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
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
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
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.