Netflix Adds Spatial Audio Support on All Platforms

Posted on July 8, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Music + Videos, Netflix with 6 Comments

Netflix has started rolling out spatial audio support on all platforms this week. The new feature should provide a more immersive surround sound experience on all devices, and it doesn’t require surround sound speakers or expensive home theater equipment.

“Netflix spatial audio helps to translate the cinematic experience of immersive audio to any stereo, so the work creators do to bring you into the story happens no matter what device you use to watch Netflix. Spatial audio will roll out across our catalog beginning today, and you can hear it for yourself by typing “spatial audio” into the search bar and selecting a show or film that supports it in the search results,” Netflix explained in the announcement.

The company is leveraging Sennheiser AMBEO technology to automatically deliver spatial audio sound when watching a compatible TV show or movie with stereo audio. This works on all devices, though not all titles or every season of TV shows are available with spatial audio. In that case, Netflix will default to standard stereo audio.

It’s important to note that spatial audio will also automatically be disabled when your device is defaulting to a 5.1 audio output, or when it’s requesting 5.1 or Dolby Atmos on compatible movies and shows. For users with Apple devices, streaming quality also needs to be set to “High” or “Auto” to experience spatial audio, Netflix explained on a support page.

If HDR and Dolby Atmos currently require Netflix’s most expensive plan, spatial audio is compatible with all of Netflix’s streaming plans. “Supporting the vision of our creative partners has always been incredibly important to us, and we continue to focus on features that bring our entertainment to life wherever you enjoy Netflix,” the company said.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Netflix Adds Spatial Audio Support on All Platforms”

  1. prjman

    'Spatial audio' is garbage. It always has been garbage. It always will be garbage.

    If you want surround sound, go to a theater or buy what you need for surround sound in your home. Spatial audio ain't it.

  2. jchampeau

    Well isn’t that spatial.

  3. Daekar

    The hero image looks like it's straight out of the trendiest and most out to lunch part of the 1970s. Has fashion really cycled back to that so soon after we were rid of it?

    • Sihaz

      Far more ridiculous is the fact that they are sharing earbuds. Spatial mono anyone? BTW I agree with prjman, spatial audio is no match for a decent surround set up.

  4. mattbg

    How is Atmos any different from "3D sound" or a standard 5.1 setup for people that don't have all of the speakers, including overhead, that Atmos recommends? I hear people talking about Atmos as if it's something desirable, but it's rarely with the proper configuration of speakers and often just a soundbar... so are we really just talking about branded 3D audio processing here?

    I'm a bit out of the loop. I have a traditional 5.1 setup with full-size speakers but never really got the whole Atmos thing so am interested in hearing about what this does for people or whether it's just one of those "it's got electrolytes" things...

    • huddie

      I watch on my Xbox Series X and use Xbox Wireless Headset with Dolby Atmos. Not had it for long so the jury's still out for me, but I hear good things about it when using this kind of setup (Xbox + stereo headphones - basically virtual surround sound).

      I'm confused by Paul's comment about spatial audio being disabled when devices like mine are requesting Atmos. To me, Atmos is a type of spatial audio.