Netflix starts using new Ambeo spatial audio tech from Sennheiser

The first title that supports Ambeo 2-Channel Spatial Audio is 'Stranger Things' season four.


Sennheiser has developed an approach to spatial audio that doesn’t require a surround sound system. The tech, called Ambeo 2-Channel Spatial Audio, will work on standard stereo speakers, Sennheiser says. The company says Ambeo will deliver “an improved audio experience wherever stereo is delivered today, be it standard TV sets, stereo systems, headphones, tablets or laptops.”

A number of Sennheiser’s partners have worked with the company to fine-tune Ambeo. One of those is Netflix, which is the first streaming service to employ the tech. The first title that used Ambeo is season four of Stranger Things. Others include Red Notice, The Witcher and the upcoming live-action Resident Evil series.

As long as your device's audio output is set to stereo audio, you won't have to adjust any settings to try Ambeo. Netflix is making it the default setting for two-channel setups for certain titles (you can find those by searching for "spatial audio" on Netflix).

Ambeo renders the full immersive audio mix into two channels. It uses existing industry standard file types and it doesn't need a separate mix. Sennheiser says the renderer offers granular control over spatialization.

​“What sets Sennheiser apart from other solutions is that the Ambeo rendering respects the original mix, tonal balance and dialog integrity, which is exactly what the re-recording mixer is looking for,” Dr Renato Pellegrini of the Ambeo team said in a statement. “The processing is in line with Sennheiser’s reputation to deliver tools that are ‘transparent’ and do not interfere with the original sound. In a nutshell: Sennheiser 2-Channel Spatial Audio seeks to translate mixer intent, not to overpower it.”

If Ambeo works as well as promised, this could be a solid solution for folks who don’t have sufficient equipment to take advantage of Dolby Atmos and other spatial audio tech.

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