Apple Music HiFi is coming. 9to5Mac discovered evidence of this feature in iOS 14.6 Beta 1 code. On Friday our colleagues have 9to5Google published a report with even more information about Apple Music HiFi with the beta version of the Apple Music app on Android. With a possible announcement next week, here is what I think the service will be different from other music streaming competitors.
It all started with one sketchy rumor about AirPods 3 and Apple Music HiFi could start “in the coming weeks”. When Apple released iOS 14.6 Beta 2 and removed evidence of a hi-fi version of its music streaming service, 9to5MacFilipe Espósito published his findings in the previous betathat contained code references to “Dolby Atmos”, “Dolby Audio”, and “Lossless”.
Now with 9to5GooglefindsIt’s clearer that Apple actually plans to launch this feature sooner rather than later. Apple Music for Android revealed details of the Apple One bundle for the first time before launch.
With Apple Music 3.6.0 Beta now rolling out through the Google Play Store, we’ve found similar signs of high quality audio streaming and download options for Apple Music for Android. As you’d expect, Apple includes a warning about how much data and storage is being used in high quality audio.
- Lossless audio files take up significantly more space on your device. 10GB of space can store approximately: – 3000 high quality songs – 1000 lossless songs – 200 lossless hi-res songs
- Lossless streaming uses significantly more data. A 3-minute song is approximately: – 1.5 MB with high efficiency – 6 MB with high quality at 256 kbps – 36 MB with lossless at 24 bit / 48 kHz – 145 MB with lossless hi-res at 24 bit / 192 die kHz support varies depending on song availability, network conditions, and the capabilities of the connected speakers or headphones.
Unlike in iOS 14.6, the Android app does not contain any references to “Dolby Atmos” and “Dolby Audio”. This is where Apple differs from other services and offers its iPhone users exclusive content with AirPods integration.
How do I best enjoy HiFi streaming services? And what does Apple Music HiFi offer?
Currently, the best way to enjoy HiFi songs is with special wired headphones. Deezer recently integrated its service into the HomePod But even with a HiFi account, I couldn’t hear the difference between the AAC quality from Apple Music at 256 kbps and the 16-bit / 44.1 kHz FLAC from Deezer that the HomePod technically supports.
If Apple wants its users to be able to take full advantage of HiFi – and rumor has it that the company won’t charge higher for that quality – it should focus on Spatial Audio with the AirPods range and give users the option to download lots of data to stream in Hi-Res Lossless with wired headphones.
With Spatial Audio, users are already excited about the Apple TV + audio experience. If the company announces HiFi support for providing spatial audio to songs, I think the company will go a step further for those who have already spent a lot of money on their AirPods line and don’t want to purchase more wired headphones to use Benefits of using this feature.
With Apple pushing for a wireless future, it would be strange if the company required users to buy wired headphones in order to enjoy HiFi. Since the Bluetooth ability to exchange data over the air is limited, the Spatial Audio function would be a way for users to hear the difference between the standard quality and the HiFi quality immediately.
Another way for users to experience Apple Music HiFi with their AirPods could be the H1 chip integration that could process the streamed data and offer better quality even with bluetooth stream.
It is important to note that currently all AirPods only support AAC Bluetooth at 256 kbps. Sony, on the other hand, has an LDAC codec for wireless headphones with a streaming rate of 990 kbps.One way Apple could handle Apple Music HiFi on the AirPods Max could be to use the ALAC codec, which is currently not enabled but definitely better stream quality for the most expensive headphones.
Differences between Apple Music HiFi on iPhone, Android devices
As the code suggests, iPhone users will likely be able to leverage spatial audio while streaming and storing lossless and high definition lossless devices with properly wired headphones. Android users, on the other hand, cannot use the Spatial Audio function, but rather stream and save lossless songs.
When AirPods 3 launches next weekit will likely bring Spatial Audio, which would give that feature to the entire AirPods line. If Apple Music HiFi is announced, AirPods Max users will also be able to take full advantage of their $ 550 headphones, and it would at least make sense why the company included two H1 chips in them.
What I find weird now is the timing this feature might come in, given that Apple discontinued the original HomePod two months ago. Will the smart speaker be able to use this hi-fi quality? Or can the smaller HomePod mini Hi-Res Lossless stream?
While there is evidence here, it’s still up to Apple to announce Apple Music Hi-Fi. Would the company be prepared for one final surprise as we are three weeks away from WWDC 2021 and an entirely new software cycle?
It’s still unclear how Apple is going to handle this brand new sound quality, but if the company launches Apple Music Hi-Fi at the current price of $ 9.99 / month it would give Spotify a solid answer that recently increased its subscription price has increased.
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