(Cybertech) – Could Apple’s three-dimensional Spatial Audio – which works with AirPods Pro and AirPods Max via iPhone and iPad only at present – be coming to streaming mega-platform Netflix? A source suggests so, but is there any potential truth in it?
Netflix already offers support for Dolby Atmos decoding, meaning you can enjoy that object-based three-dimensional audio format if you have the right kit in your audio-visual (AV) setup.
However, iPhonesoft.fr says that a source within Netflix suggests the streaming company has been exploring Spatial Audio use cases. Which, given the prevalance of iPhone and iPad users, would make potential sense.
But there’s a catch here – it wouldn’t work on your TV. Why? Because Apple’s Spatial Audio needs to determine where your Apple device is – because, in principle, it’s being held in your hands, in front of your face, which is why movement of your head – and therefore the AirPods you’re wearing – will provide positional adjustment to the audio.
Even Apple TV can’t offer Spatial Audio – and we’re not sure it ever will at this stage – to output to AirPods. It’s just for iPhone and iPad and not, yet at least, a wider AV output concept.
This doesn’t rule out the Netflix app on such Apple devices from being able to implement the ability to decode Spatial Audio though. So, if the cited source is correct, then there’s the potential for the theatre-like motion-based audio to appear on such mobile devices only. Which could be pretty exciting indeed – but it’s not a given by any means.
Writing by Mike Lowe.