this format is free, which apparently is one of the reasons for its popularity. The used codecs supports variable bit rates (as a default), and .ogg files usually play back easily on all platforms. All things being equal, the sound quality exceeds that of mp3 somewhat.
An SPX file is a Speex audio file saved within an Ogg Vorbis container. Speex is an open source patent-free audio format designed for speech compression. It supports variable bitrate (VBR) encoding and several features not found in other audio codecs. Some examples include embedded encoding, intensity stereo encoding, and voice activity detection.