LE Audio, Auracast™ Broadcast Audio, and the Future of Bluetooth Audio

ABI Research expects wider adoption of Auracast™ broadcast audio to take shape in 2025. At that point, the technology will be better known, transmitter devices will be freely available, and the installed base of LE Audio devices will reach a significant figure. For example, while only five percent of smartphones shipping in 2022 are expected to support LE Audio, by 2027 it is expected to be around 90 percent. Therefore, the industry can expect the adoption of Auracast™ audio broadcasting to accelerate in the second half of the decade, driven initially by silent TV and augmented/assistive listening use cases in public venues.

Given these factors, there will be nearly 2.5 million Auracast™ audio broadcasts worldwide by 2030. Buildings for public gatherings, such as cinemas and theaters, museums, transportation hubs, conference rooms and gyms, among others, will lead the way, accounting for 42 percent of deployments. This will be followed by places of worship, restaurants and catering establishments, and accommodation options (e.g. hotels and nursing homes). ABI Research expects silent TV and augmented/assistive listening use cases in public venues to drive initial adoption. In public meeting buildings, all five main use cases will be relevant; however, by 2030, the majority will come from silent TV screens, assistive listening and multilingual support. Places of worship implementations will focus on listening aids, while hospitality implementations will be guided by silent TV screens in bars and other venues.

One of the greater opportunities for Auracast™ broadcasting, but in the longer term, is found within one-to-one or counter-based assistive listening applications. Today, hearing loop solutions can be found in a wide variety of public counters or reception desks in retail and hospitality, healthcare facilities, movie theaters, banks, post offices, education campuses, and government and public buildings, among others. However, the initial focus for Auracast™ broadcast audio was mainly on the large-scale broadcast applications and less on the private, one-to-one solutions. It will probably be several years before these one-to-one solutions are available in large quantities.

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