At long last, Netflix has begun rolling out spatial audio for select original programming.
The streaming service has partnered with audio behemoth Sennheiser to bring more immersive sound to shows and movies including Stranger Things season 4, The Adam Project and The Witcher. Netflix spatial audio is “compatible with all devices, all streaming plans and does not require surround sound speakers or home theater equipment,” the company wrote in a blog post (opens in new tab) announcing the new feature.
Spatial audio converts regular stereo output into expansive, three-dimensional sound that aims to mimic the experience of watching movies in a cinema. The feature works best with compatible headphones and earbuds – like the Apple AirPods Pro – but it also improves the quality of sound emitted from laptops or standard TV speakers (though the difference is fairly negligible through the latter mediums).
For the full list of spatial audio-enhanced Netflix content, simply type “spatial audio” into the streamer’s search bar. If your device's audio output is already set to stereo audio, you won't need to adjust any settings to try it out (the feature will also become the default audio setting for two-channel setups).
We’ll be taking Netflix spatial audio for a spin with the latest season of Stranger Things, whose demogorgons and murderous villains now seemed primed to become even more frightening.
The streamer’s launch of the long-awaited feature brings Netflix in line with rival platforms Disney Plus, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus and Hulu, all of which offer spatial audio support for compatible movies and TV shows.
For more on the latest Netflix news, check out our breakdown of Stranger Things’ new viewership record (spoiler: the show still isn't as big as Squid Game) and our analysis of Sex Education’s casting dilemma.