Bluetooth specialist: "Impartiality makes all the difference"
When it was time for the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) to draft a new standard for audio over Bluetooth, FORCE Technology's SenseLab was called on to run tests. Members of the organisation could have run the tests themselves, but impartiality was crucial.
Wireless technology has fundamentally changed how we use electronics. The technology has presented brand-new opportunities to manufacturers and consumers, as well as brand-new challenges - such as ensuring that sound quality over Bluetooth is acceptable.
The Bluetooth SIG, a global organisation, works to harmonise and draft common standards in this area. For example, it developed the new LC3 codec. Nick Hunn, CTO of WiFore Consulting and the head of the Bluetooth SIG's Hearing Aid Working Group, says the new codec offers improved audio quality:
"The existing codecs were very old, so we decided to develop a new codec that's more modern and flexible. We asked if anybody in the organisation had a proposal. In response, Fraunhofer and Ericsson unveiled LC3. The codec received broad support from our members, but we wanted impartial verification that the codec would meet our needs. That's where FORCE Technology's SenseLab came into play," says Hunn.
Impartiality eliminates bias
FORCE Technology performed a series of audio tests on LC3 for the Bluetooth SIG. Since then, the organisation has used these tests to inform its ongoing work.
"We had run some initial testing of LC3 ourselves, and FORCE Technology didn't find anything that we had missed, but that impartiality makes all the difference. Nobody can question whether we were biased or attempting to drive the market in any particular direction, because we have the word of an impartial, trusted institute saying that it works. That's extremely valuable to us," Hunn explains.
WHAT IS A CODEC?
Media files, such as songs and videos, take up a lot of space, making it necessary to compress them. A codec compresses or decompresses media files so that they can be efficiently transmitted using wireless technologies like Bluetooth.
There are two parts to a codec: a coder, which compresses media files; and a decoder, which decompresses them.
ABOUT THE LC3 CODEC
LC3 stands for Low Complexity Communication Codec. LC3 is a new codec for audio over Bluetooth that provides improved sound quality.
It was initially developed by Fraunhofer and Ericsson, and has since been standardised by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).
About the Bluetooth SIG
SenseLab is a division of FORCE Technology that specialises in evaluating sound quality, primarily using listening tests. SenseLab performs independent tests throughout the audio industry, testing everything from codecs to hearing aids and more.
Read more about SenseLab.