Netflix Adds Higher Quality, Adaptive Audio

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Streaming giant Netflix has improved the quality of its audio, adding higher bit rates and adaptive streaming to help users make the most of their sound systems.

Netflix will also add adaptive technology to determine bit rate based on connection quality, a feature that has previously been confined to video.

Premium subscribers will be able to access 768Kbps quality Dolby Atmos, while those on lower subscription tiers will have to be content with 640Kbps 5.1 surround sound, provided they have the hardware to support it.

Netflix engineers claim there’s no audible benefit beyond 640Kbps, a claim that may ruffle some audiophiles, but they should at least agree audio will sound crisper than the 192Kbps streams can dip to for those on slow connections.

Netflix Engineering Director Sean Sharma told Wired magazine the highest end of the new audio bit rates will only require around another half a megabit per second of extra bandwidth to stream.

The move was reportedly prompted by complaints from the creators of Stranger Things after hearing the opening scene of their show’s second season out of a studio setting.

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Netflix is adding improved audio quality, for those with the hardware to support it.

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