AirPods, AirPods Max and AirPods Pro Don't Support Apple Music Lossless Audio

Apple today announced that starting in June, Apple Music songs will be available to stream in Lossless and Hi-Resolution Lossless formats, but lossless audio won't be supported on the AirPods, AirPods Max, or AirPods Pro.

AirPods Lineup Not Lossless Feature
Apple's Lossless Audio is encoded as Apple Lossless Audio Codec files, with lossless quality ranging from 16-bit 44.1 kHz playback to 24-bit 48 kHz playback and Hi-Res Lossless offering 24-bit 192 kHz quality.

AirPods, ‌AirPods Pro‌, and ‌AirPods Max‌ are limited to the Bluetooth AAC codec when paired with an iPhone, and won't be able to stream ‌Apple Music‌ lossless files, Apple confirmed to T3.

Apple did not mention AirPods compatibility in its press release announcing the new functionality, and on its website, Apple confirms that lossless audio can be listened to on an ‌iPhone‌, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV, and T3 also says that HomePod is compatible even though it wasn't listed in Apple's announcement.

Apple's lossless audio is less compressed and offers up a more accurate version of the studio recording process, for music that sounds as it was intended by the artist. Lossless audio provides a wider dynamic range to bring out the detail and realism in music.

Hi-Res Lossless will require a USB digital to analog converter or similar equipment, but will provide the best sound experience. Listening to lossless audio on an ‌iPhone‌ will require wired headphones and it's possible an additional dongle will be needed to get the best sound quality. ‌AirPods Max‌ will also not support lossless audio over the Lightning cable, Apple told Micah Singleton.

While the AirPods, ‌AirPods Max‌, and ‌AirPods Pro‌ do not support lossless audio, they do support Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, and by default, ‌Apple Music‌ will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip.

With Spatial Audio support, artists will be able to create immersive experiences that provide fans with multidimensional sound and clarity.

Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio are being added to ‌Apple Music‌ at no charge, so both new and current subscribers will get these features for the standard $9.99 per month (individual), $4.99 per month (student), or $14.99 per month (family) pricing.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

SanderEvers Avatar
36 months ago
So an over $500 set of headphones can't play high res audio? This is a real facepalm for Apple here.
Score: 118 Votes (Like | Disagree)
unibility Avatar
36 months ago
Well… there goes $549.00!
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dohspc Avatar
36 months ago
Glad I didn’t buy the first version of AirPods Max.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tonie walker Avatar
36 months ago
waiting apple to drop a lossless cable for airpods max at $99 ?
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
moabal Avatar
36 months ago
So I am confused now. What is the point of this new feature now? Can someone breakdown this a little better?
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deevey Avatar
36 months ago

This is a major fail, does anyone know if it's technically possible that Apple could bring Lossless on AirPods via firmware update? I see a lot of people saying Bluetooth doesn't support Lossless and a lot of people saying ALAC could technically run over Bluetooth.. Confusing o_O
There is not enough bandwidth for even 16bit audio on bluetooth.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple Cancels Electric Car Project

Tuesday February 27, 2024 11:05 am PST by
Apple has canceled all plans to release an autonomous, electric vehicle, reports Bloomberg. Apple has been working on an Apple Car for more than a decade and invested millions of dollars into development before deciding it was not a viable project. Apple's Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams today told approximately 2,000 employees working on the Apple Car that the project was canceled,...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

iOS 18 Rumored to Be Compatible With These iPhone Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:31 am PST by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and thereby also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. The post was spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it has since been deleted. However, this was likely because the...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Coming Soon With These New Features for Your iPhone

Monday February 26, 2024 6:08 am PST by
In a press release last month, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU, Apple Podcasts transcripts, and an iMessage security upgrade. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay...
iPad Air 5

iPadOS 18 Rumored to Drop Support for These iPad Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:55 am PST by
iPadOS 18 will drop support for iPad models equipped with the A10X Fusion chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS and iPadOS updates. This means that iPadOS 18 would not be compatible with the first-generation 10.5-inch iPad Pro or the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro models released in 2017. It...
applearcade

Game Developers Describe 'Smell of Death' Around Apple Arcade

Monday February 26, 2024 7:24 am PST by
Some game developers are dissatisfied with Apple Arcade amid concerns about the subscription service's future, a new report claims. Sources speaking to mobilegamer.biz described a "smell of death" around Apple's games subscription service and noted the difference between the company's investment in TV and music, and its interest in games. "At the very top of the company there needs to be a ...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...