Netflix, in collaboration with Sennheiser, has announced that spatial audio will now be supported on select shows on its streaming service. With this new feature, Netflix original shows such as Stranger Things season 4 can now be enjoyed with truly immersive 3D sound.
The streaming platform has ensured that spatial audio is available to both headphones as well as stereo speaker users.
Netflix claims that this process perfectly preserves the original quality (and therefore creative intent) of the TV show’s audio producers. To that effect, nothing else is added or removed, save for the enhancement provided by the now immersive audio.
“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.”
Moreover, this new spatial audio feature does not require special hardware or equipment for it to be enjoyed. The feature is compatible with all audio devices and is not restricted by any streaming plan.
Some of the first Netflix TV shows chosen to support the feature include Stranger Things, Red Notice, The Witcher, and The Adam Project, and additional series are on their way. For now, you can search for compatible content by typing in “spatial audio” as the search phrase.
As to how this new feature will show up on select supported content? The standard stereo output will be replaced by Sennheiser’s Ambeo 2-channel Spatial Audio technology. Essentially, Ambeo will pick up the surround sound or Dolby Atmos audio tracks within select Netflix Original shows and mix them to form a “more immersive stereo profile”.
That said, as a disclaimer, spatial audio isn’t as effective and may even feel unnoticeable when using regular laptop speakers or typical built-in TV speakers.