since the different bits of multimedia information, such as speech and video, have different error sensitivity, efficient unequalprotection channel coding schemes have to be used to ensure that the perceptually more important bits benefit from more powerful protection. Furthermore, in the context of turbo detection the channel codes should also match the characteristics of the channel for the sake of attaining a good convergence performance. In this paper, we address this design dilemma by using irregular convolutional codes (IRCCs) which constitute a family of different-rate subcodes. we benefit from the high design flexibility of IRCCs and hence excellent convergence properties are maintained while having unequal error protection capabilities matched to the requirements of the source. An EXIT chart based design procedure is proposed and used in the context of protecting the different-sensitivity speech bits of the wideband AMR speech codec. As a benefit, the unequalprotection system using IRCCs exhibits an SNR advantage of about 0.4 dB over the equal-protection system employing regular convolutional codes, when communicating over a Gaussian channel.