Qualcomm's Broadcast Audio and TrueWireless Stereo Promise to Make Bluetooth Buds Way Better
Qualcomm today introduced two improvements to audio technology that should improve the experience of listening to music wirelessly. First, Broadast Audio will let people stream Bluetooth to more devices. The one-to-many streaming technology, which is proprietary to the Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, allows one Bluetooth source to stream audio to numerous headsets or speakers with "near perfect" synchronization. The idea is to allow one person to push music via Bluetooth to multiple speakers, headphones, or other devices. Qualcomm claims Broadcast Audio delivers simpler pairing, connecting, and managing devices; support for dozens of devices in range; and automatic retransmission and packet-loss concealment for a drop-out-free listening experience. Qualcomm's TrueWireless Stereo technology is the second audio tech on deck and is meant for truly wireless products, such as ear buds. The technology broadcasts Bluetooth content to each bud independently to eliminate the need for any wires whatsoever. (Many ear buds maintain one Bluetooth connection between the phone and the primary bud, and retransmit from the main bud to the secondary bud.) TrueWireless Stereo can deliver a good experience no matter the smartphone platform, and gives people the option to switch the role of earbuds between primary and secondary in order to balance power consumption for improved playback time. Qualcomm's TrueWireless Stereo tech is meant to be used with the recently-announced QCC5100 series Bluetooth SoC, which can help reduce power needs for voice calls and streaming audio by 65%. Broadcast Audio and TrueWireless Stereo are already available to developers and device makers.
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Apple Announces iOS 11 with Person-to-Person Apple Pay
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New iFrogz Bluetooth Headsets Start at $20
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Zagg this week announced five new iFrogz Bluetooth headsets, all of which are among its most affordable to date. The standout is the $20 Free Rein Wireless, a set of Bluetooth earbuds with a flat neck cord and and an unusually small, light hanging module with the battery and three buttons.