Recently, there have been rumors about HiFi audio coming to Apple Music. In fact, Apple itself teased the upcoming release in the app last Friday with the text “Get ready–music is about to change forever.”
Now, it has revealed with an official announcement this morning that lossless audio is coming to more than 75 million tracks in Apple Music starting next month. That’s not all though, Apple Music is also introducing Spatial Audio support using Dolby Atmos to provide multidimensional sound and clarity.
Basically, spatial audio will create a more immersive experience by using Dolby Atmos technology to make it appear that sound is coming all around you. By default, Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos enabled tracks on all headphones with an H1 or W1 chip. This includes the popular AirPods and Beats lineup of headphones. It will also automatically play on the latest models of the iPhone, iMac, and Mac.
To help users identify which albums support spatial audio, Apple Music will display a badge on the details page to show which albums support Dolby Atmos. There will also be a special set of Dolby Atmos playlists curated and updated frequently to aid discovery.
Even better, this will be included in the normal subscription cost. That’s right, there is no reason to subscribe to a more expensive higher-tier plan to access hi-res or spatial audio.
Apple Music uses the Apple Lossless Audio Codec, or ALAC for short, and begins with what it calls CD quality at 16 bit 44.1kHz.
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.
Starting in June 2021, you can begin listening to lossless audio on the Apple Music app by turning it on in the settings. To do this, open the settings menu, navigate to Music, and then Audio Quality. From here, you can choose which resolution you wish to use depending on your connection.