Netflix is rolling out a new way to bring theater-like immersive audio to streaming customers worldwide — using existing stereo speakers.
The streaming giant announced that it is launching spatial audio through a partnership with audio-technology company Sennheiser. According to Netflix, the spatial audio tech helps translate the “cinematic experience” of immersive, surround-sound audio to any stereo. That means audio designed to come from behind the viewer — like, say, the growling intonations of “Stranger Things 4” super bad-guy Vecna — will theoretically be reproduced as intended on regular stereo speakers.
Netflix said it would begin rolling out spatial audio across its catalog beginning July 7. Currently, 27 titles are available with the format, including “Stranger Things,” “The Witcher,” “Locke & Key” and “Red Notice,” starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds.
“This magical combination of sight and sound will bring viewers closer to the story, and we’re excited to add this capability to other features we support like 4K, HDR, Dolby Atmos and Netflix Calibrated Mode,” Netflix said in a blog post announcing the launch of spatial audio.
Netflix is using Sennheiser’s AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio, which translates original immersive mixes into two-channel audio. Netflix is the first streaming platform to use the Sennheiser system. “We feel AMBEO Spatial Audio offers a meaningful improvement for Netflix members,” Scott Kramer, manager for sound technology at Netflix, said in a statement. “Re-recording mixers often tell me that it better translates their detailed immersive mix work to stereo. Crucially, this process preserves the original sound mix and respects creative intent with a remarkably clean sound.”
In addition, Netflix supports Apple’s spatial audio on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad devices to enhance 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos audio with immersive surround sound.
Here’s the list of Netflix titles in the U.S. that are currently available with spatial audio: “Stranger Things,” “The Witcher,” “Red Notice,” “The Adam Project,” “Resident Evil,” “Raising Dion,” “Keep Sweet Pray and Obey,” “Locke & Key,” “Castlevania,” “Interceptor,” Jennifer Lopez’s “Halftime,” “The Unforgivable,” “Selena the Series,” “The Order,” “Fear Street: Part One – 1994,” “Fear Street: Part Two – 1978,” “Fear Street: Part Three – 1666,” “True Story,” “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” “Black Summer,” “Seoul Vibe,” “Slumberland,” “The Good Nurse,” “Archive 81,” “Warrior Nun,” “Kate” and “Lulli.”
Customers can see additional titles as Netflix adds them by typing “spatial audio” into the search bar.
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