Extended HE-AAC (xHE-AAC)

xHE-AAC (Extended High Efficiency AAC) is the most recent upgrade to the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) family of audio compression technologies standardized by ISO MPEG.

xHE-AAC combines an optimized speech coder with a high-performance general audio coder resulting in a single audio coding system capable of maintaining exceptional quality starting at very low bit-rates with any type of program content, whether speech, music, or ambient sounds.

xHE-AAC is ideally suited for radio broadcasting, streaming, podcasting or any application that must accommodate a variety of audio content types, from purely talk, to voice-over-music or sound-effects, to music-only programming.

This ability to maintain audio quality with mixed content types at extremely low bit rates is why xHE-AAC has been selected as the audio coding format for Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) [www.drm.org], the global ITU endorsed digital radio standard designed to work over existing analog radio broadcast infrastructure, from shortwave to the VHF bands.

With stereo bit rates as low as 12 kilobits per second, or 6 kbps for mono content, xHE-AAC enables streaming audio services over 2G networks  – addressing up to 90% of mobile users in emerging markets. It also increases delivery reliability anywhere in the world over congested mobile networks or when suffering from fallback low-bitrate coverage outside metropolitan areas. The use of xHE-AAC can save significant streaming bandwidth and thus CDN costs for service providers. In addition, xHE-AAC helps consumers  overcome concerns about overage charges when using limited data plans for streaming services.

Via’s xHE-AAC licensing program is designed to simplify the licensing process for those companies already covered under the AAC licensing program.

For additional information about xHE-AAC technology, please see the material presented, here.

A downloadable audio demo of xHE-AAC is available at the Digital Radio Mondiale website, here.

For more information about the xHE-AAC licensing program, please see the Licensee Fees page, and the Frequently Asked Questions page.