Spatial, lossless audio now playing on Apple Music

Alvin R. Cabral

Last updated on June 9, 2021 at 02.32 am

Apple on Tuesday announced an enhanced listening experience on its Music service, further amping up one of its biggest services that boasts millions of subscribers.

The introduction of spatial audio with Dolby Atmos support and lossless audio to Apple Music is aimed at users seeking a purer experience, and comes at no extra cost to current subscription rates.

Spatial audio is Apple's take on surround and multidimensional sound; lossless formats, meanwhile, preserves audio data so it sounds like its original source — exactly the way artists created the track in the studio. Apple has developed its own technologies in order to enhance these two audio features to offer richer sound quality.

"Music in modern times has often been all about innovation," Zane Lowe, Apple Music's co-head of artist relations, said in a post on its newsroom.

"It will come from the artists adopting it. It takes investment from the people who are going to use it and the people who are going to love it."

Apple has also dedicated a Music page wherein Lowe demonstrates the new features.

Users will need to update to the 14.6 versions of iOS and iPadOS in order to gain access to spatial and lossless audio on an iPhone or iPad.

Lossless audio can be toggled within audio quality in music under settings. Users should be aware, however, that listening on this mode on consumes more data.

AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip will automatically use spatial audio. This also applies to the built-in speakers on the latest iPhones, iPads and Macs.

The feature will also be coming soon to Android devices.

Apple is working with artists and labels — more of whom are beginning to mix music specifically for spatial audio — to add new releases and catalogues. Apple Music and Dolby are also assisting musicians, producers and mix engineers, with initiatives such as doubling the number of Dolby-enabled studios in major markets, offering educational programmes and providing resources to independent artists.