Codec, short for “coder-decoder,” refers to a technology or algorithm used to compress and decompress audio signals while maintaining audio quality and spatial characteristics.
Immersive audio codecs are specifically designed to handle the unique requirements of spatial audio formats, which involve capturing and playing audio in three dimensions. These codecs employ advanced techniques to preserve spatial attributes such as sound direction, distance, and elevation. They take into account factors such as channel layouts, object-based audio, ambisonic audio, binaural audio, and other spatial audio representations.
The main purpose of audio codecs is to achieve a balance between audio quality and data compression. By employing sophisticated encoding and decoding algorithms, codecs reduce the size of audio files without significantly compromising the listening experience. This enables efficient storage, streaming, and streaming of immersive audio content, making it accessible to a wide range of devices and platforms.
Common immersive audio codecs include formats such as:
- Dolby Atmos Codecs ( AC-3, AC-4, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby TrueHD)
- MPEG-H 3D Audio
- Sony 360 Reality Audio
- Mach1 Spatial
- Ambisonics Codecs (B-Format, FuMa, AmbiX5)
These codecs are designed to handle specific spatial audio formats and provide efficient and accurate rendering of immersive audio content.