Apple Music will receive two major updates next month: support for high-quality, lossless sound and spatial sound via Dolby Atmos. But even more surprising is that the features are available for free to all subscribers. The company says the list has 75 million lossless audio tracks to get started, and anyone listening through AirPods or Beats using an H1 or W1 chip, or internal speakers on the latest versions of the iPhone, iPad and Mac, has surround sound enabled by default.
To turn on lossless sound, subscribers must use the latest version of Apple Music and can go to Settings> Music> Sound Quality. There, they can choose different resolutions for different connections, such as mobile, Wi-Fi, or downloadable.
Apple Music’s lossless sound starts with CD quality that is 16-bit at 44.1 kHz (kilohertz) and up to 24-bit at 48 kHz on Apple devices. It exceeds 24 bits at 192 kHz. There is one important catch for the highest quality lossless file; subscribers need external devices to enjoy 24-bit 192 kHz files, including a USB-to-digital converter (DAC).
Lossless sound is now becoming standard in all major music streaming applications. Amazon announced today that it will make Amazon Music HD available for free to Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers and Spotify intends to launch its HiFi level later this year. Tidal also offers what it callsTidal masters, Which can even exceed high-resolution 96 kHz / 24-bit audio.