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Netflix brings ‘studio-quality’ sound to Android devices with new update

You'll need a device running Android 9 or higher to enjoy all the benefits of the new xHE-AAC codec.

What you need to know

  • Netflix is bringing 'studio-quality' audio to Android devices with its latest update.
  • The update adds support for the xHE-AAC (Extended HE-AAC with MPEG-D DRC) codec to compatible Android phones.
  • Since the new format supports loudness management, all titles that you watch will play at a consistent volume.

Netflix is rolling out an updated version of its Android app with support for the xHE-AAC format. The company claims the new audio codec will deliver "studio-quality" sound to Android viewers.

One of the main advantages of the new codec is its ability to adapt to variable cellular connections. This means you can enjoy studio-quality audio when the network conditions are optimal, and minimized rebuffers when you have poor reception or the network is congested.

The xHE-AAC codec also supports loudness management, making it possible for all titles to play at a consistent volume. Once you set the volume at your preferred level, you will no longer have to keep changing it when you switch from one title to another.

Netflix says it found people switched from their phone's built-in speakers to headphones 7% less often when listening to xHE-AAC. In case of high dynamic range content, they switched 16% less.

While you don't need to have the best Android phone to enjoy the benefits of the new xHE-AAC codec in the Netflix app, you will need to have a device running Android 9 or higher.

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