Apple today announced that Apple Music is bringing industry-leading sound quality to subscribers with the addition of Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos. Apple Music subscribers will also be able to listen to more than 75 million songs in Lossless Audio, but, currently, not if they’re using AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max headphones. (Note: Apple Music will have 20 million songs in lossless audio at launch with the full 75 million songs available by the end of the year.)
In Apple’s new terminology, ‘Lossless’ is CD quality, from 16-bit 44.1kHz playback up to 24-bit 48kHz, while ‘Hi-Res Lossless’ delivers up to 24-bit 192kHz.
Both of Apple’s elite headphone models only use the Bluetooth AAC codec when connected to an iPhone, which means they can’t receive the full quality of the Apple Music ‘Lossless’ files, which will be encoded as ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) files.
What both of these devices will be able to receive is the new Dolby Atmos ‘Spatial Audio’ versions of songs, which will add more of a surrounding 3D effect in tracks.
MacDailyNews Note: You can listen to Apple Music Lossless using the latest Apple Music app on an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV. With iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, or tvOS 14.6 or later – coming soon – turn on lossless audio in Settings > Music > Audio Quality. You can choose between Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless for cellular or Wi-Fi connections. Note that Hi-Res Lossless requires external equipment such as a USB digital to analog converter.
All Apple Music subscribers using the latest version of Apple Music on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV can listen to thousands of Dolby Atmos music tracks using any headphones. When you listen with compatible Apple or Beats headphones — AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, BeatsX, Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats Studio3, Powerbeats3 Wireless, Beats Flex, Powerbeats Pro, and Beats Solo Pro — Dolby Atmos music plays back automatically when available for a song. For other headphones, go to Settings > Music > Audio and set Dolby Atmos to Always On. You can also hear Dolby Atmos music using the built‑in speakers on a compatible iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, or HomePod, or by connecting your Apple TV 4K to a compatible TV or audiovisual receiver.