Apple Music users will get a free upgrade in the coming days, which brings many new features with it. But to use 3D audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio, there are special hardware requirements that must be met in order to be able to enjoy the new sound.
Apple Music: 3D Sound Requirements with Dolby Atmos
At the moment, there is no specific list or support documents from Apple in which one clearly lists the devices with 3D audio that are compatible with Dolby Atmos. But in a press release, the company has already mentioned some basic requirements for using audio functions, which are due to appear in June. Mac rumors He created an overview on this basis.
The smallest hurdle is to use 3D audio with Dolby Atmos. HomePod, all AirPods, and all Beats headphones with Apple H1 or W1 chip support the new audio experience automatically. Once the feature becomes available in June, 3D audio can also be optionally activated in other headphone settings connected to the Apple device.
Lost sound: surprising limitations of lossless audio
It’s a little more complicated about Apple Music’s second new introduction: Lossless Audio. This should also be available in June. Apple offers various settings ranging from CD quality with 16-bit at 44.1kHz to “Hi-Resolution Lossless” with 24-bit at 192kHz. In one Support-Dokument The iPhone manufacturer is now a little more specific about lossless audio, what exactly works and what doesn’t.
Lossless audio is supported on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV devices. Requirements are iOS / iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, or tvOS 14.6. Currently, the small receiver cannot play songs in Hi-Res Lossless.
HomePod or HomePod mini owners will have to wait for an update before they can enjoy lossless Apple Music audio. However, Apple doesn’t mention when this update should appear.
AirPods are currently lossless
With AirPods models, support so far seems poor. This means that even the owners of expensive AirPods Max have to do without the audio that is not completely lost in Apple Music. It doesn’t matter whether you use bluetooth or the optional cable on the case of AirPods Max. The latter in particular came as a surprise to many observers. However, Apple explains this in the support document with the following words:
The Lightning to 3.5mm audio cable is designed to allow AirPods Max to connect to analog sources for listening to movies and music. AirPods Max can be connected to devices that play lossless, high-res recordings with exceptional sound quality. However, due to the analog to digital conversion in the cable, the operation is not completely lossless.
However, many music lovers in general will have problems hearing the difference between the different quality levels, not to mention lossy, high-fidelity, and lossy. Apple also said Hi-Res Lossless requires “external devices such as a USB digital to analog converter (DAC)”.
However, there are currently doubts that Apple headphones can help with a firmware update. John Prosser reports in episode 16 of Genius Bar PodcastThat the last word has not been spoken here yet. This situation could change in the near future. For example, Apple can use AirPlay and a new codec to remove Bluetooth restrictions. Apple may announce these adjustments before launching new features for Apple Music this coming June.