The way we can stream music from Apple Music will change substantially, with the addition of new formats, Apple Music has announced. Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos and Lossless audio will arrive in June and at no extra cost.
“Apple Music is making its biggest advancement ever in sound quality,”
Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats.
Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos is a revolutionary new audio experience. It enables artists to mix music that will allow sounds to be heard from around and from above. A 360-degree music experience, essentially.
At launch, Apple has confirmed there will be “thousands” of songs in the new Spatial Audio format. And will include some of the worlds biggest artists, across a number of formats. Hip-hop, country, Latin, Pop, and classical. Both Apple and Dolby are also working with artists and labels to add new releases.
To help discover Spatial Audio tracks, Apple Music will be putting together several “Dolby Atmos” playlists. In addition, tracks available in the format will have a “Dolby Atmos” badge within the Apple Music app.
AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, as well as the built-in speakers in the latest versions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac are all compatible.
Lossless and Hi-Resolution Lossless will also become available to subscribers from June. It enables the complete catalogue of songs from Apple Music to listen in the exact same way that the artists created in the studio. By using ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to preserve every single bit of the original audio file. Apple Music’s Lossless tier starts at CD quality, which is 16 bit at 44.1 kHz (kilohertz), and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz and is playable natively on Apple devices. For the true audiophile, Apple Music also offers Hi-Resolution Lossless all the way up to 24 bit at 192 kHz.
Due to large file sizes and bandwidth needed, subscribers will need to opt-in, Apple has revealed. Thankfully it will be as simple as going to Settings > Music > Audio Quality.
To experience the full potential of Hi-Res Lossless Audio, particular equipment is required. Already Apple has confirmed that HomePod and HomePod Mini, as well as AirPods Max, do not support Lossless Audio (however, do support Spatial Audio). Hi-Res Lossless also requires a USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC).
For most subscribers, the new Spatial Audio is going to be of most significance. However, the addition of Lossless audio is a substantial new addition for Audiophiles. But perhaps best of all – Apple Music is bringing all of these new additions at no extra cost.