Netflix subscribers are getting a huge audio upgrade

Spatial audio is coming to hundreds more titles, but you'll need to be a top-tier subscriber to hear it

Screen grab of menu for Netflix comedy films
(Image credit: Netflix)

We've got good news for Netflix Premium subscribers: it's rolling out the spatial audio tech it started testing with season four of Stranger Things. According to Netflix you can now listen in spatial audio on over 700 of its most popular titles including Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. There'll be a little spatial audio icon in the programme details so you can see whether a particular title offers it.

This isn't spatial audio in a Dolby Atmos sense. Netflix has gone with Sennheiser's Ambeo technology, which is designed for two-channel devices such as TVs (provided you're not sitting really far away), tablets and phones (provided they have stereo speakers). Netflix also says that you should get an improved audio experience on the best headphones too.

More perks, but only if you're Premium

The spatial audio support is only available to Premium subscribers, and the same applies to antlers welcome upgrade: Netflix is upping the number of supported devices that you can download shows to for offline viewing. The previous limit was four for Premium subscribers, and that's going up to six.

It's nice to be reporting a positive Netflix change, for Premium customers anyway: much of the news around Netflix right now is over the incoming Netflix password sharing crackdown, which will mean paying more to watch Netflix in more than one household and which won't let you watch from abroad if you're away for more than seven days. We don't yet know what adding extra people to your account will cost, but we do know that if you don't pay, they'll simply be blocked.

I know that Netflix sees its password crackdown as a way to raise revenues, but given that in its Premium guise it's already one of the most expensive streaming services around it's quite possible that the move won't raise the money Netflix hopes it will – and if it makes a mess of it and upsets its legitimate users as a result, it could even drive people away. 

Netflix rose to prominence because for a long time it wasn't just the best streaming service; it was pretty much the only one. But now many rivals are just as good, and in many cases an awful lot cheaper too.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (