Stream 5.1 surround sound audio on YouTube

You can live stream 5.1 surround sound audio onto YouTube to viewers with compatible devices. 5.1 surround sound uses five full bandwidth channels, which include:

  • Front left
  • Center
  • Front right
  • Surround left
  • Surround right

In addition to these five channels, there is one low frequency effects channel designed for a subwoofer.

To stream 5.1 surround sound audio to YouTube Live, you must produce compatible 5.1 surround sound audio content and use a compatible encoder.

Note that only ingestions with mono, stereo and 5.1 surround sound audio are supported. Other audio channel configurations may result in unreliable conversion to stereo.

Set up a 5.1 surround sound stream in YouTube Live Control Room

You can use both RTMP and HLS ingestion protocols to send streams with 5.1 audio. For the system to automatically detect 5.1 surround sound input and produce 5.1 surround sound, you must create stream keys with the “Turn on manual resolution” setting unchecked in Live Control Room.

  1. Go to Live Control Room by going to YouTube Studio, then click Create and then Go Live.
  2. Click the drop-down menu under Stream Key and select Create new Stream Key.
  3. Enter a name for the stream key, the streaming protocol, and keep the “Turn on manual settings” box under Stream resolution unchecked.
  4. Click Create to save.

Encoder settings

Follow the guidelines for the general encoder settings. Some 5.1 surround sound specific settings are:

  • Audio codec: 5.1 surround sound audio is only supported for AAC in RTMP ingestion protocol; for HLS ingestion, AAC, AC3 and EAC3 are supported for 5.1 surround sound.
  • Audio sample rate: 48 KHz for 5.1 surround sound.
  • Audio bitrate: 384 Kbps for 5.1 surround sound.

Compatible encoders

The following are the known compatible encoders to stream 5.1 surround sound to YouTube Live. More encoders will be added as they are tested.

Software encoders

Hardware encoders

Viewing 5.1 surround sound live streams

To learn more on how viewers can watch YouTube videos on their compatible devices with 5.1 surround sound, check out our Help Center.

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