About lossless audio in Apple Music

  

Our commitment to your listening experience

Apple Music delivers an unparalleled listening experience that’s defined by the highest standards of audio quality. We developed our own implementation of AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) that delivers audio that’s virtually indistinguishable from the original studio recording. We also introduced Apple Digital Masters to deliver the highest-quality recordings. And now, we’re offering Apple Music subscribers the additional option to access our entire catalog encoded using lossless audio compression at no extra cost.


What is lossless audio compression?

Most audio compression techniques lose some amount of data contained in the original source file. Lossless compression is a form of compression that preserves all of the original data.

Apple has developed its own lossless audio compression technology called Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC). In addition to AAC, the entire Apple Music catalog is now also encoded using ALAC in resolutions ranging from 16-bit/44.1 kHz (CD Quality) up to 24-bit/192 kHz.

While the difference between AAC and lossless audio is virtually indistinguishable, we’re offering Apple Music subscribers the option to access music in lossless audio compression.


What you need to know about lossless in Apple Music

  • Streaming lossless audio over a cellular or Wi-Fi network consumes significantly more data. And downloading lossless audio uses significantly more space on your device. Higher resolutions use more data than lower ones.
  • AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and Beats wireless headphones use Apple AAC Bluetooth Codec to ensure excellent audio quality. However, Bluetooth connections aren't lossless.
  • To get a lossless version of music that you already downloaded from Apple Music, just delete the music and redownload it from the Apple Music catalog.


How to listen to lossless on your iPhone or iPad

  

What you need

You can listen to lossless on an iPhone or iPad updated to iOS or iPadOS 14.6 using:

  • A wired connection to headphones, receivers, or powered speakers
  • The built-in speakers
  • To listen to songs at sample rates higher than 48 kHz, you need an external digital-to-analog converter.

How to turn lossless on or off

  1. Go to Settings > Music.
  2. Tap Audio Quality.
  3. Tap Lossless to turn it on or off. From here, you can choose the audio quality for streaming and downloading audio.
    • Lossless for a maximum resolution of 24-bit/48 kHz
    • Hi-Res Lossless for a maximum resolution of 24-bit/192 kHz


How to listen to lossless on your Mac

  

What you need

You can listen to lossless on a Mac updated to macOS 11.4 using:

  • A wired connection to headphones, receivers, or powered speakers
  • The built-in speakers
  • To listen to songs at sample rates higher than 48 kHz, you need an external digital-to-analog converter.

How to turn lossless on or off

  1. Open the Apple Music app.
  2. In the menu bar, choose Music > Preferences.
  3. Click the Playback tab.
  4. Under Audio Quality, select or unselect Lossless to turn it on or off. From here, you can also change the settings for streaming and downloading lossless.
    • Lossless for a maximum resolution of 24-bit/48 kHz
    • Hi-Res Lossless for a maximum resolution of 24-bit/192 kHz


How to listen to lossless on your Apple TV 4K

  

What you need

How to turn lossless on or off

  1. Go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Select Music.
  3. Select Audio Quality.
  4. Select or unselect Lossless. Apple TV 4K currently doesn’t support Hi-Res Lossless (sample rates greater than 48 kHz).


Frequently asked questions about lossless

  

Can I listen to lossless audio using AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max?

AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and Beats wireless headphones use Apple’s AAC Bluetooth Codec to ensure excellent audio quality. Bluetooth connections don’t support lossless audio.

Can I listen to lossless audio over Bluetooth?

We will deliver music using lossless audio compression to your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. Lossless will play back normally on Bluetooth speakers and headphones. However, Bluetooth connections don’t support lossless audio.

Can I listen to lossless audio on my HomePod or HomePod mini?

HomePod and HomePod mini currently use AAC to ensure excellent audio quality. Support for lossless is coming in a future software update.

Can I listen to lossless audio using Apple’s Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter?

Yes. The Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter is designed to transmit audio from the iPhone’s Lightning connector. It contains a digital-to-analog converter that supports up to 24-bit/48 kHz lossless audio.

Can I listen to lossless audio using the AirPods Max Lightning to 3.5mm Audio Cable?

The Lightning to 3.5 mm Audio Cable was designed to allow AirPods Max to connect to analog sources for listening to movies and music. AirPods Max can be connected to devices playing Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless recordings with exceptional audio quality. However, given the analog-to-digital conversion in the cable, the playback will not be completely lossless.

What content isn’t available in lossless audio?

  • Broadcast radio
  • Live radio and on-demand content from Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country
  • Music videos

Can I redownload my iTunes purchases in lossless?

If you subscribe to Apple Music, you can redownload music in lossless only from the Apple Music catalog.

Can I listen to lossless audio using CarPlay?

You can listen to lossless audio with CarPlay using a USB connection. Streaming lossless audio in a car over a cellular network will consume significantly more data.

Apple Music availability might vary by country or region. Learn what's available in your country or region.

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