AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max don’t support Apple Music lossless audio

Apple AirPods Max

Apple recently announced lossless audio and spatial audio with Dolby Atmos for Apple Music. Apple Music users were happy because Apple decided not to charge any additional cost for lossless audio and spatial audio. The existing subscription is enough to enjoy HiFi music if you have supported headphones.

This good news turned out to be bad news for people who own Apple’s earphones or headphones. Even Apple’s best headphones don’t support the lossless audio feature. Basically, all the audio devices by Apple don’t support lossless audio due to hardware limitations. Apple HomePod and HomePod mini also can’t play lossless audio.

For listening to ‘Hi-Res Lossless’ audio, it requires wired hardware like an external DAC. So, AirPods Max will not support lossless audio even if you use it with the Lightning cable. Now considering the price of AirPods Max, it disappoints. AirPods Max costs Rs. 59,900 and you cannot enjoy Apple Music’s best music feature.

If you want to take advantage of Apple Music’s lossless option, you can use an external DAC like FiiO i1 DAC on your iPhone. It plugs into iPhone’s Lightning port. Connect your headphones to the headphone jack of DAC. It supports lossless 48kHz audio due to the Lightning Audio Module.

Lossless audio is basically the audio that retains original details recorded at the time of production. The file size is large and quality ranges from 16-bit 44.1 kHz playback to 24-bit 48 kHz playback. The higher the bitrate, the more details you get in the music.

AirPods, AirPods Max, and AirPods Pro do not support lossless audio but they do support Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos. Apple also has no wireless codec that can handle lossless transmission yet.

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