Netflix rolling out high quality audio to match your internet speed

Netflix rolling out high quality audio to match your internet speed
Published: 6 May 2019 - 10:11 a.m.
If you've noticed this week that your shows on Netflix sound way better than it used to, that's because Netflix has finally updated to high-quality audio. So you can experience the wonderful score of Stranger Things 2 as it was intended.

Netflix's new, high-quality audio, takes the sound quality to another level. They gave it this straightforward name because it fits: high-quality audio delivers audio that sounds closer to what creators hear in the studio, so every little detail is captured for a richer, more intense experience.

Additionally, if you have bandwidth or device limitations, we’ve made the feature adaptive so that we will deliver the best possible audio to match your capabilities. This is similar to what we've already see in video which has features like 4K, HDR, Dolby Atmos and Netflix Calibrated Mode.

The reason for the change goes back in late 2017.

Netflix were reviewing Stranger Things 2 with the Duffer brothers in a living room environment so they could understand how viewers would experience it. At one point in the first episode, there was a car chase scene that didn’t sound as crisp as it did on the mixing stage.

They, we were able to address the problem for Stranger Things 2 by delivering a higher bitrate for the audio, and since then have been working to roll out improved audio more broadly. 

Currently most TV devices that support 5.1 or Dolby Atmos are capable of receiving better sound. Depending on your device and bandwidth capabilities, the bitrate you receive may vary:

5.1: From 192 kbps (good) up to 640 kbps (great/perceptually transparent)

  • Dolby Atmos: From 448 kbps up to 768kbps (Dolby Atmos is available for members subscribed to the Premium plan)

Netflix expects these bitrates to evolve ovetime as they get more efficient with their encoding techniques.

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