GN Group unveils ‘world first’ Nordic-powered Bluetooth LE Audio and Auracast broadcast audio TV streamer
Global hearing technology solutions provider GN Group has launched a world first Bluetooth® LE Audio (LE Audio) and AuracastTM broadcast audio TV streamer, enabling people suffering from hearing loss to stream hi-fidelity audio between their television and their hearing aids, with all the benefits of Auracast. Working seamlessly with the company’s new ReSound NexiaTM hearing aids or other LE Audio compatible solutions, the TV-Streamer+ integrates a Nordic Semiconductor LE Audio- and Auracast-capable wireless SoC to deliver low power, low latency, and long range wireless connectivity with improved audio quality.
“There are approximately 430 million people worldwide living with hearing loss and that number is forecast to grow to 2.5 billion by 2050,” says Thomas Olsgaard, Principal Engineer, Technology Access with GN. “People with hearing loss must be able to interact in a digital world and have a real need for next generation connectivity in their lives. The new TV-Streamer+ gives people with hearing loss immediate speech clarity at their preferred volume while at the same time supporting Auracast.”
LE Audio is the next generation of Bluetooth Audio, delivering True Wireless Stereo (TWS) and making audio streaming over Bluetooth LE possible. It also significantly reduces power consumption compared to Classic Bluetooth – extending battery life or allowing the use of smaller batteries for the same run time. Auracast enables that same audio source—such as the TV-Streamer+—to broadcast audio streams to an unlimited number of devices, allowing for example, multi-language audio streams so multiple users can tune into a stream for their preferred language.
By using the new Nordic-powered TV-Streamer+ it’s possible to stream audio from any sound source such as a television, to an individual or a group using receiving devices such as ReSound Nexia hearing aids or Auracast-compliant wireless earbuds, for example. This means the wearer of the hearing aids can hear the audio stream with perfect clarity by adjusting their sound preferences via the ReSound Smart 3DTM app on their smartphone, while their friends and family members can simultaneously listen at a comfortable volume directly via the audio source, or through their own Auracast-compliant hearing aids, headphones, or earbuds.
“As the established leader in Bluetooth LE, Nordic is proud to partner with GN to also now be at the forefront of LE Audio and Auracast product development,” says Thomas Holmberg, Regional Sales Director, Europe with Nordic Semiconductor. “The message to both developers and consumers is that with the launch of the TV-Streamer+ and ReSound Nexia hearing aids, LE Audio and Auracast has arrived, and is set to transform assistive listening worldwide.”
“Nordic has been our reliable, ‘go-to’ Bluetooth LE provider for more than 15 years now,” continues GN’s Olsgaard. “In bringing the next generation of our products to market based on the new LE Audio standard, continuing to work with Nordic enabled us to speed up development time thanks to their always swift and highly competent engineering department that take away the challenges that always appear in new tech development.”
In addition to employing Nordic wireless connectivity into the TV-Streamer+, GN has also integrated Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC into the ReSound Nexia hearing aids’ charging case, enabling seamless wireless connectivity between the hearing aids, the charging case, and the associated smartphone app. This provides smart charging, battery level updates, and ensures the hearing aids are ready-to-use when fitted on the ear, without the need to turn them on and off.