Now available: Apple Music now with lossless audio and Dolby Atmos

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When Apple announced the arrival of lossless audio to Apple Music last May, the company already announced that the new version of Apple Music in higher sound quality would be available from June. Apple has kept that promise: the release of lossless audio with Apple Music is here, along with Dolby Atmos. The first albums are now available and will be expanded in the coming months.

Release Apple Music lossless audio

The announcement a month ago caused quite a bit of confusion, but now there is more clarity about what you need to listen to Apple Music in lossless audio or with Dolby Atmos. Apple has made these requirements:

Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio

To use the feature, you need at least iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, and tvOS 14.6 or later. In addition, you need one of the following devices:

  • Any headset with an iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV (can be switched on separately via settings)
  • Apple and Beats headphones (AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, BeatsX, Beats Solo 3 Wireless, Beats Studio3, Powerbeats3 Wireless, Beats Flex, Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo Pro; automatic without further setting)
  • Built-in speakers of compatible iPhones, iPads, MacBook Pros and HomePod. Compatible models include iPhone 7 and newer, iPad Pro 2018 and newer, iPad 2018 and newer, iPad Air 2019 and newer, iPad mini 2019, MacBook Pro 2018 and newer.
  • Apple TV 4K with a compatible TV or audio receiver.

Lossless Audio

Lossless audio requires iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, or tvOS 14.6. This is how you listen:

  • Via wired headphones, receiver or speaker.
  • Via the built-in speakers
  • For Hi-Res Lossless you need external equipment, such as a USB adapter that converts the signal from digital to analog.

As you can see, the AirPods do not support lossless audio. It doesn't work on the HomePod either, but Apple has said that lossless audio is coming to the HomePod via an update.

Apple now has rolls for “thousands of songs” support for Dolby Atmos in Apple Music. For lossless audio, support is much greater: it concerns about 20 million songs, after which all 75 million songs can be listened to in a lossless version by the end of this year.

This is how you get started with Dolby Atmos and lossless audio

To get started, it's a good idea to open this page on the Music app on your iPhone or iPad. Apple has gathered there playlists, songs, albums and more that support Dolby Atmos and lossless audio. There are also two special versions of Save Your Tears by The Weeknd and Mercy Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye, in which Zane Lowe shows you the difference between Dolby Atmos and stereo sound.

You can recognize the suitable songs by the Dolby Atmos and lossless audio logo. You can find this in albums, but also under the timeline while listening.

Set up lossless audio and Dolby Atmos
Furthermore, in some situations you still have to set the necessary settings for Dolby Atmos and lossless audio for Apple Music. Here's how:

Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio

  1. On a device with the latest software version, go to the Settings app.
  2. Choose Music > Audio and choose Always on with Dolby Atmos.

You don't have to adjust anything for listening via AirPods or the built-in speakers of the iPhone, iPad or Mac. The music will always play via Dolby Atmos.

Lossless Audio

  1. On a device with the latest software version, go to the Settings app.
  2. Tap Music > Audio quality.
  3. Choose Lossless Audio or Hi-Res Lossless. You can choose this for both mobile data and Wi-Fi connections.

Do you have more questions about lossless audio with Apple Music? Then read our extensive Apple Music lossless audio FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions.