How to Listen to Lossless Audio on Apple Music

Apple Music allows you to listen to some songs and albums in lossless sound quality, which, as the name suggests, are exceptionally high quality audio files. And since you don’t have to pay extra for this feature (it’s included in the $ 9.99 per month plan), if you have the right audio hardware, it’s easy to try it out – if you have the right audio hardware. mechanism. We’ll tell you everything you need to know.

What is lossless audio?

Most of the songs you listen to have probably been downloaded in popular audio formats like .mp3 or .aac. These audio formats are really good at maintaining an acceptable level of audio quality with relatively small file sizes. The goal here is to let you rip a lot of songs to your devices or allow streaming without worrying about going over your internet data limit.

For this to happen, audio formats such as .mp3 compress the audio files and lose some of the data available in the original recording. Lossless audio formats such as .flac or .alac avoid this compression and retain all data in the original audio recording. This means that you can listen to the music in the highest possible quality, or in the version that the artists wanted you to hear.

If you want to listen to lossless audio, just remember that the files are much larger than regular audio files, so there is a risk of running out of storage space or exceeding the data limit on the internet much sooner.

For lossless audio in Apple Music, the company uses the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (.alac). If you’re looking for specs, these files are encoded at resolutions from 16 bit / 44.1 kHz (which is essentially CD quality) to 24 bit / 192 kHz.

How to enable lossless audio on Apple Music

According to Apple , lossless audio is supported on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K, and Android. To use it you need:

  • Update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 14.6 (or iPadOS 14.6) or later.
  • Update your Mac to macOS 11.4 or later.
  • Update Apple TV 4K to tvOS 14.6 or later.
  • Update Apple Music app on Android to the latest version.

After the updates are complete, let’s take a quick look at how to enable lossless audio in Apple Music on your device. On iPhone and iPad, go to Settings> Music> Sound Quality and turn on Lossless . You can choose between Lossless (24 bit / 48 kHz) or High-Res Lossless (24 bit / 192 kHz).

On macOS, you can enable lossless audio through the Music app. From the top bar, choose Music> Preferences and select the Playback tab. Then you can select Lossless Audio under Sound Quality.

On Apple TV 4K, go to Settings> Apps> Music> Sound Quality and turn on Lossless.

If you have an Android phone, open the Apple Music app and tap the three-dot icon (also known as the More button ). Now go to Settings> Sound Quality and turn on Lossless .

Do I need to buy new headphones to listen to lossless songs?

To listen to lossless songs, you need the right audio equipment. If you have any Bluetooth headphones (including all varieties of AirPods), lossless audio is not supported. Even the ultra-expensive AirPods Max don’t support full lossless audio, even if you’re using the 3.5mm Lightning audio cable with it.

Instead, you’ll need to use good wired headphones or plug the device into an active speaker. The Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter supports lossless audio, so you can use it to connect your favorite wired headphones or speakers and listen to lossless music.

If you use wired CarPlay, you can also listen to lossless music on Apple Music. Of course, the difference can be subtle unless you have a really good set of car speakers.


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