Spatial audio support is finally rolling out to the Netflix iOS app. The feature should be available soon to all iPhone and iPad users running iOS or iPadOS 14.6 (or higher).
Unfortunately, unlike other Spatial audio-compatible apps like Apple Music and Apple TV+ that support a wide range of playback devices, Netflix only supports spatial audio through the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max. Support for more playback devices may be added in the future. Apple also plans to bring spatial audio support to Mac and Apple TV devices in the future.
For now, though, here’s how to watch Netflix content with 5.1 or Dolby Atmos surround sound on iPhone and iPad through your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max:
- Connect your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max to your iPhone or iPad.
- Open the Netflix app and find content with surround sound mixing (such as 5.1 surround or Dolby Atmos).
- Open the Control Panel (swipe down from the top-right corner of your device’s screen).
- Long-press on the volume slider to open the audio options.
- Tap the Spatial Audio icon to enable it.
You can also toggle spatial audio in the iOS/iPadOS settings app under Settings > Bluetooth. Tap the “i” icon next to the device name in the Bluetooth list, then scroll down and tap the “Spatial Audio” slider.
Note that not all Netflix content will play in spatial audio even when the feature is enabled; it only works on movies and TV shows with some form of surround sound mixing.
However, Netflix’s spatial audio rollout also includes preemptive support for iOS 15’s spatial audio conversion feature, which uses AI to turn content recorded in stereo or mono into multi-channel audio. The feature could theoretically add 5.1 surround sound to older movies and TV shows that only feature stereo playback. It should also work on other spatial audio-compatible apps like HBO Max, Disney+, Apple TV+, and Apple Music.
The forced spatial audio conversion option appears in the iOS and iPadOS audio options when you’re using a supported app and playback devices, but it will only work once you’ve installed the full version of iOS 15 later this year, or try out the public beta.