1 second lag from.
Thanks. Yeah, I'm hoping anyone can chime in here that might know why I (and many others) have always had a 1+ second delay.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,322   +527
One of the new features is Multi-Stream Audio. Rather than being able to stream audio to just one device said:
Sounds good for surround sound theatre systems and piping sound to outside speakers on property.
What I'm really looking for is improvement in speed for when I'm taking pictures with a camera and I'm transferring to a PC through Bluetooth. The last time I tried, in 2017, it was deathly slow. I even limited the quality level to just what I needed, but it wasn't enough. 12-14 pictures at a time. I haven't paid attention to the technology since other than for keyboard, mouse, and audio usages.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,322   +527
"""Sounds good for surround sound theatre systems and piping sound to outside speakers on property."""

What I'm really looking for is improvement in speed for when I'm taking pictures with a camera and I'm transferring to a PC through Bluetooth. The last time I tried, in 2017, it was deathly slow. I even limited the quality level to just what I needed, but it wasn't enough. 12-14 pictures at a time. I haven't paid attention to the technology since other than for keyboard, mouse, and audio usages.

Apparently, I've yet to figure out how to isolate and highlight quotes while adding my own.
 

Bullwinkle M

Posts: 373   +267
I have never owned any bluetooth device until 5.0 arrived

With AptX HD / Long Range / Low Power and Low Latency on each and every device, you never get audio delay that is noticed

Never mix Low Latency Bluetooth 5.0 devices with older bluetooth devices!

I get low latency thoughout the house basement / main & top floor

Adding an attenuator pad to the output of 1 blutooth receiver allows me to plug directly into the microphone input of a camcorder without damaging it

The bluetooth transmitter plugs into the line output of my portable audio recorders that have 5V plugin power and 48V Phantom power so I now have several wireless microphones

Works Great!

There "IS" a sleight delay, but not enough to warrant re-encoding every single video

A better option would be Avantree wireless mic/instrument transmitter/receiver with 9ms delay but Bluetooth 5 & AptX HD is good enough for me

 

Puiu

Posts: 4,078   +2,634
I have never owned any bluetooth device until 5.0 arrived

With AptX HD / Long Range / Low Power and Low Latency on each and every device, you never get audio delay that is noticed

Never mix Low Latency Bluetooth 5.0 devices with older bluetooth devices!

I get low latency thoughout the house basement / main & top floor

Adding an attenuator pad to the output of 1 blutooth receiver allows me to plug directly into the microphone input of a camcorder without damaging it

The bluetooth transmitter plugs into the line output of my portable audio recorders that have 5V plugin power and 48V Phantom power so I now have several wireless microphones

Works Great!

There "IS" a sleight delay, but not enough to warrant re-encoding every single video

A better option would be Avantree wireless mic/instrument transmitter/receiver with 9ms delay but Bluetooth 5 & AptX HD is good enough for me
Even those technologies have a delay and if you limit yourself to only a few devices that support them then it's not worth it. It needs to be made a standard feature that comes with any bt device. BT 5.0 is NOT good enough for many people. It's why I am still using a wired headset with my phone.
 

kira setsu

Posts: 285   +219
I didn't see anything about the 1+ second delay on bluetooth audio we have had for over a decade. I get it across a variety of devices for many years. Has anybody heard if this brand new technology will finally fix that? Maybe they will "improve" it to a 2 second delay? ;)
they probably wont fix that, watching videos from my phone with sound through my car stereo is the worst offender of this. although normal blutooth headphones also have a very slight delay for someone who's used to wired
 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,081
Latency on most Bluetooth headphones is about 200ms.... There are codecs, aptX low latency and Low Latency Audio Codec are the 2 main ones I know about, which claim to reduce latency considerably to about 30-35ms, but they're not available in very many headsets - yet... but this only accounts for 1/5 of a second - not sure where you're getting the 1 second lag from.
I don't see aptx in the google store. Is it under some other name?
 

copasetic

Posts: 22   +5
Having had some variant of this for a while, I can say it's pretty cool. I had no idea that my OLD Samsung Galaxy Note 8 had the ability to do multiple bluetooth audio streams until a few months ago. Hearing music on multiple speakers at the same time, or sound on 1 BT speaker while taking a call on my headset was nothing short of mindblowing for a moment. (It still amazes people I show it to). I was amazed, and this isn't even current tech! I actually use it more than I thought, it's not a gimmick. JBL speakers allow you to split into stereo, and even daisy chain a lot of them together. 1 device can play through your whole location on separate speakers.
 
Last edited:

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,464   +2,363
I don't see aptx in the google store. Is it under some other name?
You can't buy it... it's simply a codec... many headsets support it - but the "low latency" version is pretty rare... for now... you need to check the specs of every individual piece you buy to see if it supports the codecs you need.
 

CricketHynes

Posts: 6   +1
Bluetooth sucks for audio, period.

There's no excuse for removing the headphone jacks from MEDIA-CENTRIC devices.

Want to watch a movie on the plane with your companion? NOPE. Now you can't plug two sets of headphones into your iPad. So an already marginal device is even more useless. According to this, they're addressing this glaring problem years later, and everyone is supposed to replace their playback devices AND headphones AGAIN?

These morons (AKA Apple) claim that services like Apple Music and TV are their future, but then make it HARDER for consumers to consume them. Brilliant.

And come on, this makes no sense:

an improvement in the audio quality, thanks to the Low Complexity Communication Codec (LC3), which uses half the bandwidth of the current Bluetooth audio codes, thereby decreasing power consumption
Half the bandwidth does not result in improved audio quality, DUHHH.
 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,081
And come on, this makes no sense:

"an improvement in the audio quality, thanks to the Low Complexity Communication Codec (LC3), which uses half the bandwidth of the current Bluetooth audio codes, thereby decreasing power consumption "

Half the bandwidth does not result in improved audio quality, DUHHH.
They are "thanking" LC3 but just adding comments about the extras it gives. Punctuation makes a big difference. :)
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,464   +2,363
Bluetooth sucks for audio, period.

There's no excuse for removing the headphone jacks from MEDIA-CENTRIC devices.

Want to watch a movie on the plane with your companion? NOPE. Now you can't plug two sets of headphones into your iPad. So an already marginal device is even more useless. According to this, they're addressing this glaring problem years later, and everyone is supposed to replace their playback devices AND headphones AGAIN?

These morons (AKA Apple) claim that services like Apple Music and TV are their future, but then make it HARDER for consumers to consume them. Brilliant.

And come on, this makes no sense:



Half the bandwidth does not result in improved audio quality, DUHHH.
Apparently you’ve never heard of adapters? You do know you can plug as many headsets into an iPad (or virtually any other device) as you want with a simple adapter....
 

Bullwinkle M

Posts: 373   +267
Even those technologies have a delay and if you limit yourself to only a few devices that support them then it's not worth it. It needs to be made a standard feature that comes with any bt device. BT 5.0 is NOT good enough for many people. It's why I am still using a wired headset with my phone.
Really?

Tell me, which Bluetooth 5.0 devices do you own to make such a claim

I'm getting under 70ms delay with AptX HD

Voice is in sync with video and I can control Next track / Last track, Volume, start/stop & pause on any windows computer from any headphones I own, anywhere in the house

24bit/48Khz AptX HD sounds good enough for what it does

When gaming online, I cannot tell that that I'm wireless if Windows Audio is set correctly

With the right Bluetooth devices, it's good enough, so........

Which Bluetooth 5 devices do you actually own?
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,078   +2,634
Really?

Tell me, which Bluetooth 5.0 devices do you own to make such a claim

I'm getting under 70ms delay with AptX HD

Voice is in sync with video and I can control Next track / Last track, Volume, start/stop & pause on any windows computer from any headphones I own, anywhere in the house

24bit/48Khz AptX HD sounds good enough for what it does

When gaming online, I cannot tell that that I'm wireless if Windows Audio is set correctly

With the right Bluetooth devices, it's good enough, so........

Which Bluetooth 5 devices do you actually own?
I have a Tronsmart portable speaker and yes, I can 100% tell that there is a delay.

As for how you are giving these numbers is beyond me, do you have special measuring tools? You are not getting sub 100ms even with AptX HD, and AptX HD is generally limited to a few Qualcomm devices.

FYI AptX by itself does not reduce latency, you need to have an AptX Adaptive capable device for that to happen. Another standard barely supported.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CricketHynes