Listen up, serial watchers – Netflix now has a new feature to make your experience even better. Netflix confirms that it is now rolling out Spatial Audio support to its iOS users. With Spatial Audio compatibility currently being rolled out on iOS, your favorite shows on Netflix will now sound as good as they look. Meaning there would be immersive sound experience using directional audio filters, and it has been a long time coming to Netflix users. This will put surround channels exactly in the right spot, even as you turn your head or move your device.
But there’s a catch. Spatial Audio on Netflix will be available to users on iPhone and iPad and will work only with AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. This feature relies on the motion-sensing accelerometers in the high-end AirPods Pro earbuds and AirPods Max headphones to deliver an ultra-immersive media experience. Working as an extension of the popular Dolby Atmos system from Dolby Labs, the Spatial Audio platform lets the user travel around the sonic space of a supported media experience.
In January, it was reported that Netflix begun testing support for Spatial Audio on iOS. Few months down the line, the feature was confirmed by a Netflix spokesperson. The feature is now rolling out for users with iOS 14 and higher. Spatial Audio was introduced by Apple for devices running iOS 14.6 and higher at the WWDC 2021 event.
The WWDC 2021 event witnessed Apple reveal its plans for the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and other product. At the same event, Apple also announced Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos support for Apple Music subscribers, a feature that that won considerable praise from all. For Apple Music subscribers, lossless music is available on both Android and iOS, unlike Spatial Audio which is only available for iOS for now, hopefully it would be available for Android devices soon. But it is arguably a bigger deal for Apple than it is for Netflix. The company sees Spatial Audio as a unique selling point for the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max hardware. The Pro buds sells for about $249 and the Max for about $549 in Apple stores.
How do I turn on Spatial Audio?
Users can easily switch the feature on or off from the Control Center. But for the feature to work on Netflix, you need the latest version of the application and Dolby Atmos surround sound on iPhone and iPad through your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max:
- Connect your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max to your iPhone or iPad.
- Open the Netflix app and find content with surround sound mixing (such as 5.1 surround or Dolby Atmos).
- Open the Control Panel (swipe down from the top-right corner of your device’s screen).
- Long-press on the volume slider to open the audio options.
- Tap the Spatial Audio icon to enable it.
What does Spatial Audio do?
As the name suggests, the sound fixes itself at a single spot using the in-built gyroscope and accelerometer. The source of the sound is essentially fixed so that when users move their head, or walk away from their phone it seems to them that the sound is coming from a single fixed spot. In other words, it enables surround sound for users, giving a more life-like experience. Words can’t do justice to the audio experience provided by lossless audio, you have to check it out yourself!