LE Audio and the Future of Hearing

Yet another interview with Nick Hunn. Each one fleshes out the possibilities a little bit more. I just wish they’d hurry up and at least release the specs.

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According to Kolderup, “The LC3 codec specification is expected to be finalised, adopted and published within the next few months, at which time additional details will be made publicly available.”

When it comes to product development Kolderup says that of “the SIG members that created LE Audio, many are already well underway in the development of, or planning for, products that will include support for LE Audio.”



I am definitely going to show my age when I admit this, but my computer programming experience started in the early 70s (using assembly language). Even C Wasn’t commonly available then. Given the size of hearing aids (with not much real estate available for memory) I have often wondered what language most use for programming them. Even though I am now retired (after 50+ years of microprocessor experience) I wonder if there could be any opportunity to use my experience to do consult, especially since I now use HAs myself.

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So they claim that manufacturers will have the possibility to make older devices (including ASHA, MFI, etc) compatible with Bluetooth® LE Audio if they wish so (at about 10 minutes in the video).

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I took it to mean ‘in theory’. Nick Hunn did say that hardware is more efficient. Based on that, I doubt you’d see anything but a hardware implementation in a hearing aid.

If you’re talking Android phones, my guess is that by the time the OS is upgraded to cater for LE Audio, most phones that qualify for the upgrade will already have compatible hardware. Late model PIxels might be the exception.

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I would tend to agree that any hearing aid implementation would be done as hardware. I have no idea of complexity, but I do remember Oticon implementing Speech Rescue (frequency lowering) in a firmware upgrade, so it might be feasible to implement LE Audio with a firmware upgrade, but I wouldn’t think so. Hopefully LE audio will be implemented in Android 11, or an update and smartphones that come out with 11 as their first Android OS would have LE audio standard. That’s probably a best case scenario. I don’t even have a guess about Apple.