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Audio Reference Companding: The Basics

We provide the basics about audio reference companding, the process of compressing audio signal prior to transmission and expanding after reception.
February, 04 2007 |

What does it do?

Improves wireless sound quality.

What is it?

A more efficient companding scheme.

What is companding?

Companding is the process of compressing the audio signal prior to transmission and expanding it after reception. All pro audio wireless needs companding to deliver a wide dynamic range (greater than 100dB).

How does it work?

Audio Reference Companding is a level-dependent companding scheme. Instead of companding across the entire dynamic range like most wireless systems (causing a whooshing audio artifact known as "breathing"), companding only occurs at high audio levels. These levels are high enough to make the companding artifacts inaudible.

Why is it better?

Sounds more like a wired microphone, with less noise and greater dynamic range than other wireless systems. No artifacts, lower noise floor, clearer sound at all audio levels.

Audio Reference Companding: Tangible results

Specific attributes of Audio Reference Companding that the listener will notice are:

  • No "breathing" noise
  • Lower noise floor
  • More headroom - won't clip as easily
  • Clearer sound at all audio levels
  • Sounds more like a wired mic, as clearly demonstrated by these impulse response curves.
Davida Rochman
A Shure associate since 1979, Davida Rochman graduated with a degree in Speech Communications and never imagined that her first post-college job would result in a lifelong career that had her marketing microphones rather than speaking into them. Today, Davida is a Corporate Public Relations Manager, responsible for public relations activities, sponsorships, and donation programs that intersect with Shure at the corporate and industry level.