After this numerous leaks and speculations, Apple decided to take the beans and spill them officially announced two major upgrades to its Apple Music service. Apple Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio are the new audio weapons set to challenge Spotify and other platforms that offer high definition audio streaming. The upgrade will be made available to all subscribers in June at no additional charge, and some outstanding questions need to be answered. What is Apple Lossless Audio? Is it better than mp3? Can you hear lossless audio with your AirPods? Read on to find out!
What is lossless audio?
On many CDs you can see something like 16 bit / 44.1 kHz written somewhere. This means that the recording will take “snapshots” of the original audio 44,100 times per second. The 16-bit number only indicates the sound palette that the system can distinguish.
Lossy formats like MP3 remove unnecessary information like silence, frequencies that the human ear just can’t hear, etc. Whether or not you can really hear the difference is more subjective. You can Take this test and see if you can see the lossless sample.
Is Apple Lossless Better Than MP3?
So the answer to that question is “Yes”. On paper, this new ALAC technology is superior to MP3 when it comes to sound information stored in the music file.
Is Apple Lossless as good as FLAC?
FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is another coding technology that has become popular with audiophiles over the past 20 years. It offers sound resolutions from 16 bit / 44.1 kHz to 24 bit / 192 kHz and is therefore very similar to Apple’s lossless format.
However, the algorithms behind Apple Lossless Audio are not as efficient as those used by FLAC, resulting in larger files overall. With that said, the sound quality should be pretty similar, so a different one “Yes” on this.
Can you hear Apple Lossless Audio with AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max?
How can you hear Apple Lossless Audio?
Apple HomePod and HomePod mini will be losslessly supported in a future software update. So if you own one of these, be sure to sit tight.
Another thing worth mentioning is that you need to delete your music files and re-download them from the Apple Music catalog to get them in lossless audio.