What you need to know
- Netflix has enabled Spatial Audio on all devices, not just Apple hardware.
- Netflix uses Sennheiser AMBEO technology to make it possible.
- Spatial Audio allows for a more immersive surround sound experience without the need for additional speakers.
Netflix has today announced that it has enabled Spatial Audio for everyone, not just those using compatible Apple devices. It's done that via a special partnership that sees it use Sennheiser AMBEO technology to allow Spatial Audio to work no matter the device or speakers that are being used.
The announcement means that everyone can now enjoy 3D positional audio no matter whether they're using an iPhone 13, Apple TV, or cheap streaming stick connected to a non-smart TV — and no additional speakers are required. So long as the content supports Spatial Audio, it'll work. Netflix says that people can search its library specifically for that content, too. Subscribers won't need to have a specific plan, either, because Spatial Audio is available across all of them. We have to presume that will include the upcoming ad-supported tier also.
Apple's own Spatial Audio implementation requires either specific built-in speakers or a pair of headphones, including the excellent AirPods. The Sennheiser AMBEO implementation removes those requirements, giving people the chance to enjoy Spatial Audio where they might otherwise not be able to.
Those looking to learn more about Netflix's Spatial Audio can read a special support page, while those looking to take it for a spin should probably start with something suitably bombastic — Stranger Things might be a good place to start.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.