A Netflix Update That Improves Sound Quality


Watching Netflix on Android? Then this is for you. Basically, Netflix has released an upgrade to their Android app which not only reduces buffering, but improves audio too. In a blog post, the streaming service said the update will “improve intelligibility in noisy environments, adapt to variable, cellular connections and scale to studio-quality”.

What this means

Running on devices with Android 9 or better, the improved audio comes from a particular codec named xHE-AAC. While this is of little interest to you as a user, it does address the issue of weak phone speakers that sound worse when turning up the volume.

The images above show the what the update brings. Notice the black bars are on various levels, on the left? That’s before the update, where there was volume inconsistency. Now, with the dynamic range reduced, audio doesn’t get too quiet or too loud, and dialogue volumes are normalized.

What it does is create a dynamic volume range – quieter parts of what you’re watching become louder, whereas the louder parts automatically quieten. This will also support “seamless bitrate switching”, so it works better when Internet connections are not so strong.

And if you happen to be an Apple or TV user, thanks for reading, but your devices have supported this codec since 2019. Now, go and enjoy your shows.

Which shows are you currently enjoying? Let us know in the comments!