Skip to Main Content
In this paper, we propose a low bit-rate speech codec based on vector quantization (VQ) of the mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCCs). We begin by showing that if a high-resolution mel-frequency cepstrum (MFC) is computed, good-quality speech reconstruction is possible from the MFCCs despite the lack of phase information. By evaluating the contribution toward speech quality that individual MFCCs make and applying appropriate quantization, our results show that the MFCC-based codec exceeds the state-of-the-art MELPe codec across the entire range of 600-2400 bps, when evaluated with the perceptual evaluation of speech quality (PESQ) (ITU-T recommendation P.862). The main advantage of the proposed codec is in distributed speech recognition (DSR) since the MFCCs can be directly applied thus eliminating additional decode and feature extract stages; furthermore, the proposed codec better preserves the fidelity of MFCCs and better word accuracy rates as compared to CELP and MELPe codecs.