MPEG Surround emerged from activities of the MPEG Audio standardization group. In 2004, this group started a new work item on parametric coding of multi-channel audio signals. In April 2005, as a result of extensive evaluations, MPEG decided that the basis of the subsequent standardization process will be a system combining the submissions of Fraunhofer IIS/Agere Systems and Coding Technologies/Philips. These systems outperformed the other submissions and, at the same time, showed complementary performance in terms of other parameters.

The successful merge set the stage for the subsequent improvement process of this technology that was carried out collaboratively within the MPEG Audio group.

The finalization of the MPEG Surround standard was celebrated in September 2006. The superb quality was proven in several verification and performance tests that are also available on this website (see Publications). Further research led to another exciting feature of the MPEG Surround standard: the binaural decoder mode to render virtual surround sound on stereo headphones.

In January 2007, MPEG has closed the standardization process of the MPEG Surround technique and has promoted it to the International MPEG-D Standard.