Netflix is working on adding support for Spatial Audio that is built into AirPods Pro and AirPods max according to the report by the French website iPhoneSoft.
According to iPhoneSoft, an unnamed Netflix employee in the United States confirmed that Netflix is working on introducing Spatial Audio support since December 2020 and the feature should release with a small catalogue of content in Spring 2021. No specific date or titles have been revealed.
Adding support for Spatial Audio is not actually that challenging on Netflix’s part as they already have support for various surround sound content available on their platform, which is being used by Spatial Audio technology to mimic the surround sound experience on their proprietary devices. Currently, Apple TV+, Hulu, and Disney+ are the only streaming platforms that support Spatial Audio on Apple Devices.
Spatial Audio is a technology introduced by Apple in June 2020, which uses the head tracking feature to mimic a theatre-like surround sound experience, making the audio sound like it’s coming from around a user with sound mapped to the device. The feature is currently supported only by the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. This means the feature can only be experienced on iPhone and iPad devices for the time being.
What is Spatial Audio?
Here is how Apple describes the Spatial Audio technology to the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max users. “Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking brings the cinema experience right to your AirPods Pro. By applying directional audio filters and subtly adjusting the frequencies each ear receives, spatial audio can place sounds virtually anywhere in space, creating an immersive surround sound experience. Using the gyroscope and accelerometer in your AirPods Pro and your iPhone, spatial audio tracks the motion of your head as well as your device, compares the motion data, and then remaps the sound field so that it stays anchored to your device even as your head moves.”
An important thing to note is that Netflix only offers Dolby Atmos surround sound to its premium users, and it could be possible that the Spatial Audio feature would be limited to the premium tier users, but it is too early to get a confirmed report on this.
When it comes to surround sound, Sony has its 360-degree reality audio speakers to offer an immersive surround sound experience, and you can learn more about it here. Sony’s gaming console, the PS5 also supports 3D audio to give players an immersive surround sound experience when gaming, but the feature is limited to headphones only as of now. A gamer can plug in any pair of headphones to the 3.5mm port on the controller to experience 3D audio from supported titles.