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Evaluation of Quality for Audio Encoding at Low Bit Rates

Recent progress in high quality digital audio encoding at low bit rates is presented. Encoding at 3 bits/sample gives very high subjective quality, but poor performance when the signal-to-noise ratio is measured. A new parameter for quality evaluation of digital encoding schemes is proposed: The segmental Noise-to-Mask Ratio (NMR) simulates the masking functions in the human ear as known from psychoacoustics. Results are presented for several encoding algorithms.Recent progress in high quality digital audio encoding at low bit rates is presented. Encoding at 3 bits/sample gives very high subjective quality, but poor performance when the signal-to-noise ratio is measured. A new parameter for quality evaluation of digital encoding schemes is proposed: The segmental Noise-to-Mask Ratio (NMR) simulates the masking functions in the human ear as known from psychoacoustics. Results are presented for several encoding algorithms.

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