First discovered through the source codes within the first beta version of iOS 14.6, the Lossless Audio option will be coming to Apple Music next month. In addition to that, the music streaming service will also receive support for Spatial Audio featuring Dolby Atmos at the same time.
Apple stated that more than 75 million songs will be made available in Lossless Audio. That being said, the initial rollout will cover twenty million songs at first while the rest will follow through by the end of this year.
Once it is available in June, Apple Music subscribers can enable the option by going to Settings > Music > Audio Quality and then they can choose the quality based on their connection preferences or for download. While the quality option ranges from 16-bit 44.1kHz up to 24-bit 192 kHz, the native playback support on Apple devices maxed out at 24-bit 48 kHz.
Those who want to go much higher can do so via the Hi-Resolution Lossless option although they do need to use external equipment such as a USB digital-to-analogue converter in order to make it possible. Apple has also noted that subscribers have to opt-in for the Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless Audio options which mean that they are not enabled by default.
As for the support for Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, Apple said that they will be available for “thousands of songs” at launch. Once the rollout takes place, all AirPods and Beats headphones that are equipped with Apple H1 and W1 chips such as AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, BeatsX, and Beats Flex will pick the Dolby Atmos track by default when subscribers choose to play a song on Apple Music.
This also goes to iPhone 7 and newer models as well as 12.9-inch iPad Pro 3rd Gen, iPad 6th Gen, iPad Air 3rd Gen, iPad mini 5th Gen, and their successors. The same behaviour also applies to the 11-inch iPad Pro together with MacBook Pro 2018 and subsequent variants.
Interestingly, these new features will be made available at no extra cost for Apple Music subscribers. At the moment, the service is priced at RM 14.90 per month for the individual plan in Malaysia while it can also be obtained at RM 22.90 through the Family plan and RM 6.90 if you are a student.