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Announced: Apple Music with Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos

8 min read
  • Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio is coming to Apple Music.
  • Supports headphones with W1 or H1 chips and iOS 14.6 or later.
  • These new features will be available starting sometime in June.

Apple recently announced that starting June 2021, Apple Music will offer select songs in Dolby Atmos, Lossless, and Hi-Res Lossless audio. We first wrote about this yesterday. The Lossless tier starts at CD quality (16 bit/44.1 kHz) up to 24 bit/48kHz. The even higher quality Hi-Res Lossless audio goes all the way up to 24 bit/192kHz.

The Lossless tiers will have to be manually selected by the user, due to the large file sizes when streaming and downloading, and Hi-Res Lossless requires an external DAC to listen at the highest quality. In addition, songs from artists such as Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, The Weeknd and more will have the Lossless tiers and Dolby Atmos, encoding songs in a way similar to Spatial Audio in Apple TV+ and other supported services.

Apple Music will also make its catalog of more than 75 million songs available in Lossless Audio. Apple uses ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to preserve every single bit of the original audio file. This means Apple Music subscribers will be able to hear the exact same thing that the artists created in the studio. These new features will be available starting sometime in June, and will require AirPods or Beats headphones with either a W1 or H1 chip. Apple Digital Masters, a rebranding of Mastered for iTunes, will now have an indicator on the song or album when the selected album supports it.

Apple has also confirmed that these features will be exclusive to Apple Music, and will not be available to songs purchased through the iTunes Store, or iTunes Match. Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio will be available on iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, and tvOS 14.6 or later.

To start listening to Lossless Audio, subscribers using the latest version of Apple Music can turn it on in Settings > Music > Audio Quality. Here, they can choose different resolutions for different connections such as cellular, Wi-Fi, or for download.

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