Netflix’s new high-quality audio is coming today

In a long post on its tech blog today, Netflix explained that its high-quality sound for 5.1 audio is now offered at up to 640 kbps, beyond which point users are no longer able to tell the difference in quality.

What just happened? Netflix on Wednesday announced a new feature created to take sound quality to the next level.

- "Our high-quality sound feature is not lossless, but it is perceptually transparent". We 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.

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Netflix has been working for months on fixing a problem that some users may not even be aware of, and that's the sound experience on both its original shows and the licensed content. The approach is similar to the way Netflix adapts video quality using predictive algorithms.

That being said, this feature is really for the cinephile crowd who has Dolby Atmos or serious surround sound setups and can really benefit from the extra bandwidth and who are a bit more. Dolby Atmos high-quality audio has received a maximum bitrate boost to 768 kbps. Only Netflix Premium subscribers will have access to the Dolby Atmos bitrates though.

You can thank Duffer brothers, makers of Stranger Things, for the latest audio update. At one point in the first episode, there was a auto chase scene that didnt sound as crisp as it did on the mixing stage. When Netflix invited the duo to view Stranger Things 2 in a living room setting to get a feel for audiences' perspective, they were less than impressed with the way the audio came across. To remedy the issue, the team utilized a higher bitrate.

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