Today, Apple announced Apple Music Lossless which increases the audio quality of music streams on Apple Music. The new feature is coming at no additional cost for all subscribers.
However, Apple has confirmed to T3 today that AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max don’t fully support Apple Music Lossless wirelessly. The reason behind this is that AirPods Pro and AirPods Max use the Bluetooth AAC codec when connected via Bluetooth to an iPhone and the new lossless songs are going to be encoded in the ALAC format, which stands for “Apple Lossless Audio Codec”.
T3 said the following:
“Apple has confirmed to T3 that this equipment, sadly, does not include AirPods Pro or AirPods Max. Both of Apple’s elite headphone models only use the Bluetooth AAC codec when connected to an iPhone, which means they can’t receive the full quality of the Apple Music ‘Lossless’ files, which will be encoded as ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) files.”Source: T3
This means that if one was to connect their AirPods Max to their iPhone using a Lightning-to-Lightning cable, they could avail of Apple Music’s lossless songs using their AirPods Max. However, when using Bluetooth, the AirPods Max won’t be able to deliver lossless song quality. Additionally, there is no way to connect AirPods or AirPods Pro to a device using a wire, so AirPods and AirPods Pro cannot avail of lossless songs.
All Apple headphones equipped with a H1 or W1 chip, namely the AirPods (1st and 2nd Gen), AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max will be able to avail of the new Dobly Atmos feature also coming to Apple Music. This new feature will give songs a more 3D effect during playback.
Apple Music Lossless and Dobly Atmos will be launching in early June, likely alongside iOS 14.6. Apple says 20 million songs will be lossless at launch with the full 25-million song catalog having lossless audio by the end of this year.