By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor

Netflix recently added ‘spatial audio’ to its $19.99 a month Premium plan, which also includes 4K programming and being able to watch video on four different devices at the same time. Spatial audio sounds cool as a term, but what exactly is it? We asked our favorite Artificial Intelligence engine, ChatGPT, for an explanation and below is the AI response. As always, the article was fact-checked and edited by the TV Answer Man team. Enjoy.

Spatial audio is a cutting-edge technology that simulates an immersive, three-dimensional sound environment for the listener. With spatial audio, the listener can experience sound as if it were coming from multiple directions and distances, making it an excellent tool for enhancing the overall listening experience.

In traditional stereo sound, the sound waves are mixed to create a left-right signal, which is then played through two speakers. The listener hears the sound coming from the left or the right side of the speakers, depending on how the sound waves are mixed. However, spatial audio goes beyond the traditional stereo sound by creating a sense of space and depth.

See Amazon’s best-selling electronics!

Spatial audio works by using various techniques to simulate the way that sound waves travel in the real world. For example, the technology uses head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), which are mathematical algorithms that take into account the shape and size of the listener’s head, ear canal, and other physical features to create a personalized sound environment. HRTFs allow spatial audio to simulate the way that sound waves interact with the listener’s body, creating a sense of spatial awareness and directionality.

Another technique used in spatial audio is binaural recording, which involves using two microphones to capture sound in a way that mimics the way that human ears hear sound. Binaural recording can be used to create a realistic, three-dimensional sound environment that accurately reflects the location of sound sources.

Spatial audio is being used in a wide range of applications, from gaming and virtual reality to music and film. In gaming and virtual reality, spatial audio can enhance the overall gaming experience by creating a more immersive environment that allows the player to hear sound coming from different directions and distances. In music and film, spatial audio can be used to create a more realistic and engaging sound environment that enhances the emotional impact of the music or story.

See Amazon’s best-selling electronics!

The adoption of spatial audio has been accelerated by the rise of smart speakers and voice assistants. Many smart speakers are now equipped with spatial audio technology, which can create a more immersive and natural listening experience for users. Voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, can also benefit from spatial audio technology to create more realistic and engaging voice interactions.

In conclusion, spatial audio is a technology that is rapidly evolving and transforming the way that we experience sound. It creates a more immersive and engaging listening experience that can be used in a wide range of applications, from gaming and virtual reality to music and film.

Editor’s Note: Netflix says spatial audio on the Netflix Premium plan plays enhanced sound without surround sound speakers or home theater equipment. Spatial audio works on all Netflix supported devices like smart TVs, streaming devices, computers, phones, and tablets. Click here to learn more.