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Apple AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, HomePod, and HomePod mini Can’t Play Lossless Audio via Apple Music: Report

Apple Music Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio features will be available from June 2021 for subscribers at no extra cost.

Apple AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, HomePod, and HomePod mini Can’t Play Lossless Audio via Apple Music: Report

Photo Credit: Apple

Apple Music starts at Rs. 99 per month for general users and Rs. 49 per month for students

Highlights
  • Lossless Audio, Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio comes to Apple Music
  • Apple’s audio devices will support Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio
  • It will be available with iOS 14.6, iPad OS 14.6, macOS 11.4, tvOS 14.6

Apple AirPods Max, AirPods Pro, AirPods, HomePod, and HomePod mini won't support ‘Lossless Audio' that arrives on Apple Music in June, as per multiple reports. Apple recently announced Hi-Fi streaming support and 'Spatial Audio' with Dolby Atmos for its music player. The new audio features for Apple Music will be available to subscribers from June 2021. The reports say that Apple is using Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) to provide lossless audio via Apple Music, but its truly wireless stereo (TWS) earphones, premium headphones, and smart speakers use the Bluetooth AAC codec for audio playback.

Apple on Monday, May 17 announced that ‘Lossless Audio' streaming and ‘Spatial Audio' with Dolby Atmos support will be available to Apple Music subscribers from June 2021 at no extra cost.

Multiple publications, including T3, have cited Apple to confirm that Apple Music's new audio features won't be supported on AirPods Max, AirPods Pro, AirPods, Beats Solo Pro, Beats Solo 3 Wireless, Beats Studio 3, Beats Flex, BeatsX, Powerbeats Pro, and Powerbeats 3 Wireless. A report from MacRumors also says that lossless audio streaming via Apple Music will also not supported on HomePod and HomePod mini smart speakers.

However, all these audio devices, along with the built-in speakers of iPhone, iPad, and Mac models, will be able to stream music using ‘Spatial Audio' with Dolby Atmos support. It's unclear if these devices will gain native support for lossless audio streaming in the future.

Apple Music subscribers using the latest iOS 14.6, iPad OS 14.6, macOS 11.4, and tvOS 14.6 or later can head to Settings > Music > Audio Quality to activate ‘Lossless Audio'. Apple says the quality of its ‘Lossless Audio' tier is akin to CD-quality, which is 16bit at 44.1kHz, and goes up to 24bit at 48kHz. Its ‘Hi-Res Lossless' tier offers up to 24bit at 192kHz.

Apple says subscribers will be able to listen to thousands of songs using the 'Spatial Audio' on Dolby Atmos with more being added regularly and ‘Lossless Audio' will be available for 20 million songs at launch in June, which will expand to 75 million songs by the end of the year.


We dive into all things Apple — iPad Pro, iMac, Apple TV 4K, and AirTag — this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.
  • Design / Comfort
  • Audio Quality
  • Battery Life
  • Value For Money
  • Good
  • Beautiful, comfortable, and luxurious

  • Best-in-class controls

  • Seamless connectivity with Apple devices

  • Very good ANC and Transparency modes

  • Wide, spacious soundstage

  • Excellent, flexible sound
  • Bad
  • No power button, unpredictable power consumption 

  • Below-par battery life

  • Smart Case is a bit silly

  • Lightning charging port

  • No ANC level adjustment
Headphone Type Over-Ear
Microphone Yes
Connectivity Wireless
Type Headphones
  • Design / Comfort
  • Audio Quality
  • Battery Life
  • Value For Money
  • Good
  • Improved design and fit
  • Superb sound quality
  • Very good battery life
  • Good active noise cancellation and Transparency mode
  • Bad
  • Expensive
  • No volume controls on the earphones
  • Lightning port for charging
Headphone Type In-Ear
Microphone Yes
Connectivity True Wireless Stereo (TWS)
Type Earphones
Model HomePod
Color Space Gray, White
Power Requirement 100V to 240V AC
Touch Pad Yes
Network connectivity Bluetooth v5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ac
Display included No
  • Design
  • Smart Features
  • Audio Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Good
  • Looks great

  • Clean, detailed sound

  • Excellent soundstage

  • Works very well within the Apple ecosystem
  • Bad
  • Some connectivity issues with stereo pairing

  • Limited smart capabilities
Model HomePod mini
Touch Pad Yes
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Satvik Khare is a sub-editor at Gadgets 360. His proficiency lies in educating how technology makes life easier for everyone. Gadgets have always been a passion with him and he's frequently found finding his way around new technologies. In his free time he loves tinkering with his car, participating in motorsports, and if the weather is bad, he can be found doing laps on Forza Horizon on his Xbox or reading a nice piece of fiction. He can be reached through his Twitter ...More
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