Netflix, the leading content streaming platform, is reportedly testing support for the novel spatial audio functionality of iOS 14. As per reliable sources, a software developer at Netflix stated that the streaming giant has been testing spatial audio support on iPad and iPhone since December.
There is not much work that might be required on the streaming giant’s end to support spatial audio. In fact, the service already provides an assortment of surround sound content, which is what spatial audio transforms into virtual surround sound. Most of the streaming services, including Disney+, Hulu, and Apple TV+ already have support for spatial audio.
According to reports, specific information as to when Netflix would launch the spatial audio support has not been announced yet. Rather, it has only been ambiguously suggested that the feature would release in spring with a very limited content list.
The spatial audio feature is available to AirPods Max and AirPods Pro, and the toggle is accessible through Control Center during the time when AirPods are connected.
Apple stated that spatial audio is an enveloping experience utilizing directional audio filters mainly to play sounds nearly anywhere in a space, forming an immersive sound experience. This essentially puts surround channels just in the right spot, even when someone moves their device or turns their head.
Apple explains the spatial audio feature for users of AirPods Max and AirPods Pro as spatial audio with dynamic head tracking that brings theater like sound right to the users’ AirPods Pro. This is achieved by enabling directional audio filters and finely adjusting the frequencies that each ear receives.
Spatial audio utilizes the accelerometer and gyroscope in iPhone and AirPods Pro and also tracks down the motion of the user device and head, comparing the motion data and then remapping the sound field so that it stays attached to the device of the user even as the user’s head moves around.
One thing to note is that only Netflix’s top-end Premium package support Dolby Atmos surround sound. As such, it is highly likely that the company would limit the Spatial Audio support to its Premium subscribers.