Rumor: Netflix testing Apple’s Spatial Audio feature

After adding offline mode or Dolby Atmos, Netflix is looking to make Spatial Audio available to Apple customers who view its content, according to iPhoneSoft.

Spatial Audio has been available to owners of AirPods Pro and AirPods Max since September 2020.

It’s designed to deliver surround sound and 3D audio via headphones. Spatial Audio involves microphone arrays that can be embedded in an electronic device to facilitate a means for capturing and rendering spatial (3D) sound. The microphone signals of a microphone audio (multi-channel sound pickup) capture a 3D sound scene. 

3D audio rendering can be described as the processing of an audio signal (such as a microphone signal or other recorded audio content) so as to yield sound produced by stereo speakers, surround-sound speakers, speaker arrays, or headphones that is perceived by the listener as coming from a particular direction or all around the listener in three-dimensional space. For example, one or more of such virtual sound sources can be generated in a sound program that will be perceived by a listener to be behind, above or below the listener, or panned from one side of the listener to another. 

AirPods Pro and AirPods Max AirPods Max use spatial audio with dynamic head tracking to place sounds virtually anywhere in a space — delivering an immersive, theater-like experience for content recorded in 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos. Using the gyroscope and accelerometer in the devices, spatial audio tracks the motion of a user’s head as well as the device, compares the motion data, then remaps the sound field so it stays anchored to the device, even as the user’s head moves.

iPhoneSoft says Spatial Audio could arrive at Netflix as early as spring.