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Choosing VoIP Audio Codecs

Updated on September 4, 2012
Choosing a VoIP Codec
Choosing a VoIP Codec

Importance of Audio Codecs

The selection and usage of audio codecs is one of the most important configuration parameters in a VoIP system. There is no single solution because every network is different and every business has varying needs. One of the benefits of VoIP however is that it can make use of several high-quality audio codecs in order to deliver real life speech quality over the telephone.

The traditional PSTN system uses something known as the G .711 codec. Samples of voice are taken at 8 kHz and is therefore imperfect for audio transmission. But over the years, we have gotten used to what a human being's voice sounds like over the telephone even though we very often have to repeat ourselves in or to to differentiate between a variety of sounds. This is one of the reasons why you have difficulty spelling out your name to another person over a traditional telephone system. But even this inconvenience isn't too great. The problem arises however during conference calls when it becomes difficult to sometimes differentiate one person from the other. In order to capture a greater range of frequencies, it is important to use an audio codec that can deliver.

One very popular VoIP codec is known as G .722 which is an evolution over the traditional PSTN system codec The power of the G .722 codec lies in the fact that it adopts a variable rate of compression depending on your bandwidth which means that you can use it even when your Internet connection is slow. In addition, there are several variations on the G .711 codec that are specifically designed for VoIP and that are also supported by a large number of SIP providers. Most of the time you will not need to fiddle around with the audio codec settings. The only difference you'll notice is that when talking to your own employees using an "all VoIP" connection, the voice will be crystal clear. You'll wonder how you ever got along with using a puny 8 kHz audio codec in the first place!

Contact a Los Angeles PBX ITSP to find out what audio codecs they support and whether or not you can make calls in HD voice quality when talking to your own employees using the VoIP system. It is not possible to use a higher-quality codec if the other person is using a regular phone because everything has to drop down to telephone quality. But if you're talking to another person using VoIP, it is possible to use the high-quality codecs that we've been referring to. You can get started with a hosted VoIP PBX plan almost immediately. Get in touch with you SIP provider to find out how.

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