This document specifies a unified speech and audio codec which is capable of coding signals having an arbitrary mix of speech and audio content. The codec has a performance comparable to, or better than, the best known coding technology that might be tailored specifically to coding of either speech or general audio content. The codec supports single and multi-channel coding at high bitrates and provides perceptually transparent quality. At the same time, it enables very efficient coding at very low bitrates while retaining the full audio bandwidth.
This document incorporates several perceptually-based compression techniques developed in previous MPEG standards: perceptually shaped quantization noise, parametric coding of the upper spectrum region and parametric coding of the stereo sound stage. However, it combines these well-known perceptual techniques with a source coding technique: a model of sound production, specifically that of human speech.