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Does xHE-AAC guarantee acceptable quality at below 24kbps (for stereo music)?

At below 24kbps, both HE-AAC v2 and Opus are no longer provide acceptable quality (for stereo music).

Does xHE-AAC ensure acceptable quality at below 24kbps?

Re: Does xHE-AAC guarantee acceptable quality at below 24kbps (for stereo music)?

Reply #1
I think you need to clearly define acceptable in some objective way.  I'm pretty sure that the codec will not be transparent on complex material to most listeners at that rate.  So, how bad is good enough?

Re: Does xHE-AAC guarantee acceptable quality at below 24kbps (for stereo music)?

Reply #2
Acceptable to me? No.

Re: Does xHE-AAC guarantee acceptable quality at below 24kbps (for stereo music)?

Reply #3
Unless something comes out to blow away the current lossy king (i.e. Opus) I don't see anything around 24kbps being acceptable as even 32kbps is already really pushing it for a variety of music as I see even for the more extreme types of people who don't mind sacrificing sound quality won't want to go below 32kbps, at THE lowest.

even with Opus, unless someone is pretty desperate for maximum amount of songs into the least possible amount of storage space I would avoid going any lower than 64kbps for sound quality reasons on a wide range of music. with that said... 32kbps/48kbps are respectable sound quality considering their file size but I pretty much consider 64kbps as my minimum suggested bit rate for Opus as I have a feeling my suggested minimum on Opus quite a few people would agree with as sound quality is still solid enough overall and even in terms of file size is quite minimal as to me it's not worth going from say 64kbps back to 48kbps or 32kbps as the sound quality loss ain't worth the storage space savings at that point as I can understand one going from 96kbps to 64kbps if they need storage space savings as the overall sound quality won't take too much of a hit and you will get a decent storage space savings unlike going lower than 64kbps where the sound quality hit is more obvious and storage space savings are minimal at that point since 64kbps is already pretty small.

also, just going from 24kbps to 32kbps gives a solid boost to sound quality for not much file size increase and at those ranges your still talking a very small file. hell, even for speech I suggest, with Opus v1.3, not to go anything lower than 13kbps (with Opus v1.2.1 I suggest no lower than 14kbps) as I consider that setting the minimum for speech and when your talking 24kbps (or less) for music your really asking a lot.

but with that said... what's 'acceptable quality' will vary from person-to-person. but I guess if you want something in the ball park of transparent I would avoid going lower than 64kbps.
For music (especially on-the-go)...
-I suggest Opus @ 96kbps (or... 64kbps minimum, 128kbps maximum). *preferred choice*
-I suggest AAC(Apple) @ 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). *secondary choice*
-I use Foobar2000 (/w Encoders Pack etc) to convert FLAC to Opus/AAC(Apple).

Re: Does xHE-AAC guarantee acceptable quality at below 24kbps (for stereo music)?

Reply #4
USAC(xHE-AAC) vs HE-AAC
https://mpeg.chiariglione.org/sites/default/files/files/standards/parts/docs/w12232-v2-w12232.zip

I've tried the files from that test. xHE-AAC 24 kbps was slightly inferior to HE-AACv2 32 kbps.
So no, quality isn't cool  as one would think.
Acceptable quality for me starts with Opus at 48 kbps.  HE-AAC 48 kbps is somewhat inferior but still kinda acceptable.

They try to push xHE-AAC to mass at its best sweet spot. Problem is that its sweet spot (~24 kbps) is too low for modern connections and applications.
Test above shows that there is no benefit to use xHE-AAC over HE-AAC at higher bitrates for music ( 32kbps+)
They've lost too much time. xHE-AAC was standardized in 2012 (6 years of lost time). While internet connections improve by ~15% per year.

Re: Does xHE-AAC guarantee acceptable quality at below 24kbps (for stereo music)?

Reply #5
Low bitrate xHE-AAC is useful for DRM radio stations to replace analogue AM radio broadcasts.

Re: Does xHE-AAC guarantee acceptable quality at below 24kbps (for stereo music)?

Reply #6
USAC(xHE-AAC) vs HE-AAC
https://mpeg.chiariglione.org/sites/default/files/files/standards/parts/docs/w12232-v2-w12232.zip
Lol. That document is 7 years old. By using it you show that you ignore 7 years of encoder development.

xHE-AAC is an codec option for audio streaming services that have to pay data traffic per volume, e.g. transfering audio streams over mobile radio or cell phone networks.

Re: Does xHE-AAC guarantee acceptable quality at below 24kbps (for stereo music)?

Reply #7
Lol. That document is 7 years old. By using it you show that you ignore 7 years of encoder development.
You says it so easily as there is one single available USAC encoder.
Time doesn't matter when there is no encoder publicly available, or does it?  

xHE-AAC is an codec option for audio streaming services that have to pay data traffic per volume, e.g. transfering audio streams over mobile radio or cell phone networks.
Nice try.
I consume Spotify at 320 kbps and I'm not even from First World. 4G/4G+ are widely adopted nowdays. Searching any excuse like " But in India ... 2G" ... ye, ye, ye.  we all heard that.
DRM maybe. Multimedia services like Spotify, Netflix, Youtube ... no chances.
As for internet, xHE-AAC ist dead ... (just like mpeg surround).

 

Re: Does xHE-AAC guarantee acceptable quality at below 24kbps (for stereo music)?

Reply #8
Time doesn't matter when there is no encoder publicly available, or does it?
There are xHE-AAC encoder, but
they are not for free
and they are part of audio streaming software
e.g.: StreamS Hi-Fi Live HLS Encoder

DRM maybe. Multimedia services like Spotify, Netflix, Youtube ... no chances.

There are a few internet radio station that use xHE-AAC
e.g.
Canadian Radio
* LG73
* Max Radio Vancouver
* New West Rock
* Uptown Radio

Norwegian Radio Haugaland

German RauteMusik

 
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