Apple Music will support two new audio formats, Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio, starting in June of this year. However, HomePod and HomePod Mini do not support lossless audio formats. Apple’s website does indicate that HomePod will support spatial audio, but it is not clear whether this includes HomePod mini.
Spatial audio is an immersive three-dimensional audio format based on Dolby Atmos, which enables musicians to mix music and sound like musical instruments in the space around them. Lossless audio refers to compression without reducing the overall quality of the audio, which can bring a better listening experience, although this difference is not always obvious.
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There are two levels of lossless audio supported by Apple Music, including standard “lossless” audio up to 48 kHz and “Hi-Res lossless” audio up to 48kHz-192kHz. Apple says that “Hi-Res Lossless” will require external equipment, such as a USB digital-to-analog converter.
According to Apple, spatial audio and lossless audio will be available to all Apple Music users in June, and devices running iOS 14.6, iPad OS 14.6, macOS 11.4, and tvOS 14.6 or later will be available at no additional cost. Presumably, there will also be a supporting HomePod software update that will enable spatial audio support in time before the feature is launched.
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