Bluetooth audio is finally becoming increasingly popular, not just in headphones, but across the smart home and smart speaker ecosystems too. Many consumers and businesses now seek multi-speaker and multi-room systems. Qualcomm announced today it’s making it easier to stream audio from your phone to multiple devices by adding these capabilities to its Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform. Smartphones arriving later this year could therefore support the feature.
Qualcomm’s Broadcast Audio enables a single audio stream to be shared to multiple devices with perfect synchronization using Bluetooth. This could include streaming audio to multiple speakers in the same room from your phone, sharing music to multiple wireless headsets, or even using a phone as a mass broadcast system to speak to multiple devices at once. It works for streaming music to speakers, but it can also be used for voice communication and other audio sharing between handsets, as well as consumer, business, and professional audio gear.
Qualcomm powers a wide range of Bluetooth and audio products, so supporting enhanced Bluetooth features on its latest mobile platform — often a hub for streaming — makes sense. The company’s platform portfolio has grown to include products like wireless headphones and smart speaker SoCs, which also support casting and multi-room setups.
As well as multi-device streaming, Qualcomm’s technology also offers a simple setup and pairing process to manage multiple devices at once, automatic packet retransmission to prevent dropped or skipped audio, and the option for an encrypted audio stream to stop eavesdroppers from hijacking your stream.
In addition to the Snapdragon 845, Broadcast Audio is also available on many of the company’s Bluetooth audio SoCs, which are designed for speakers and headphones. These include the CSR8670, CSR8675, CSRA68100, and the latest ultra-low-power QCC5100. The company is also offering software updates for its chips to bring support to existing products, so we might see this feature in plenty of other places.
The bottom line is if you pick up a Snapdragon 845 powered handset later this year, you’ll probably be able to enjoy one-to-many Bluetooth streaming.