Many audio and speech transmission applications have to deal with highly time-varying channel capacities, making dynamic adaptation to bit rate an important issue. This study investigates such adaptation using a coder that is driven by rate-distortion optimization mechanisms, always coding the full signal bandwidth. For perceptual evaluation, the continuous quality evaluation methodology is used, which has specifically been designed for dynamic quality testing. Results show latency and smoothing effects in the judged sound quality, but no quality penalty for the switching between quality levels; the overall quality using adaptation is comparable to using the average available bit rate. Thus, dynamic bit-rate adaptation has a clear benefit as compared to always using the lowest guaranteed available bit rate.
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