Today, Netflix revealed that spatial audio would soon be available on all devices. Users who don’t have multichannel speakers will be able to enjoy surround sound with only stereo speakers.
The capability can convert a stereo audio track from a non-Apple device into 3D spatial audio. To do this, Sennheiser and Netflix have collaborated to include the same 3D audio technology featured in the Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar.
As long as you are accessing the stereo track, the spatial audio will function on any non-Apple device, including smartphones, tablets, and televisions. Since all processing is done within the Netflix app, no extra functionality is needed on the playback device.
Only a small portion of the content is currently offered in spatial audio. You must enter “spatial audio” in the search bar to find all the content that is supported. Currently, Netflix is the only source of the material.
Make sure there is no 5.1 or Dolby Atmos branding on the title screen to determine if the video is playing in spatial audio. If you see these logos, spatial audio won’t be supported and the device will instead play the surround sound audio track. You won’t hear the Netflix spatial audio on the majority of televisions, for instance, as the device will automatically play the surround sound track without a manual switch option. Instead, you’ll hear the TV’s internal audio processing.
It’s true that this seems counterintuitive and too convoluted. Fortunately, using Apple products is much easier. In this case, Netflix merely makes use of the built-in spatial audio feature found in iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS devices. This feature is compatible with all material that has 5.1 or Dolby Atmos tracks. All you need are compatible Apple headphones, such as the AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and some Beats models, along with a modern device that supports spatial audio.
You can get spatial audio content by searching for “spatial audio”; it is currently available for all subscription tiers globally.