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New Wireless Mic Module Uses Bluetooth LE

Partnership highlights quality and low latency

A partnership of three companies — two based in Northern Ireland, the third in New Zealand — is highlighting a new digital wireless microphone system that uses Bluetooth Low Energy.

Audio Codecs Ltd. is the developer of a digital audio data compression algorithm for wireless mic systems called Skylark; Antennaware developed an antenna to address the effects of “body blocking” that cause dropouts; and Virscient is an RF consultancy.

According to consortium spokesman Jonny McClintock, achievable latency over Bluetooth of under 10 ms is a first, and he said lower figures are possible with more optimization.

They’re targeting the Skylark module to the vlogger, gaming and karaoke market, but also eyeing the Headphone 3.0 market as it could be used by reports and voiceover artists.

“The module is based around the Nordic nRF53 platform where Skylark is running on the application processor,” they said in a press release.

“Virscient have added their own proprietary RF middleware, which combined with the inherent resilience in of Skylark and the additional 20 dB of gain due to Bodywave will ensure a rock-solid Bluetooth RF link.”

It said their combined approach will deliver “performance figures which were considered almost impossible due to the vagaries of Bluetooth operating in the cluttered 2.4 GHz spectrum.”

The module will be offered to product manufacturers, who could license the design or buy the complete module to fit into their products.

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