Parametric stereo technology is the next major technology to improve the audio compression efficiency of low bit rate stereo signals. Parametric Stereo is completely defined in MPEG-4 and is a new component in aacPlus v2. At present, parametric stereo technology has been optimized for the range of 16-40 kbps, and can provide high audio quality at a bit rate as low as 24 kbps.

The parametric stereo encoder decomposes its parametric representation from the stereo image of the audio signal, while in the traditional mode the original signal will only be encoded into a mono representation. The stereo image information is represented as a small amount of high-quality parametric stereo information, which is transmitted simultaneously with the mono signal in the bit stream. Then, based on the received parametric stereo information, the decoder can reconstruct the stereo image, as shown below. (Note: This method is similar to the SBR Spectral Band ReplicaTIon band copying method, and also has the taste of Joint Stereo joint stereo in mp3).

As a result, the low bit rate that incorporates parametric stereo, such as an audio bitstream of 24 kbps, allows the listener to experience audio quality that is significantly higher than that of a similar audio bitstream without parametric stereo.

For the role of parametric stereo within the aacPlus audio codec, please refer to the aacPlus product webpage. For more information about licensing, please refer to the licensing web page of Coding Technologies. For more information, please contact Coding Technologies via email or phone.

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