Users of Apple’s AirPods Pro and AirPods Max earphones could soon benefit from a major update from Netflix, according to a new report.
The French website iPhoneSoft says an update to bring spatial audio content from the streaming service is being tested by Netflix in the US.
The source says (via 9to5Mac) that the roll-out is only likely to support a few titles at first. However, if the tech proves to be successful, then we’d imagine Netflix would seek to expand support.
Spatial audio is the technology contained within both sets of earphones that gives the impression of three dimensional sound. It offers cinema-like, directional sound and uses the motion sensors within the AirPods in order to track the motion of the wearer’s head and the connected device – in this instance, an iPhone or an iPad. This remaps the sound field in order to ensure it remains anchored even if the head is moving.
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Apple explains: “Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking brings theater-like sound that surrounds you from the movie or video you’re watching, so that it seems as if the sound is coming from all around you. The sound field stays mapped to the device, and the voice stays with the actor or action on screen.”
This means you’d probably have to watch Netflix via a connected iPhone or iPad in order to get full advantage of the feature. Although it’d also be great to have directional audio for the Apple TV too, even if that device remains stationary. So far, Apple doesn’t support this feature for Apple TV.
Should Netflix offer widespread support for the spatial audio feature it’s likely that other streaming platforms would follow suit. Apple TV, Disney Plus and HBO Max already support the feature, but the likes of Netflix do not as yet.