Sennheiser and Netflix have partnered to add spatial audio to exclusive content on the streaming service, including the recently released Stranger Things season 4.
You can hear it for yourself by putting “spatial audio” into the search bar and choosing a show or movie that supports it from the search results, according to a Netflix blog post. “Spatial audio will roll out across our collection starting today,” it adds. Ambeo technology from Sennheiser is used in this function.
Spatial audio includes putting all sound sources in a hypothetical 360-degree sound field surrounding the listener (in some cases, it involves vertical spatial positioning, too). Spatial audio then makes use of that information to transmit sound to a variety of devices, such as TV speakers or headphones, which frequently only provide stereo sound as opposed to a conventional multi-channel surround setup.
It has previously been observed in a variety of consumer devices, including Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Apple’s AirPods.
While spatial audio provided through stereo headphones doesn’t quite match the immersive experience you’d receive with a powerful surround sound setup in your home theatre, it usually delivers a noticeable improvement in immersion in instances when you don’t have a full surround setup.
At that moment, moving forward while using stereo audio, spatial audio will be enabled automatically. If you have surround sound speakers, Netflix still advises using Dolby Atmos or 5.1 surround sound.
In the past, Netflix has supported spatial audio on a select set of Apple headphones, such as the AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, Beats Fit Pro, and third-generation AirPods, as long as the user is using streaming equipment that is consistent with spatial audio, such as the Apple TV 4K or the most recent iPhone or iPad models.
With Sennheiser Ambeo support, that function is now available on non-Apple devices, but in a different way.
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