Apple has announced two new features coming to Apple Music next month with Spatial Audio (via Dolby Atmos) and Lossless Audio.
“Apple Music is making its biggest advancement ever in sound quality,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “Listening to a song in Dolby Atmos is like magic. The music comes from all around you and sounds incredible. Now we are bringing this truly innovative and immersive experience to our listeners with music from their favourite artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd, and so many more. Subscribers will also be able to listen to their music in the highest audio quality with Lossless Audio. Apple Music as we know it is about to change forever.”
Spatial Audio isn’t anything new for Apple, they’ve previously added support for it with iOS 14. What’s new is the addition of Dolby Atmos for Apple Music.
“Today marks the introduction of Dolby Atmos on Apple Music — a new music experience that is transforming how music is created by artists and enjoyed by their fans,” said Kevin Yeaman, Dolby Laboratories’ president and CEO. “We are working with Apple Music to make Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos widely available to all musicians and anyone who loves music.”
That should bring an “immersive audio experience” for Apple Music users where you can hear the sound from all around and from above. Apple Music will play Dolby Atmos tracks on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip. It’ll also work with the built-in speakers in the latest iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
Apple says at launch, they’ll be thousands of songs with Spatial Audio support, across a number of genres including hip-hop, country, Latin, pop, and classical.
In addition to Dolby Atmos, Apple is making more than 75 million songs available in Lossless Audio, using their ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec).
To listen in Lossless Audio, users can download the latest version of Apple Music and go to Settings > Music > Audio Quality.
Apple Music’s Lossless Audio tier starts at CD quality, which is from 16 bit at 44.1 kHz and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz. Above that will be Hi-Resolution Lossless which goes up to 24 bit at 192 kHz.
Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio will be available to Apple Music subscribers at no additional cost.
Apple Music starts at $4.99 CAD/month for Students, $9.99 CAD/month for Individuals and $14.99 CAD/month for Families (up to 6 people).
For new users, Apple offers a 3 month free trial of Apple Music.