Opus is a lossy audio coding format developed by the Xiph.Org Foundation and standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force, designed to efficiently code speech and general audio in a single format, while remaining low-latency enough for real-time interactive communication and low-complexity enough for low-end ARM3 processors. Opus replaces both Vorbis and Speex for new applications, and several blind listening tests have ranked it higher-quality than any other standard audio format at any given bitrate until transparency is reached, including MP3, AAC, and HE-AAC.
This format was originally created as an alternative to mp3. The idea was to achieve a small file size with better sound quality. The first versions weren’t quite successful, but with the development of AAC, it became possible to store sound with less loss of quality, and with the same file sizes as that of mp3.