Apples recently launched hi-fi audio streaming for Apple Music was received with enthusiasm, but also all sorts of confusion when it comes to lossless audio. Today Apple attempted to clarify user questions about lossless audio and announced that the HomePod and HomePod mini would support this feature.
In one Support page dedicated to lossless audio released on Saturday Apple announced that it will support lossless audio for the HomePod and HomePod mini in a future software update. This is a reverse of what Apple said when it was told earlier this week various Sockets that the HomePod and HomePod mini would not support lossless audio. The company has not specified when the update will be deployed on the devices.
At the moment both HomePods can stream spatial audio with Dolby Atmos, Apple’s other announced hi-fi offering, after the edge. Spatial audio is more immersive than stereo or virtual surround mixes.
Meanwhile lOssless Audio Compression is a form of compression that preserves all of the original data in the original source Apple explained that most audio compression techniques lose some amount of data.
Apple has used its own lossless Audio compression technology, called Apple Lossless Audio Codec or ALAC, supports lossless audio at 16-bit / 44.1 kHz or CD-quality audio. and 24-bit / 48 kHz on Apple devices. It also offers high resolution lossless audio 24 bit / 192 kHz.
Additionally, Apple tried to clear the confusion around lossless audio after its announcement, which begs questions about which devices would actually support it. According to Apple, wireless AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and Beats wireless headphones cannot support lossless audio because Bluetooth connections do not support lossless audio. This means that lossless audio will play normally through Bluetooth speakers and headphones.
Apple also said that the AirPods Max, the most expensive headphones, cannot support pure lossless audio even when connected to devices that use the lightning-fast 3.5mm audio cable. The company told the edge When playing a 24-bit / 48 kHz lossless track from an iPhone through the AirPods Max With the audio cable and the flash dongle, the audio is converted to analog and newly digitized on 24 bit / 48 kHz. Since it is being re-digitized, it is not an identical match to the original audio file.
These Moving was criticized by some who found it strange that the company’s best headphones can’t access the best quality Apple Music has to offer. Still the new spatial audio function from Apple works on all AirPods models.
Eventually, Apple found that users can use the 3.5mm headphone jack adapter to hear lossless audio on their iPhones (when they’re not using the AirPods Max). The company said the adapter has a digital-to-analog converter that provides lossless support Up to 24 bit / 48 kHz audio.
Regarding iTunes purchases, Apple has made it clear that songs purchased on iTunes cannot be losslessly downloaded as the feature is only available to Apple Music subscribers. Broadcast, live radio, on-demand Apple Music 1, Apple Music hits, Apple Music Country, and music videos are not available in lossless audio formats.
The hifi streaming is free for Apple Music subscribers and will be released in June.