We predicted back in 2022 that “Spatial Audio” was going to become a hot topic in 2023 and what’s becoming clear is that the major music and video streaming services are finding creative ways to integrate the surround format into their respective platforms. Netflix and Sennheiser are moving forward with plans to offer Spatial Audio with specific programming and we have the details.
If you’re happy watching Netflix through a pair of loudspeakers and don’t have the budget or space for a surround sound system, this new feature might be a worthwhile expenditure if the technology actually works.
Netflix has announced a series of brand-new features for members on its Premium plan, including Netflix spatial audio. Starting today, members on Netflix’s Premium plan using a stereo system will experience immersive cinematic audio on more than 700 top titles – all on their existing hardware. Netflix spatial audio is powered by Sennheiser’s AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio technology.
Developed in partnership with Netflix, this Sennheiser technology delivers an unrivalled immersive experience over stereo speakers while fully respecting the creative intent of the original surround or immersive mix. Netflix members do not need any additional hardware to experience this new benefit.
Renato Pellegrini, Manager Pro Labs, AMBEO Immersive Audio: “We are very pleased that Netflix has expanded its partnership with Sennheiser and has chosen to roll out our game-changing AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio experience to more of its catalog.”
New Surround to 2-Channel Rendering
In addition to content mixed for Dolby Atmos, Netflix’s spatial audio catalog will also include non-Atmos surround content. “As a brand-new feature, the AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio renderer is now also able to process surround mixes, unlocking huge catalogs of content available in these formats,” shares Pellegrini. “For members on Netflix’s Premium plan, this means they will be able to enjoy more of their favorite content immersively, however they watch.”
As a company that counts many mix and (re-)recording engineers among its customers, Sennheiser takes audio quality and mixer intent seriously. AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio rendering was created hand-in-hand with mixers and provides them with granular control of the amount of spatialization.
A preview tool allows mixers to compare standard stereo to AMBEO and adjust rendering settings by individual stems or groups. Specific stems, such as dialog, can be completely excluded from spatialization and music mixes can be kept on their left and right channels while immersive rendering is applied to any other stems.
The renderer seeks to translate mixer intent while giving an impressive immersive audio experience previously inaccessible on two speakers.
Experience It Today
Members on Netflix’s Premium plan can experience AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio on hundreds of Netflix’s most popular titles, including Stranger Things, The Watcher, Wednesday, and Knives Out: Glass Onion. Netflix will add forthcoming titles, such as You, Your Place or Mine, and Luther: The Fallen Sun.
For an up-to-date list of content available in spatial audio, Netflix members can simply enter “Spatial Audio” in the Netflix search field or look for the new Netflix spatial audio badge.
To learn more about AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio, please visit www.sennheiser.com/ambeo-spatial-audio