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As HEVC - High Efficiency Video Codec (h265) can be considered a a sort of upgrade of AVC - Advanced Video Codec (h264), is there a similar "upgraded" audio codec compared to AAC - Advanced Audio Codec? Specifically, I'm thinking of a codec that supports 3D audio and higher compression ratios.

Thanks for satisfying my curiosity!

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I think HE-AAC fits that bill.

High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE-AAC) is an audio coding format for lossy data compression of digital audio defined as an MPEG-4 Audio profile in ISO/IEC 14496-3. It is an extension of Low Complexity AAC (AAC LC) optimized for low-bitrate applications such as streaming audio. HE-AAC version 1 profile (HE-AAC v1) uses spectral band replication (SBR) to enhance the compression efficiency in the frequency domain. HE-AAC version 2 profile (HE-AAC v2) couples SBR with Parametric Stereo (PS) to enhance the compression efficiency of stereo signals. It is a standardized and improved version of the AACplus codec.

As does Opus.

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.[3][4] 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.

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You can use FFmpeg with the right libraries to encode H.265/HE-AAC version 2, this is the command I use for that kind of encoding:

ffmpeg \ -i input.mp4 \ -c:v libx265 \ -preset medium \ -x265-params crf=28 \ -ar 48000 \ -ac 2 \ -c:a libfdk_aac \ -profile:a aac_he_v2 \ -b:a 64k \ -strict experimental \ output.mp4

I have a cheat sheet for FFmpeg here: https://github.com/rodrigopolo/cheatsheets/blob/master/ffmpeg.md

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