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Earthsounds review: Apple TV+’s coolest nature series

A monkey makes a sound and we can see the waves coming out of its mouth in the Apple TV+ series “Earthsounds”

Earthsounds is quite a hypnotic exploration of sound in nature that mesmerizes and stands out as Apple TV+’s coolest nature series to date.

Apple TV+ does many things well, but the one thing it does superbly is make gorgeous nature documentary series. From Tiny World and Prehistoric Planet to Earth at Night, each viewing offers a huge impact loaded with insight and visual beauty that makes each exploration its own stunning, magical adventure. And I don’t know how it’s possible, but the streaming giant has one-upped itself with the release of its latest nature series Earthsounds, which is quite a hypnotic exploration of sound in nature that stands out as Apple TV+’s coolest nature series to date. It’s definitely the most mesmerizing nature doc I’ve ever seen.

Earthsounds is a 12-part natural history documentary series that uses cutting edge audio technology to reveal the unexpected, unfamiliar, and untold stories of how animals, insects, and critters use, detect, and are affected by sound in the natural world. It also explores the acoustics of Earth’s landscapes and atmospheres. With Tom Hiddleston (Loki) narrating, the series showcases sounds like the hum of deserts, the whistling and creaking of icebergs as they merge with sea ice, the eerie buzz of the Northern Lights under a celestial symphony, ice shelves vibrating in powerful winds, and sounds traveling underwater, as is evidenced in the underwater love songs of walruses. But that’s not all.

Viewers are exposed to various environments and taken on a journey that investigates the uses, emissions, and textures of sound by ants, frogs, monkeys, lions, sea creatures, desert roamers, and birds, to name a few, … and, of course, the whispers of Mother Nature herself. Not only do we get to experience all of this, but Earthsounds also teaches us how creatures in certain environments use sound to thrive, communicate, protect themselves, hunt, and mate.

From tropical coral reefs and rainforests to Antarctic ice shelves and Namibian sand dunes, Earthsounds (and Hiddleston) lulls you into an entrancing zone of high-quality definition coupled with never-before-heard sounds, making for one hell of a lasting impression. Some of those never-before-heard sounds include the mating calls of elusive snow leopards, the barely audible communications of ostrich chicks while in their eggs, the raucous symphony of pops and squeaks in an underwater amphitheater full of fish and manatee, and—I’m not kidding—musical spiders. There’s even a snowy game of hide-and-seek that unfolds between foxes and voles, but these don’t even begin to explain all the intricacies the series doles out. This is all thanks, of course, to advancements in modern technology, and to the commitment and bravery of those who trek into these places to capture the magic.

A fox looks confused while hunting voles in the snow in the Apple TV+ series “Earthsounds”
A fox hunting voles in the series “Earthsounds,” now streaming on Apple TV+. (Apple TV+)

The cameras and mics used to film Earthsounds are of the highest quality and provide intimate access to habits, traits, and environments that, before this, we could only wonder about and imagine. The production value is also worth noting, as literally everything about the series is crisp, clear, stunning, and vibrant, boasting 4K HDR and incredibly well mastered Atmos audio. Together these cameras and mics transport viewers deep into each habitat for an up-close-and-personal experience, which often looks and feels 3D.

And be sure to watch each episode all the way to the end for a look at how the sounds of each episode were made. The short segments bring insight into how everything was filmed and recorded, as well as what the different production crews experienced in different terrains and conditions. Not only will you see sides of nature you never knew existed or even thought about, but you’ll also learn things about insects and animals that sound like something straight out of a sci-fi tale … very cool and very seductive.

Earthsounds is educational, informative, and engrossing to the max, so don’t delay. This is one nature doc you don’t want to miss out on.

Watch on Apple TV

Earthsounds is now available to watch on Apple TV+. Stream Earthsounds and read our interview with Producer Sam Hodges, Marine Biologist Beth Goodwin, and High-Tech Conservationist Bourhan Yassin about Earthsounds!

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