Apple Music Launching Spatial Audio With Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio in June at No Extra Cost

Apple today announced that Apple Music will be gaining support for Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos at no additional cost starting in June.

apple music spatial audio
At launch, Apple Music subscribers will have access to thousands of songs in Spatial Audio from artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd, and many others. Apple says this feature will provide a "revolutionary, immersive audio experience that enables artists to mix music so the sound comes from all around and from above."

Apple Music subscribers will also be able to listen to more than 75 million songs in Lossless Audio at no additional cost:

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.

Apple says 20 million songs will be available in Lossless Audio at launch, with the full 75 million songs available by the end of the year.

Apple Music's standard Lossless tier will start at "CD quality," which is 16 bit at 44.1 kHz, and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz, according to Apple. Apple Music will also offer Hi-Res Lossless up to 24 bit at 192 kHz.


By default, Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, as well as the built-in speakers in the latest versions of the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, according to Apple.

Apple Music will be getting new Dolby Atmos tracks constantly and will offer a curated selection of Dolby Atmos playlists, according to Apple. Dolby Atmos albums will have a badge on their detail page for easy discovery.

Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio will be available on iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, and tvOS 14.6 or later.

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Top Rated Comments

markfc Avatar
41 months ago
For no additional cost!!! Awesome.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Expos of 1969 Avatar
41 months ago

I have yet to meet a soul that will listen to music past a certain point, usually the decade that they were a teenager. Regardless, Beethoven isn't going to produce a new composition.
Hello, nice to meet you. I am 62 and am happily discovering new music all the time.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
poseidondev Avatar
41 months ago
There seems to be a lot of misconceptions and questions going around.

For now, Atmos is specifically mentioned ('https://www.apple.com/apple-music/') for HomePod as well. They don't specifically mention the HomePod for lossless.



[HEADING=2]How can I listen to Dolby Atmos music?[/HEADING]
All Apple Music subscribers using the latest version of Apple Music on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV7 ('https://www.apple.com/apple-music/#footnote-8') can listen to thousands of Dolby Atmos music tracks using any headphones. When you listen with compatible Apple or Beats headphones,8 ('https://www.apple.com/apple-music/#footnote-9') Dolby Atmos music plays back automatically when available for a song. For other headphones, go to Settings > Music > Audio and set Dolby Atmos to Always On. You can also hear Dolby Atmos music using the built‑in speakers on a compatible iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, or HomePod,9 ('https://www.apple.com/apple-music/#footnote-10') or by connecting your Apple TV 4K to a compatible TV or audiovisual receiver.


[HEADING=2]How can I listen to lossless audio?[/HEADING]
You can listen to lossless audio using the latest Apple Music app on an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV.7 ('https://www.apple.com/apple-music/#footnote-8') Turn on lossless audio in Settings > Music > Audio Quality. You can choose between Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless for cellular or Wi-Fi connections. Note that Hi-Res Lossless requires external equipment such as a USB digital to analog converter.
Additionally, even with wireless headphones you can enjoy "lossless", i.e. an improvement in quality. Only what they call "Hi-Res Lossless" requires a DAC (like the dongle) and wired headphones to enjoy, which for the average audiophile is not some shocking news, and they were probably already exclusively using wired headphones anyways.


In Apple Music, “Lossless” refers to lossless audio up to 48kHz, and “Hi-Res Lossless” refers to lossless audio from 48kHz to 192kHz. Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless files are very large and use much more bandwidth and storage space than standard AAC files.

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.
1. Due to the large file sizes and bandwidth needed for Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless Audio, subscribers will need to opt in to the experience. Hi-Res Lossless also requires external equipment, such as a USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC).
Atmos will automatically be selected when you use compatible Apple or Beats headphones, but as you can read in the "How can I listen to Dolby Atmos music?" quote, you can also enable this for other headphones if you happen to have a headphone that supports it.

Which Apple or Beats headphones are considered compatible?
These:


[LIST=1]
* Works with AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, BeatsX, Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats Studio3, Powerbeats3 Wireless, Beats Flex, Powerbeats Pro, and Beats Solo Pro.

These are the devices (plus HomePod) that are listed as compatible with Dolby Atmos:


[LIST=1]
* Works with iPhone 7 or later with the latest version of iOS; iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation or later), iPad Pro 11-inch, iPad (6th generation or later), iPad Air (3rd generation or later), and iPad mini (5th generation) with the latest version of iPadOS; and MacBook Pro (2018 model or later).

And both Atmos and Lossless will become available with:


[LIST=1]
* Available in iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, or tvOS 14.6 or later.

Hope this answers some recurring questions.

[HR][/HR]
That said…
Can we stop badgering people that don't use Apple Music and instead are using their own library in iTunes?
I'm a happy AM user and don't use the iTunes library, but how ridiculous is it that people have to justify why they'd rather use their own catalogue of music or that they are being attacked for expressing their disappointment that the press release doesn't mention anything about an option to upgrade their music quality?

Let's keep it civil and respect everyone's choices.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ruka.snow Avatar
41 months ago

lol. In 2021 most people are streaming.
Why? If you already own every song you listen to. Why would you pay monthly to stream the same songs you own?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
snapster Avatar
41 months ago

I already own all the music I listen too, why would I buy more?
You've already read all the content on MacRumors -- why did you visit again?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brofkand Avatar
41 months ago
20+ years after the digital download music revolution we are finally back to CD quality, and even exceeding it. Amazing it took this long.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)