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CSR Wireless Audio Platform: Why You Should Care

A few days ago CSR, a company based in Cambridge UK, issued a press release highlighting the fact that their BC6145 chip was used by LG in the new HBM-260 Bluetooth headset. Normally consumer Bluetooth headsets are just one thing….dull. However, you might just give this news a look because there’s something interesting behind the headlines.

Your presence at this site indicates that you have at least some passing familiarity with the phenomenon that is HDVoice. Over the past couple of years I’ve worked to find HDVoice capable tools for my own use. I started with soft phones, but then went on to explore SIP hard phones and eventually accessories like headsets. Often I was startled and frustrated by the complete lack of suitable products in the marketplace.

To date I have found that wideband capable Bluetooth headsets have been limited to products like the Plantronics Voyager Pro UC, which target the enterprise space. Given that target market these devices command a much higher price than their consumer focused siblings.

CSR offers chips technology that allow the mainstream consumer electronics companies to jump on the HDVoice band-wagon. To cite another CSR press release: CSR brings the benefits of HD voice to the mainstream with first fully qualified Wideband Speech enabled Bluetooth audio platform

TMC has some details about the chipset as well as the LG headset that is to bring it to market. It apparently implements a wideband codec called mSBC. While I’m not familiar with this codec I have found that it’s included in a recent AES paper; Objective Evaluation of Wideband Speech Codecs for Voice Communication Over Bluetooth. I look forward to giving it a read.

Chips like this one from CSR are the basis upon which the big electronics companies will build wideband capable Bluetooth headsets. Eventually this will permit such capability in consumer products, at lower price points. That’s just got to be a good thing.

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