Speckle, the dominant factor reducing image quality in optical coherence tomography (OCT), limits the ability to identify cellular structures that are essential for diagnosis of a variety of diseases. We describe a new high-speed method for implementing angular compounding by path length encoding (ACPE) for reducing speckle in OCT images. By averaging images obtained at different incident angles, with each image encoded by path length, ACPE maintains high-speed image acquisition and requires minimal modifications to OCT probe optics. ACPE images obtained from tissue phantoms and human skin in vivo demonstrate a qualitative improvement over traditional OCT and an increased SNR that correlates well with theory. © 2003 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.