A future HomePod and HomePod mini update will provide the smart speakers the ability to support Apple Music Lossless audio, indicates a newly published Apple Support document.
While the HomePod and HomePod mini will not offer at-launch support for Apple Music Lossless, it will feature support for Dolby Atmos for Apple Music. Dolby Atmos is a form of Spatial Audio, which offers an immersive three-dimensional sound experience for the listener. Meanwhile, Apple Music Lossless offers higher quality audio.
In June, Apple will begin offering Apple Music subscribers a “Standard” Apple Music Lossless option with audio up to 48kHz, and “Hi-Res Lossless” with audio between 48kHz and 192kHz. Hi-Res Lossless requires external equipment like a USB digital-to-analog converter.
However, Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro will not be gaining support. In the support document, Apple explains that current Bluetooth doesn’t support the higher quality format that Apple Music Lossless provides. AirPods Max will also not support Lossless wirelessly, but Apple says that when used with a cable, the high-end over-ear headphones will play back Lossless audio, although not completely.
What you need to know about lossless in Apple Music
- Streaming lossless audio over a cellular or Wi-Fi network consumes significantly more data. And downloading lossless audio uses significantly more space on your device. Higher resolutions use more data than lower ones.
- AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and Beats wireless headphones use Apple AAC Bluetooth Codec to ensure excellent audio quality. However, Bluetooth connections aren’t lossless.
- To get a lossless version of music that you already downloaded from Apple Music, just delete the music and redownload it from the Apple Music catalog.
Frequently asked questions about lossless
Can I listen to lossless audio using AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max?
AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and Beats wireless headphones use Apple’s AAC Bluetooth Codec to ensure excellent audio quality. Bluetooth connections don’t support lossless audio.
Can I listen to lossless audio over Bluetooth?
We will deliver music using lossless audio compression to your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. Lossless will play back normally on Bluetooth speakers and headphones. However, Bluetooth connections don’t support lossless audio.
Can I listen to lossless audio on my HomePod or HomePod mini?
HomePod and HomePod mini currently use AAC to ensure excellent audio quality. Support for lossless is coming in a future software update.
Can I listen to lossless audio using Apple’s Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter?
Yes. The Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter is designed to transmit audio from the iPhone’s Lightning connector. It contains a digital-to-analog converter that supports up to 24-bit/48 kHz lossless audio.
Can I listen to lossless audio using the AirPods Max Lightning to 3.5mm Audio Cable?
The Lightning to 3.5 mm Audio Cable was designed to allow AirPods Max to connect to analog sources for listening to movies and music. AirPods Max can be connected to devices playing Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless recordings with exceptional audio quality. However, given the analog to digital conversion in the cable, the playback will not be completely lossless.
What content isn’t available in lossless audio?
- Broadcast radio
- Live radio and on-demand content from Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country
- Music videos
Can I redownload my iTunes purchases in lossless?
If you subscribe to Apple Music, you can redownload music in lossless only from the Apple Music catalog.