Spatial And Lossless Audio Now Available On Apple Music

A whole new listening experience

Dolby Atmos spatial audio and lossless audio are officially available for Apple Music subscribers, but only on certain devices. 

Apple Music subscribers can listen to 20 million tracks with lossless audio right now, but the streaming platform will eventually add a total of more than 75 million songs with the new tech. Some of the albums available to listen to now in the new audio formats include Taylor Swift’s Folklore, Arianna Grande’s Positions, The Weeknd’s After Hours, and more. 

Woman listening to music

Oliver Helbig

Apple Music’s new lossless audio tier starts at 44.1 kHz (kilohertz), which Apple describes as CD-quality sound. There is also Hi-Resolution Lossless, up to 24 bit at 192 kHz.1, which aims to provide an even better quality listening experience.

Apple said in its original announcement that lossless audio is "the way the artists created [tracks] in the studio," without any edits or additions. Audiophiles say it provides an improved listening experience, though you'll need better headphones or speakers than are typically packed with your smartphone.

While Apple Music Lossless is available on Macs, iPads, and iPhones with iOS 14.6 and above, you won't be able to listen to it on Apple's own headphones or smart speakers like the HomePod mini.

Spatial audio is a 360-degree sound format that can create a surround-sound effect, and Apple said the Dolby Atmos spatial audio "enables artists to mix music so the sound comes from all around and from above." It's great for movies and immersive video games. Spatial audio is available on Apple headphones like AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

Apple announced the addition of spatial and lossless audio formats last month. Users took to social media to sound off (so to speak) on their experience with spatial and lossless audio, and it’s mainly been positive. Some noted that Apple Music's new audio offerings make the streaming platform stand out among competitors like Spotify.

However, it’s important to note that Apple HomePod devices and the AirPods Max and AirPods Pro headphones are not compatible to play lossless audio

Spatial audio is a little more compatible with more devices. 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 iPhone, iPad, and Mac. 

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