A plus in audio quality and transmission robustness for cordless phones and headphones – Fraunhofer Audio Blog
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A plus in audio quality and transmission robustness for cordless phones and headphones

LC3plus is part of the 2019 DECT standard and the only open standard audio codec for wireless high-resolution and high-quality gaming headsets.

You might have read our recent blog post about the new LC3 audio codec jointly developed by Fraunhofer IIS and Ericsson. It provides for higher audio quality and lower power consumption in Bluetooth LE audio products. Today we present LC3plus, the enhanced version that has additional features and is suitable for all kinds of wireless audio accessories, such as VoIP or DECT phones, headphones and high-resolution headsets.

LC3plus – more features

As the name suggests, LC3plus is based on LC3. And it covers the same bases: LC3’s high speech and audio quality for wireless audio accessories, and a reduction of the required bit rate compared to other state-of-the-art technologies. This helps prolong battery life and paves the way for smaller products. Low latency, low complexity and low memory requirements are also characteristics of both codec variants. What puts the “plus” in LC3plus are, among other things, higher robustness against transmission errors, even lower encoding delay and the ability to play back high-resolution audio quality, for example via wireless headphones.

With the introduction of the 3GPP Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) audio codec for VoLTE came super wideband (SWB) audio quality for mobile phones. Users feel like they are in the same room as the person they are talking to. Now, LC3plus makes the equivalent of EVS available for the landline network. It was standardized in 2019 as ETSI TS 103 634 and is included in the 2019 DECT standard. Users of VoIP applications and DECT telephones can now also share in the feeling that the conversation is really taking place face to face.

LC3plus can also minimize disruptions during phone calls: the codec is extremely robust when it comes to voice packet loss and bit errors. In overloaded VoIP channels, the redundant transmission of LC3plus voice data ensures verifiably more stable phone calls. For DECT telephones, the LC3plus inherent tools for forward error correction were again specially adapted to exploit typical characteristics of DECT links. This significantly improves call quality compared to previous codecs: uninterrupted calls can be made even when the handset is far away from the base station.

Plus – transparent audio streaming quality

It’s not only for cordless telephony that LC3plus offers significant improvements. Thanks to the LC3plus high-resolution audio mode, users can now enjoy high-resolution music streaming with high sampling rates and dynamic range via wireless accessories such as headphones or speakers without any loss of quality. This makes LC3plus the ideal codec for these applications. What’s more, it is the only open standard audio codec for wireless high-resolution and high-quality gaming headsets.

More about LC3plus: http://www.iis.fraunhofer.de/LC3plus

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