Apple Music is Adding Lossless Streaming But Existing AirPods Won’t Support Them

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Apple has announced today that they are bringing lossless audio to its entire catalog along with the addition of Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos. Thanks to Dolby Atmos users will be able to experience an immersive 3D sound-space on selected albums. All of these features are arriving in June. 

Dolby Atmos to Apple Music

Apple is partnering with artists like Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, and more for the initial launch of Dolby Atmos on Apple Music. Apple said that they will be adding new Dolby Atmos tracks constantly. 

By default, Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, as well as the built-in speakers in the latest versions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Apple Music is Adding Lossless Streaming

Lossless Music

Besides Dolby Atmos, Apple is also adding a lossless music format to its catalog of more than 75 million songs. Apple will use ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to “preserve every single bit of the original audio file”. 

You can choose to listen in lossless mode by going to Settings -> Music -> Audio Quality and selecting Lossless or Hi-Resolution Lossless. Apple offers the lossless tier in different quality. You can opt for CD quality which is 16 bit at 44.1 kHz and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz. Apple Music will also offer Hi-Resolution Lossless all the way up to 24 bit at 192 kHz. In the fine print, Apple notes that Hi-Res Lossless requires external equipment, such as a USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC).

AirPods Won’t Support Lossless Music

None of the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and even the high-end  AirPods Max don’t support Apple’s own lossless codec. Apple has confirmed this to T3. They will use the AAC codec when paired with an iPhone.

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