In what is believed to be the first practical demonstration using Bluetooth to deliver action- synchronised, high-quality audio to a wireless gaming headset, CSR has sort to brake the barrier that has separated the Bluetooth wireless audio and gaming worlds. By overcoming Bluetooth’s inherent inability to allow users to play games interactively with synchronised high-quality audio and visual action, the new CSR aptX Low Latency codec at the heart of the demonstration is designed to open the door to new markets for Bluetooth technology, making it possible for manufacturers to create “universal” headphones and headsets that can be used both for high-fidelity wireless audio and gaming applications.
“By eliminating synchronisation issues our aptX Low Latency technology enables makers of gaming equipment to take advantage of the economies of scale offered by high volume Bluetooth silicon solutions, and allows all equipment makers to create dual-use products, resulting in greater competition and the associated benefits for consumers,” explained Jonny McClintock, director of aptX sales and marketing at CSR. “Dual-use products like these would allow gamers, for example, to use their smartphones with their gaming headset, or use the same headset for gaming and then listening to high-fidelity stereo music streamed wirelessly from a mobile device. With this disruptive technology, the two markets now become one.”
Beyond dedicated gaming consoles, more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to play games, according to McClintock, and the need for a universal wireless headset becomes obvious.
Bluetooth wireless links for high-quality audio can have an inherent latency of more than 150 ms. For streaming applications where the latency is continuous (such as movie video) this can be compensated for in various ways, but in gaming environments, the gun shots, bomb blasts and other sound effects are intermittent and unpredictable, making compensation unfeasible.
CSR aptX Low Latency for Bluetooth enables a latency of just 32 ms, well under the 45 ms recommended latency for audio/video applications. Before CSR aptX Low Latency, the only practical way to achieve acceptable quality audio and video sync wirelessly in a gaming environment was to utilise a proprietary low-latency radio link, but proprietary radio technology is incompatible with the Bluetooth technology already used to stream audio from millions of smartphones, tablets, laptops and other sources.
Any Bluetooth headphone or headset equipped with the CSR aptX Low Latency codec will be able to be used both for high-fidelity audio and gaming, opening the door to new market opportunities for audio equipment and gaming equipment makers.
Game console makers will no longer need an additional proprietary radio solution just for headset connectivity, enabling them to use a single CSR8670 device, for example, for all their Bluetooth connectivity needs, including headset, wireless controllers and even connectivity to mobile devices.