Audio Codecs, Virscient and AntennaWare launch Skylark BLE Module

Audio Codecs collaborates with Virscient and AntennaWare to create the ‘ultimate low latency digital wireless module’ to benefit microphone users in audio markets.

Broadcast, live entertainment and AV installation are among a host of markets that will benefit from Skylark BLE, a new Bluetooth Low Energy digital wireless module that has been launched by Belfast-based Audio Codecs and New Zealand-based RF consultancy Virscient.

The Skylark BLE Module is based around the Nordic nRF53 platform and boasts audio in/audio out latencies of less than 10ms, as well as a significantly more robust link. Available as a stand alone and a licensed OEM product, Skylark BLE gives users the dual benefit of a popular platform and professional grade audio performance. Alongside established markets, it also has much to offer the emerging Vlogger market and is a suitable candidate for House of Worship, Gaming and Karaoke applications.

The launch of Skylark BLE is the result of a collaboration between Audio Codecs Ltd, which develops the low latency (under 2ms), high quality (24 Bit, 48kHz) Skylark digital audio data compression algorithm, and Virscient, a consultancy with deep expertise in wireless and the Internet and an international reputation for developing products for leading semiconductor and manufacturing companies.

The Skylark BLE module runs on the application processor and incorporates Audio Codec’s Skylark algorithm and Antennaware’s Bodywave RF antenna – a versatile antenna that was specifically designed to address the effects of ‘body blocking’ and the highly annoying audio drop-outs this can cause. Virscient has added its own proprietary RF middleware, which combined with the inherent resilience of Skylark and the additional 20dB of gain due to Bodywave ensures a rock-solid Bluetooth RF link. This solution of platform, antenna and codec offers performance figures that were considered almost impossible due to the vagaries of Bluetooth operating in the cluttered 2.4GHz spectrum.

Jonny McClintock, spokesman for the consortium, said: “By leveraging the popular Nordic Bluetooth Low Energy platform and using the exceptional design skills of the Virscient team, we have been able to demonstrate the value and quality of both the Bodywave RF antenna and the Skylark audio codec. End users will enjoy a rock-solid link and incredible audio, all delivered at a previously impossible 10ms.”

McClintock adds that the consortium is planning to reduce the latency even further and will also be supporting alternative RF frequencies such as UWB – a move that will perfectly address the rapidly emerging Headphone 3.0 market.