Hearing instrument manufacturers have warmly welcomed the Bluetooth Special Interest Group’s (SIG) announcement of the next generation of Bluetooth audio.

This new bluetooth standard, named LE Audio, will enable hearing device users to benefit from high quality sound from many different types of media, transmitted directly to their hearing instruments.

Since 2013, BIHIMA’s European counterpart, the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA), has been collaborating with Bluetooth SIG to develop a new suite of standards to bring improved features and performance specifically for hearing aid users.

LE Audio allows universal reception of signals for any hearing device 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,” said EHIMA Secretary-General, Stefan Zimmer.

Users will be able to listen to high quality stereo music at events such as theatres and concerts, as well as receive voice information from public transport providers.

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.

Our European partners have stated their ongoing commitment to work with hearing instrument user groups, as well as with the Bluetooth SIG, to maximize the benefits of this pioneering technology.