Netflix brings ‘studio-quality’ sound upgrade to Android
Netflix has recently announced an audio upgrade that brings studio-like quality to Android 9 and later users.
Streaming with the xHE-AAC codec to provide an optimal listening experience even in noisy environments. The xHE-AAC or Extended High-Efficiency AAC is the latest version HE-AAC audio codec introduced by Fraunhofer IIS in 2012. It features a dynamic range controller and loudness management that generates various audio profiles of dynamic range metadata that suit each listening setup. This includes listening on a phone’s speaker, through headphones, from a home theater setup.
With the latest technology, content with loud background noise is balanced with the dialogue’s volume with gentle adjustments. This allows viewers to hear the dialogue while maintaining immersive audio easily. If the content’s dialogue is soft, its volume increases to hear it over the background noise. The technology allows users to understand dialogues well on their smartphone’s speakers even when in noisy environments.
The xHE-AAC also comes with native support for seamless bitrate switching that minimizes rebuffers in places with inconsistent internet speeds. This was adapted to smart TVs back in 2019.
Netflix shares that the dialogue’s volume is made consistent across show genres, ensuring that it stays above the ambient noise of each scene. The streaming service also says that it hopes to bring the codec to other platforms.