Netflix Brings Spatial Audio Support to iPhone and iPad

Netflix Brings Spatial Audio Support to iPhone and iPad
Photo: ROBERT SULLIVAN / Staff, Getty Images

Netflix is adding Spatial Audio support to iPhone and iPad iOS14 apps, the streaming platform confirmed to 9to5Mac on Wednesday, and most users can expect to see the feature on their devices as early as this week.

Apple first introduced the Dolby Atmos-supported Spatial Audio back in June 2021, heralding the feature as “immersive audio experiences for fans with true multidimensional sound and clarity.” By using directional audio filters, spatial audio enables users to “play sounds virtually anywhere in space, creating an immersive sound experience” that exists no matter which direction you turn your head.

Apple has also previously described the feature as “theatre-like sound that surrounds you from the movie or video you’re watching”:

Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking brings the movie theatre 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.

Users can manage the Spatial Audio feature, which is currently exclusive to AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, from the Control Centre on their Apple devices. While Apple characterised the feature’s rollout as a slow one, interested users should make sure that they’re running the latest version of the Netflix app from the App Store.

And while users are waiting for Spatial Audio to roll out on Netflix, they can give it a test run on services like Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, or HBO Max, all of which currently support the feature.