Europe's hearing aid manufacturers hail advent of Bluetooth LE Audio



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The arrival of a new standard in Bluetooth transmissions, one bringing greater sound quality from diverse media to hearing instrument users, has been warmly welcomed by the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturer's Association (EHIMA).

Bluetooth LE Audio has been in development for some years, but it is set to attract major media attention when trumpeted today, January 7, amid other technology advances at the CES 2020 show in Las Vegas, the world's biggest fair in electronic innovations. LE Audio means universal reception of signals for any hearing aid user in the range of the transmitter, with simple connection possibilities, easier installation, and more cost-effective use than under the induction-based system used to date.

“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.

Since 2013, EHIMA has been working closely on LE Audio with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG), the global organisation involving more than 34,000 firms that oversees standards and licensing for this communications technology.

In practical terms, 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, says EHIMA. Used in public transportation, LE transmitters will allow hearing aid users to keep up to date on information pertaining to their journey, while 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.

Source: EHIMA