Netflix has begun rolling out Spatial Audio support. This lets the streaming service offer a surround sound-like experience but without all the speakers. Currently, it requires AirPods Pro or AirPods Max but that’ll change soon.
And Netflix beat out Apple TV in offering the feature.
How spatial audio works
Spatial Audio provides a more immersive viewing experience for TV shows and movies. The audio is subtly modified so that it seems to come from all around the viewer — and even from above.
It offers dynamic head tracking, so when you turn your head while watching a movie, the audio will move appropriately. This is why standard AirPods don’t support Spatial Audio. They don’t come with the built-in gyroscope and accelerometer needed to power the feature.
For those who don’t want to use headphones, Spatial Audio is on the way to HomePod and HomePod mini.
With tvOS 15, the feature will work with all surround sound 5.1, surround sound 7.1, stereo and Dolby Atmos content.
Apple is scheduled to release tvOS 15 this autumn. But Netflix users can begin using Spatial Audio now.