“Wireless audio” is the conveyance of an audio signal between two or more points that are not connected by an electrical conductor, typically via radio frequency (RF) waves. Wireless audio products include Bluetooth headsets, headphones, speakers and soundbars, and wireless multi-room audio systems.

Over the last decade, wireless audio devices have become ubiquitous, with shipments of Bluetooth® audio products alone reaching 790 million units in 2017 (up from 400 million in 2013). This upward trend is expected to continue over the next few years, with shipments forecast to reach 1,230 million in 2022. According to a separate report by Reportlinker, the wireless audio market is expected to grow from $16.1B in 2016 to around $31.8B by 2023.

These figures demonstrate how normalised wireless audio is becoming, with more and more people choosing to listen to music or radio, watch movies and play games whilst on the go, using Bluetooth headsets connected to their mobile phones.

Within the home, many music systems now include wireless functionality, whether to allow streaming of music from a computer or mobile phone, or for full multi-room audio distribution. Smart speakers have also become very popular, and are evolving into hubs for multiple IoT services (such as controlling lighting and thermostats).

A further impetus of this growth is automotive applications; many jurisdictions have now outlawed using a mobile phone directly while driving, encouraging many people to turn to wireless (Bluetooth) handsfree kits or headsets. In addition, many motorcyclists have adopted motorcycle headsets that fit within a helmet and allow the rider to listen to SatNav directions and converse with a passenger (or other riders) via an intercom mode.

Other applications for wireless audio include using in-ear earbuds whilst working out (some of these earbuds even include fitness tracker functionality), transmitting audio directly to hearing aids (such as via an audio induction loop), hands-free call handling by office receptionists, DECT phones, audio distribution in commercial applications, doorbell intercoms and baby monitors – but there are many, many more.

Our Expertise
We have been developing wireless audio products (such as Bluetooth® headsets, speakers and soundbars) for more than 10 years. We are also very experienced with related technology areas, such as DSP-based audio enhancements, over-the-air software updates (OTA-DFU), SPP / iAP / BLE (Bluetooth® Low Energy) based protocols for device customisation and control, companion app development for smartphones, etc.

How We Can Help You
With our in-depth knowledge of the wireless audio industry and wireless audio protocols, we are ideally placed to help you develop the products you want. We can help you analyse your requirements and tailor them to work within the constraints of the underlying technology. We can design and implement the software and/or hardware for your products. We can help you work with a factory to get your products into production and help with any qualification or certification requirements (through our partner test houses). And we can provide any required post-production support or software updates.