Recently the ISO/IEC MPEG-H 3D Audio standard for perceptual coding of one or more audio channels has been finalized. It is a little-known fact that, particularly for communication applications, the 3D Audio core-codec can be operated in a low-latency configuration in order to reduce the algorithmic coding/decoding delay to 44, 33, 24, or 18 ms at a sampling rate of 48 kHz. This paper introduces the essential coding tools required for high-quality low-delay coding–transform splitting, intelligent gap filling, and stereo filling–and demonstrates by means of blind listening tests that the achievable subjective performance compares favorably with, e.g., that of HE-AAC even at low bit-rates.
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