Are you tired of dealing with your Android speakers when streaming? Sure, you can pair headphones or a Bluetooth speaker, but sometimes you just don’t want to bother. Yet, the handset’s speakers just don’t cut it for streaming movies, YouTube, music, etc. Netflix wants to help and is releasing a new codec that it says will help Android users, specifically with volume issues.
Netflix made the announcement that it would be using a new code, then added that there would be help for users of Android 9 and up devices. xHE-AAC (extended HE-AAC) with MPEG-D DRC will allow for dynamic volume management.
It happens on many devices, not just Android. It even happens on TVs. Some conversations can seem like a whisper, while action scenes can explode and boom you right out of your seat. It leaves you constantly fiddling with the volume to try and get it right. xHE-AAC works to solve that by acting as an equalizer, creating a standard between the different ranges of volumes in the content.
Netflix’s code is normalizing the loudness with a focus on the volume levels that an Android user might be using. If the low end of sound heard in action and thriller films is amplified, the top end of that range gets clipped. The codec will force limits so that you’re not boomed out of your seat.
Further, the audio won’t be distorted, as dynamic range control (DNC) algorithms can compress the highs and lows. It will work with xHE-AAC to work in different environments, depending on where you choose to watch Netflix on your device, whether it be Android or other.
Audio as a whole is improving. Streaming video is utilizing adaptive bitrate for a seamless experience when streaming video. Netflix’s TV apps didn’t get the adaptive qualities of audio codecs until a few years ago, but now it’s bringing a greater experience, specifically to Android.
Other Devices and Sources
With Netflix’s codec arriving on the Android app , it’s expected that the iOS app will be updated as well, as iPhone has supported xHE-AAC since 2019. Apple has already been working on its audio experience, employing spatial audio in AirPods. This magically makes the sound seem like it’s coming from your device instead of the through the white plastic pieces in your ears.
It’s good news all around. Apple is improving its experience, and Netflix is improving its experience, specifically on Android. It’s only going to improve from here on out. Netflix’s competitors are likely to join in. It would be surprising if the wearable manufacturers aren’t already trying to copy spatial audio in earbuds.