Good news for owners of the best Samsung TVs and Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro: at the IFA 2023 tech showcase in Berlin the company has announced a big software upgrade and it's a genuine game changer. The software update is bringing the much-anticipated Auracast technology to its entertainment devices, specifically Samsung's Neo QLED 8K TVs and 2023 micro-LED TVs, and that opens up all kinds of exciting possibilities.
Auracast is part of the latest Bluetooth LE Audio technology and it makes some important changes to how Bluetooth audio works. Instead of pairing with a single device as before, Auracast enables devices to become a kind of hotspot, but for audio rather than data transfer.
It enables transmitters – which could be one of the best phones or best tablets, a PC or a public transmitter – to broadcast an audio signal to an unlimited number of in-range receivers, such as your Bluetooth 5.2 earbuds or headphones. So when that transmitter is your TV, you can connect to multiple pairs of the best earbuds. And that's exactly what Samsung has just announced for certain compatible TVs.
As far as I'm aware, Samsung is the first major TV firm to add Auracast to its TVs, which means that you can finally take advantage of Apple-rivalling features such as support for multiple connected headphones when you and your friends or family are watching TV like the best AirPods and Apple TV 4K are capable of.
What other benefits does Auracast bring?
According to Samsung: "Auracast opens a variety of potential use cases and possibilities for further device applications — from augmented or assistive listening in a theater or lecture hall for those who want hear better, to sharing a playlist from your smartphone while on a run with friends, and even multi-language support without translation devices by sending different language interpretations via different channels."
Clearly, you're not going to be taking an 8K TV to your lecture theatre. But it does give you an idea of how useful Auracast may prove to be. Bluetooth LE Audio isn't just about Auracast, as interesting that is. It also delivers lower latency, which is important to gamers and musicians as many Bluetooth headphones are too laggy for live recording. LE Audio is also used by Samsung to deliver 360 Audio Recording in the Samsung Galaxy phone camera via Galaxy Buds2 Pro.
Samsung will be rolling out the software update to compatible TVs from September, which just happens to be the same month that it'll be showing off its latest ideas at the IFA show in Berlin.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.