Apple has announced that Apple Music will gain free support for Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio starting June 2021 for all subscribers. The company announced that its catalog of 75 million songs will be available in Lossless Audio format, while Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos support will be available for thousands of songs and albums on AirPods and Beats headphones with W1 or H1 chip, and the latest iPhone, iPad, and Mac models.
Apple Music – Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos
Spatial Audio support will let customers listen to music with a 360 audio experience. Instruments will sound as if they are around the listener. This will require specially mixed music and will be available for thousands of songs in the beginning and will increase over time.
Spatial Audio support with Dolby Atmos will be available on the following Apple devices:
- iPhone 7 or later
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation or later)
- iPad Pro 11-inch, iPad (6th generation or later)
- iPad Air (3rd generation or later)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- MacBook Pro (2018 model or later)
- AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, BeatsX, Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats Studio3, Powerbeats3 Wireless, Beats Flex, Powerbeats Pro, and Beats Solo Pro
- Apple TV 4K with a Dolby Atmos compatible TV or receiver
Users would need to be on iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, or tvOS 14.6 or later.
Apple’s Lossless Audio support will be available for 20 million songs starting in June 2021, while all of its 75 million songs catalog will be available in Lossless quality by the end of the year. Apple will be using ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to encode its audio streams for the best possible quality. The company has a lot of experience when it comes to high-quality audio codecs so ALAC should not be any different.
Lossless Audio support in Apple Music will be available in two formats:
Lossless: starting at 16 bit at 44.1 kHz (kilohertz) and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz
Hi-Resolution Lossless: up to 24 bit at 192 kHz
Users will have to opt-in manually by going to Settings > Music > Audio Quality and select the quality for their connection types such as cellular, Wi-Fi, and offline downloads. It is important to note that Lossless will work on Apple devices (it is unclear whether this will support AirPods and HomePod or just iPhone, iPad, and Mac speakers), while Hi-Resolution Lossless will require a USB digital-to-analog converter.
Both Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio will be free for Apple Music subscribers and will launch in June 2021.