Bluetooth audio is about to get a major upgrade thanks to Auracast

Bluetooth Auracast audio sharing
(Image credit: Bluetooth SIG)

What you need to know

  • Bluetooth SIG announces the launch of Auracast audio broadcasting technology.
  • Auracast was previously branded as Audio Sharing and will rely on Bluetooth LE Audio.
  • The technology will allow users to share audio with others and connect with public media devices or venues to better hear what's going on.
  • Bluetooth Auracast specifications will be released within the next few months.

Bluetooth SIG announced a new specification coming to its wireless audio technology that it hopes will bring users together, whether in public or private. It's called Auracast, and it will take wireless audio sharing to the next level.

In fact, Auracast was previously known as Audio Sharing, which allows users to beam their audio to more than one person. Auracast will take this to the next level by allowing users to broadcast audio to "an unlimited number of nearby Bluetooth audio receivers."

That means you can share a presentation with a crowd of people wearing wireless earbuds or assisted hearing devices, connect to a TV in a public space, or tune into an audio source while at the gym. However, one of the best potential use-cases is being able to receive a broadcast on public transit while listening to music, ensuring you don't miss an important announcement or stop.

Bluetooth Auracast Broadcast Audio during a presentation

(Image credit: Bluetooth SIG)

"The launch of Auracast broadcast audio will trigger another massive change in the wireless audio market," CEO of Bluetooth SIG, Mark Powell, says in a statement. "The ability to broadcast and share audio using Bluetooth technology will reshape personal audio and enable public venues and spaces to deliver audio experiences that will improve visitor satisfaction and increase accessibility."

Peter Liu, System Architect of Pixel Ecosystem Products at Google, says that Auracast builds off the innovation of Bluetooth, suggesting that we may eventually see this technology show up in Pixel devices. "We are proud to work with the Bluetooth SIG and are excited to see this capability provide consumers with new, imaginative ways to connect with each other and hear their world."

(Image credit: Bluetooth SIG)

Users will be able to view and join broadcasts similar to how they select Wi-Fi networks, with a mockup of the feature showing a UI displaying various private and public broadcasts nearby. Venues will also be able to utilize QR codes to make it easier to join broadcasts, and "tap-to-hear" will likely use NFC to make connecting effortless.

The Auracast specification will roll out in a few months as part of Bluetooth LE Audio, which is available in Bluetooth 5.2. A spokesperson from Bluetooth SIG informed Android Central that it expects consumer products to arrive on the market quickly, ramping up towards the end of the year and the holiday season.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.