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Netflix now supports Spatial Audio on iPhone and iPad

Netflix now supports Spatial Audio on iPhone and iPad
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix has started rolling out Spatial Audio to its iOS and iPadOS apps. Apple's take on surround sound for headphones should offer Netflix users a more immersive experience when streaming movies and TV.

The news broke on Reddit and was later confirmed by a Netflix spokesperson (via 9to5Mac).  The feature showed up in the latest version of the Netflix app; just head to the Control Center, open the volume settings and you should be able to toggle Spatial Audio on and off.

It won't be available to all, mind. Spatial Audio only works with the AirPods Pro wireless earbuds and AirPods Max wireless over-ears, both of which support Apple's 3D head-tracking tech. You'll also need an iPhone 7 loaded with iOS14 or higher, or an iPad with iPadOS14 or higher.

Netflix users have been waiting a while for today's news. Rumours that the streaming giant was testing Apple spatial audio support for AirPods Pro and Max first surfaced in January. But only a month later, the claim seemed to have been quashed by an anonymous Netflix developer.

Instead, Netflix was said to be testing multi-channel support for built-in speakers, as part of an effort to provide "new experiences" for its users and "improve" its offering.

Did Netflix have a change of heart? It's possible. With competition between streaming services growing fiercer by the hour, what with Amazon buying MGM studios and Disney amassing 116m subscribers, Netflix may be hoping Spatial Audio adds to its appeal.      

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Tom has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Men's Health, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile tech, electric cars and video streaming.