CSR brings the benefits of HD voice to the handset

CSR announces wide-ranging platform support for the freshly-ratified HFP 1.6 Bluetooth profile which includes Wideband Speech – often referred to as High Definition voice or HD voice. Its BC6145 is the first mass-market mono headset solution to support this new hands-free profile, enabling OEMs to begin producing high-quality HD voice-ready products immediately.

CSR has designed HD voice support into multiple products for handset, headset and automotive-specific applications and it plans to qualify the new profile across a broad range of platforms.

Various mobile network operators are now rolling out HD voice services to bring new levels of speech clarity to their users. At the network level HD voice will be able to support a wider speech spectrum than was previously available to consumers. With the increase in speech spectrum from 300Hz – 3.4kHz to 50Hz – 7kHz consumers should benefit from significantly improved intelligibility, even in the presence of noise. Other expected benefits include more accurate voice control of peripheral, better speech-to-text, and a brighter audio quality that makes the caller seem nearer.

The presence of the Bluetooth HFP 1.6 profile in both the cellular device and Bluetooth accessory therefore should allow the extension of the networks’ HD voice services across Bluetooth. This is intended to eliminate the constraint of low 8kHz sample rates and the resulting loss of high and low speech frequencies. Instead, users may enjoy 16kHz clarity with calls sounding more natural, while voice dialling and many other functions will be improved.

Anthony Murray, VP of the Audio and Consumer Business Unit in CSR, commented: “Today marks two significant developments which together combine to help drive HD voice to mainstream adoption – the long-awaited debut of the Bluetooth SIG’s new HFP 1.6 supporting Wideband Speech, and the immediate availability of HFP 1.6 compliant audio platforms from CSR in volume quantities.”

“With numerous mobile network operators moving to offer HD voice technology, subscribers making hands-free calls using Bluetooth headsets and car-kits incorporating the BC6145 for example, should continue to derive all the compelling benefits that HD voice delivers,” said Murray.

CSR’s BC6145 is aimed at single-microphone mono headsets, speakerphones, car-kits and other mass-market wireless audio accessories. As well as HD voice, BC6145 will support a highly compelling set of consumer-centric features including A2DP music streaming, advanced intelligibility enhancements and extended talk time. BC6145 also supports bi-directional noise reduction and ultra low-power Wind Noise Reduction (WNR), which are expected to greatly enhance the user experience.

As well as the immediately-qualified BC6145, CSR also has several other platforms ready to support HD voice including its CSR8000 connectivity platform and BlueCore5-Multimedia for headsets and other applications. CSR’s automotive and PND business units are also preparing automotive-grade solutions to enable the advantages of HD voice throughout today’s ecosystem of mobile communications devices, from handsets and headsets to factory-fit automotive applications and aftermarket automotive applications.

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