Image Credit: Netflix

Without any specialist gear, spatial audio on Netflix hopes to provide a surround-like experience to watchers on stereo devices.

Over the past year or two, spatial audio has exploded in popularity, with music streaming services like Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer and TIDAL all implementing some various of the technology. Spatial audio creates a 3D, immersive, surround experience to a stereo environment, especially effective on headphones.

Netflix’s implementation of spatial audio is thanks to Sennheiser AMBEO technology, which converts surround sound into spatial audio for stereo speakers or headphones. Fortunately, you don’t need to purchase any Sennheiser gear for this feature to work. Find more details about how the technology works, as well as the mixing process here.

Netflix on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad all support Apple’s spatial audio, which enhances 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos content. Look out for these icons – Netflix's 5.1 surround sound icon Netflix's Dolby Atmos audio icon – for supported content on Apple devices. Below are the requirements for Apple devices outlined by Netflix:

  • Streaming quality set to High or Auto.
  • A compatible Apple device
    • iPhone 7 and later using iOS 15.1 or above
    • iPad Air 3rd generation and later using iPadOS 15.1 or above
    • iPad mini 5th generation and later using iPadOS 15.1 or above
    • iPad Pro 3rd generation and later using iPadOS 15.1 or above
    • Apple TV 4K and later using tvOS 15 or above
  • Compatible Apple headphones
    • Airpods 3rd generation
    • Airpods Pro
    • Airpods Max
    • Beats Fit Pro
  • Turn on the spatial audio setting on your device

The feature is rolling out now and enabled automatically when watching compatible content. Select Netflix originals including Stranger Things are available at launch. Type “spatial audio” in the search bar to find all TV shows and films.