What is Apple Lossless Audio and What Devices are Supported?

What is Apple Lossless Audio and What Devices are Supported?

Ahead of the upcoming WWDC 2021 occasion, Apple just lately introduced that Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos help is coming to Apple Music. It can be obtainable as a part of the iOS 14.6 replace someday in June later this 12 months. Now, if curiosity has led you to ask what’s Apple Lossless Audio, we have now received you coated with this detailed information. We can even focus on what’s Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio, and which gadgets help Apple Music Lossless.

Apple Music Lossless Audio Explained (2021)

Apple has wager massive on Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos to make its music streaming app, Apple Music, a top-notch decide for music listeners. Especially those who’re all the time looking for the most effective tracks when it comes to sound high quality. But has the corporate checked off all of the bases? More importantly, will your fancy pair of headphones or AirPods help Apple Lossless Audio? Only a deep dive might help discover out the proper solutions. So, let’s get proper into it!

What is Apple Lossless Audio?

To get dangle of lossless audio, it could be apt to first perceive what’s “Lossy Audio”.

While changing audio right into a digital file format, sound engineers must compress the audio with a view to cut back the file measurement. At the time of compression, frequencies on the lowest and highest ends may be misplaced, which ends up in the Lossy Audio. That means you don’t get the entire studio-like expertise with lossy audio. There are a number of lossy codecs comparable to MP3, MP4, WMA, and AAC.

Apple's popular music app

However, if the frequencies and bitrate stay intact even after the compression, and the digital copy is an identical to the unique audio, we name it Lossless Audio. The lossless widespread audio codecs are – AIFF, FLAC, and WAV recordsdata.

Apple Lossless Audio Codec is a compressed audio format however it doesn’t sacrifice sound high quality, which stays the identical as the unique recording.

To be extra exact, Lossless Audio is a file format that compresses audio with out sacrificing the unique high quality of the recording. It takes benefit of compression algorithms to protect the audio high quality, together with the feel and element, by constricting silences to nearly zero area. As the title implies, it’s aimed toward delivering the music expertise as supposed by the artist. Apple’s Lossless Audio format is named Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC).

What Devices Support Apple Lossless Audio?

Apple has confirmed that the Lossless Audio on ‌Apple Music‌ may be listened to on the next gadgets:

  • iPhone (operating iOS 14.6 or later)
  • iPad (operating iPadOS 14.6 or later)
  • Mac Mini, iMac, and MacE-book (operating macOS 11.4 or later)
  • Apple TV (operating tvOS 14.6 or later)

Note: Apple Music for Android can even help Apple Lossless Audio when it goes reside in June, as per experiences. But keep in mind that Apple Music will lack Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio help on Android.

What Devices Don’t Support Apple Lossless Audio?

Unfortunately, there are fairly just a few notable gadgets that don’t help Apple Lossless Audio. They are:

  • HomePod
  • HomePod mini
  • AirPods
  • AirPods Pro
  • AirPods Max 

In what may appear to be including insult to harm to many Apple machine homeowners, Android telephones geared up with headphone jacks seem like the higher strategy to take heed to Apple Music’s lossless audio tracks. You merely want a DAC and appropriate in-ear screens/ headphones to totally get pleasure from lossless audio tracks on Android.

Note: Apple has confirmed that Lossless Audio help is coming to the HomePod with a future replace. So, you may not have to attend a bit of longer to stream lossless music in your good speaker.

Why Don’t AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and HomePod Support Apple Lossless Audio?

Due to the constraints of Bluetooth (AAC codec), analog-to-digital conversion, and the Apple Lossless Audio codec, AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max can’t stream in 48kHz Lossless or 192kHz Hi-Res lossless audio.


Worse, you received’t be capable to get the total lossless audio expertise even if you use a bodily cable to plug in your $549 AirPods Max into supported gadgets. If you didn’t know, AirPods Max can be utilized in a wired state utilizing a Lightning to 3.5mm dongle. Why don’t these headphones help lossless audio, although?

On an official support page, Apple says that “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.”  When you stream 24-bit/ 48kHz audio from Apple Music to the AirPods Max, the audio is first transformed to analog after which again to the digital format. That means audio streamed by way of AirPods Max within the wired state doesn’t stay totally lossless.

The story is comparable for HomePod and HomePod mini. Though Apple’s good audio system use AirPlay as a substitute of Bluetooth to hook up with gadgets, they will’t profit from Apple Music’s larger bitrate audio format.

How Can AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max Support Lossless Audio?

AirPods are designed to stream music utilizing the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) customary that maxes out at 320 kbps. To allow AirPods to help lossless audio, Apple should include its personal proprietary codec like Sony’s LDAC developed to play music at the next bitrate over Bluetooth.

Lossless Audio Quality: Difference Between Lossless Tier and Hi-Res Lossless Tier

Apple will present two kinds of Lossless tiers – customary lossless for newbies and Hi-Res Lossless tier for true audiophiles. While the lossless tier will begin at CD high quality, which is 16-bit at 44.1kHz and max out at 24-bit at 48kHz, the Hi-Res Lossless tier gives you 24-bit at 192kHz. That means, if you transfer to Settings -> Music -> Audio of an Apple machine, you will note these three choices:

  • CD Quality (16-bit/ 44.1kHz, customary lossless high quality)
  • Lossless (24-bit/ 48kHz, higher than CD Quality)
  • Hi-Res Lossless (24-bit/ 192kHz, requires devoted {hardware})

Bear in thoughts that you will want a digital-to-analog converter or DAC to help Hi-Res Lossless audio playback in your machine.

How Many Lossless Audio Songs Are Available on Apple Music?

At the time of launch, round 20 million songs will help the codec. And greater than 75 million songs will help lossless audio on Apple Music by the tip of 2021.

How Much Does Apple Music Lossless Audio Cost?

Well, the simple reply to this query is zero {dollars}! Apple clearly said that the Lossless Audio help is obtainable together with your present Apple Music subscription at no further price. So it doesn’t matter whether or not you have got a person or a household plan, you’ll have limitless entry to Apple Music Lossless Audio free of charge.

Is Apple Lossless Audio for Everyone?


No, clearly not. There is nothing new about lossless audio because it has been round for ages, with streaming providers like Tidal and Amazon Music HD providing customers entry to it at a premium. Besides, it has been supported by way of the Apple Music app for macOS and iTunes for a very long time.

The actual bone of rivalry is whether or not you may hear the distinction between lossy audio and uncompressed lossless audio recordsdata. Well, no less than those that take heed to music only for the sake of listening or enjoyable received’t discover an enormous distinction. On prime of every little thing, you additionally must take into consideration the standard of the audio {hardware}, particularly if you wish to relish lossless audio because the artists recorded them within the studio. Budget or low-cost gadgets can’t ship the identical expertise.

We don’t assume Apple Lossless Audio is a should for everybody. However, you might get a pair of price range in-ear screens or studio headphones to get a style of lossless audio. If you want what you hear, and spot a distinction, it is best to put money into costlier {hardware}. Of course, if you’re an audiophile with a wealthy style in music, you’ll welcome this addition with open arms.

When Will Apple Music Get Lossless Audio Support?

Apple Music will get Lossless Audio help someday in June. The Cupertino large didn’t reveal an actual date for the rollout. Alongside Lossless Audio, Apple Music can even get Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio help at no further price. So, let’s perceive how these two applied sciences might help additional elevate your listening expertise.

What is Dolby Atmos Music?

apple music - dolby atmos music

Dolby Atmos is an audio format designed to ship an immersive music expertise. Thanks to the flexibility to make use of Spatial Audio, it provides extra readability and depth to the music. Dolby Atmos help in Apple Music will make you are feeling like you might be listening to a reside efficiency with many audio system throughout you.

On the flip aspect, Dolby Atmos permits music producers to combine tracks in order that it may possibly sound just like the music is throughout you. Instead of utilizing two channels, a producer can separate all of the devices on distinct channels and transfer them round to create a 3D audio area. It will provide a transformative expertise to Apple Music customers.

What Devices Support Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio in Apple Music?

Since the Dolby Atmos implementation is sound-only and doesn’t contain head monitoring, you may take heed to tracks that help Dolby Atmos on any headphones. You merely must allow the Dolby Atmos setting in Apple Music in your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV.

Bear in thoughts that solely W1 or H1 chip geared up Apple and Beats headphones will allow you to mechanically play tracks in Dolby Atmos – topic to availability. Here are the Apple and Beats headphones that include W1 or H1 chip and help Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos:

  • AirPods
  • AirPods Pro
  • AirPods Max
  • Beats Flex
  • Powerbeats Pro
  • Beats Solo Pro
  • BeatsX
  • Beats Solo3 Wireless
  • Beats Studio3
  • Powerbeats3 Wireless

While Apple says that any pair of headphones can help Dolby Atmos, you shouldn’t count on a price range pair of headphones to ship the most effective expertise. Simply put, many of the low-cost/ price range headphones lack the applied sciences developed to get the most effective out of Spatial Audio that Dolby Atmos is understood for.

Apple lossless audio

You also can reap the benefits of the built-in audio system on the next gadgets to take heed to Dolby Atmos-supported tracks:

  • iPhone 7 (or later)
  • Pad Pro 12.9-inch (third technology or later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch all fashions
  • iPad (sixth technology or later)
  • iPad Air (third technology or later)
  • iPad mini (fifth technology)
  • MacE-book Pro (2018 mannequin or later)

How to Enable Dolby Atmos in Apple Music?

What in case your headphones don’t include W1/ H1 chip can you continue to take heed to Dolby Atmos tracks? Yes, you may. However, you’ll have to allow the choice by going to Settings -> Music -> Audio -> Dolby Atmos in your machine.

How Many Tracks Support Dolby Atmos on Apple Music?

Though Apple has not but given the precise variety of tracks that can help Dolby Atmos on Apple Music, the Cupertino large has talked about that “thousands of Dolby Atmos tracks” (if not hundreds of thousands) can be obtainable when the function arrives in June. What’s extra, Apple has additionally mentioned that it’ll often add all-new Dolby Atmos tracks to Apple Music.

How to Identify Dolby Atmos Tracks on Apple Music?

dolby atmos badge on apple music

Apple will mark albums with a “Dolby Atmos” badge in Apple Music. This will make it simpler so that you can know if a observe of your liking helps Dolby Atmos. The Cupertino large can even create devoted Dolby Atmos playlists to allow you to uncover music throughout a number of genres.

Do You Have to Pay for Dolby Atmos Tracks on Apple Music?

No, you received’t must pay something to take heed to Dolby Atmos tracks on Apple Music. So, whether or not you have got a household or particular person plan, you’ll have unrestricted entry to Dolby Atmos tracks.

When Will Dolby Atmos Support Arrive on Apple Music?

Though Apple is but to supply a selected date, Dolby Atmos is more likely to arrive on Apple Music someday in June.

Enjoy Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos on Apple Music

So, that’s all you must find out about Apple Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos help set to reach on Apple Music in June. Hopefully, you’ve got the solutions to all of your questions on this audio-quality improve. Still, in case you have any questions, be at liberty to shoot them within the feedback part beneath. Besides, tell us whether or not or not these options will assist Apple surpass its arch-nemesis Spotify, which is by far the most well-liked music-streaming service.

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