Netflix, Sennheiser Partner on Spatial Audio

Netflix Audio
The preview tool of the AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio rendering software (Image credit: Sennheiser)

Netflix and Sennheiser have partnered to launch AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio on the streaming service.

The AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio renderer translates original immersive mixes into 2-channel audio.

Sennheiser said it worked with Netflix and other industry partners during development in order to fine-tune the system, which is now available to license.

The rendering software runs in the streaming service’s cloud-based encoding pipelines and produces AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio from existing ADM or IAB files, without the need for another separate mix.

A preview tool enables the re-recording mixer to compare stereo to AMBEO during post production and adjust the rendering settings by stems/groups, said Sennheiser. The renderer offers patented granular control of the spatialisation, ranging from full AMBEO effect to standard stereo mixdown, while specific channels can be excluded from modification.

(See also: Netflix Upgrades Audio)

Netflix is the first streaming platform to deliver the new audio experience, on select titles such as the latest season of Stranger Things, viewers watching on a stereo system will automatically receive the spatial experience without the need to make any changes.

“Sennheiser firmly believes in the immersive future of audio,” said Dr Renato Pellegrini of Sennheiser’s AMBEO team. “Creators all over the globe have been using our tools to create outstanding immersive works, pushing the boundaries of music and film production. With AMBEO 2-Channel Spatial Audio, we are now taking the next step – making this new audio reality accessible to everyone.”

“We feel AMBEO Spatial Audio offers a meaningful improvement for Netflix members,” added Scott Kramer, manager for sound technology at Netflix. “Re-recording mixers often tell me that it better translates their detailed immersive mix work to stereo. Crucially, this process preserves the original sound mix and respects creative intent with a remarkably clean sound.”

Viewers can find an up-to-date list of content available in AMBEO Spatial Audio, by typing Spatial Audio into the streamer’s search field.

This article originally appeared on TV Tech sister brand, TVBEurope.

Jenny has worked in the media throughout her career, joining TVBEurope as editor in 2017. She has also been an entertainment reporter, interviewing everyone from Kylie Minogue to Tom Hanks; as well as spending a number of years working in radio. She continues to appear on radio every week and occasionally pops up on TV.