Netflix continues to introduce new features to its mobile app. It was just recently that it added a new audio-only mode that allows its users listen to a movie or series in the background. And now, the streaming giant has upgraded the audio experience to make the content sound better on Android devices.
Netflix is currently rolling out an update that brings support for xHE-AAC (Extended HE-AAC with MPEG-D DRC) audio codec to Android devices. It works with devices running Android 9 or newer builds. What does this mean for binge-watchers?
While Netflix revealed the details in its technology blog post, the simplest way to explain this upgrade is that movies and TV shows will sound better on Android. The company promises three things with xHE-AAC audio codec support. These are:
- the capability to improve intelligibility in noisy environments,
- it can adapt to variable cellular connections, and
- finally, it will offer you a “studio-quality” audio experience.
The second point makes a significant difference in many countries, especially one like India. The codec offers a variable bitrate for audio streaming. This means your audio output will adjust depending on your Android phone’s Internet connection. “xHE-AAC streams deliver studio-quality audio when network conditions allow, and minimize rebuffers when the network is congested,” says Netflix in the blog post.
This upgrade also brings loudness management in tow. This means you will not have to worry about toying with the volume with each episode or different movies. Netflix will “play all titles at a consistent volume, relative to each other.” Also, all dialogues will now be more legible in noisy environments, even via the phone’s built-in speaker. You won’t have to pause the show and search around for your earphones after this update.
Ultimately, this minor upgrade will enable a lot of users across the globe, especially those with spotty Internet services, to experience better audio quality on Netflix.