Bluetooth Auracast Is A Buzzword at CES 2024, but What Is It?

Bluetooth Auracast

CES 2024 is full of new releases. Among other things, there have been a good number of new wireless headphones and wireless earbuds launch announcements. One of the common things for most of the new high-end offerings is Bluetooth Auracast.

It has constantly been mentioned by the companies that are announcing new audio gear. Seeing the feature on the headlines could make you wonder what exactly Bluetooth Auracast is. Well, it’s one of the key features that Bluetooth LE has brought to the table. It enables content broadcast to all the connected devices in a public setting. But there’s more to it that you should know about.

What is Bluetooth Auracast?

As mentioned earlier, Bluetooth Auracast is one of the key features that Bluetooth LE has introduced. At the core, it’s a way to get content broadcasted to multiple connected devices from one source. It also brings the ability to connect wireless speakers to one another without needing to get into any bundled apps.

Now, as there are broadcast elements, you have the ability to select the available channels. That is, it allows you to select channels for broadcasting just like you would do for a WiFi network.

In simpler words, Auracast is basically broadcast over Bluetooth. For it to work, of course, you will need an Auracast transmitter. This transmitter, in a public setting, can either be a box that looks like a WiFi router or a pro-grade add-on to your TV. With it, you can make your own channels from a source that can share audio. For example, your laptop or phone can make the channels to share sound from a TV.

That means you can get the audio from a public TV cast directly to your headphones. This could be quite helpful in airports, where you need to keep tabs on the gate information and the flight. The organization that defines the Bluetooth standards, Bluetooth SIG, has allowed visitors to CES 2024 to experience this through a demo.

Key Features of Bluetooth Auracast

To really understand what Bluetooth Auracast can do, you need to know its key features. Here’s a brief description of them:

Audio Sharing

One of the basic functions of Bluetooth Auracast is sharing audio. But it’s something that you can do with any Bluetooth-enabled device. So, why is audio sharing through this new feature a highlight? Well, through it, you can share the same audio coming from a single source with multiple listeners.

One Source, Unlimited Listeners

One of the good parts about Bluetooth Auracast is that one receiver is enough for all the receiving devices. That is, there is no limit on how many number of compatible devices can receive the transmitted signals. To compare, regular Bluetooth pairing is a one-to-one connection.

Of course, like a regular Bluetooth connection, there’s a range of constraints. As long as you’re within the range, you can make unlimited receiving devices to get them to receive the transmitted signal.

Bluetooth headphones

Public Broadcasts

With Bluetooth Auracast, anyone with a compatible receiver can tune into public audio broadcasts if they’re within range. Consider the TV example discussed above. With the new feature, you can use compatible headphones to tune into audio coming from a muted audio source in a public source.

Assistive Listening With Bluetooth Auracast

Auracast can be quite helpful for people who rely on hearing aids. It can help to eliminate the background noise from public events and get audio directly transmitted to the hearing aid devices. It also opens the door for multi-language broadcasts in different venues, such as conference centers.

CD Quality Audio

One of the features that will excite audiophiles is that Auracast can transmit CD-quality audio. In comparison, regular Bluetooth streams are generally lossy, which can compress the details in the audio and make the experience less immersive. Basically, it allows HiFi wireless streams in a public setting.

Bluetooth headphones in public

Encrypted Broadcasts Through Bluetooth Auracast

It’s possible to encrypt the Bluetooth Auracast transmissions with a password. So, even though the transmitted channel may be discoverable by others, only the ones with permissions can get into the channel. This could come quite in handy for large-scale physical work meetings.

Low Latency Audio

As Bluetooth Auracast is a part of Bluetooth LE, it automatically brings reduced latency. This feature will be very useful for holding public events where lag-free audio can make the experience better. For example, a gaming tournament setting with a live screen and commentary audio can benefit from this.

Bluetooth LE Audio Codec

Better Battery Life

Bluetooth LE already brings better battery life due to low power requirements. This advantage is carried over to Bluetooth Auracast. So, even though the feature allows large-scale audio sharing, battery life will not take a hit.

Which Devices Have Bluetooth Aurcast?

So, there are two many components for Bluetooth Auracast. The first is the transmitters, which need to have Bluetooth 5.2 or Bluetooth 5.3. In addition, it should have support for LE audio. As for the receivers, they also need these two. But there should be a specific mention that the headphones or earbuds support the feature.

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