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Google improves the quality of VoIP calls with Lyra, a new compression codec

In order to improve the quality of calls, and to avoid saturation of networks, Google has created an audio compression algorithm with which you get a reduction of up to 60% in bandwidth, always according to the company. The codec where this algorithm is used is Lyra, it is ready to serve low-speed networks and is already being tested on Google Duo.

Communications through video calling applications are a constant in our days due to the coronavirus pandemic. These types of apps saw their use rise in a notorious way, both on a personal and professional level. However, calls and video calls must face a big problem: network saturation. Compression algorithms are key to avoiding this, like the one Google has presented for audio: Lyra.

3 Kbps bitrate, high audio quality and 60% bandwidth savings

Google Lyra Lyra compared to Opus in terms of compression and audio opinion. Google Image

Lyra aspires to compete in the segment of algorithms used by conferencing applications. It is an audio compression codec that competes directly with Opus, the most used in WebRTC-based communications (Those used by most VoIP programs. Lyra is designed to operate at a very low bitrate, 3 Kbps (for comparison, Opus is not usually used below 8 Kbps because the audio quality delivered is not optimal).

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Calls between devices using the VoIP protocol consume a lot of data because, to maintain decent audio quality, apps use compression codecs at high bitrate (If the network is stable, 32 Kbps is usually used). Google aims to change this with Lyra, a compression algorithm that has been trained by AI under 70 different languages.

Lyra compresses audio to 3 Kbps while maintaining optimal sound quality (You can check various audio samples on this Google page). Lyra can be used successfully in networks with very limited bandwidth, both due to saturation and due to infrastructure. Google ensures that its codec is indicated to carry the high quality VoIP calls to countries where mobile networks do not have enough capacity or speed.

Google Lyra Lyra encoding and decoding scheme

Google is integrating its new codec into the video calling app Duo. This is to ensure the highest audio quality even with low speed connections; achieving, rebound, a lower data usage during calls.

More information | Google