(Pocket-lint) - Lossless Audio is now available in Apple Music. Launched as part of Apple's WWDC 2021 keynote, the ability to listen to tracks in better than CD quality 24-bit 48kHz and even higher is now available.
You do have to jump through a few hoops to get it, however. And, you will need the right equipment.
Here then is how to get Lossless Audio working in Apple Music on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV.
How to turn on Apple Music Lossless Audio on iPhone and iPad
Although millions of tracks are now available in Lossless Audio, you won't get access to them automatically. Lossless Audio is switched off by default (to save storage and/or data).
We tell you how to turn it on and adjust the quality settings. We used an iPhone 12 Pro Max but the same steps should work on your iPhone and/or iPad running iOS 14.6 / iPadOS 14.6 or above.
First, head to settings on your iOS or iPadOS device. Scroll down to Music, tap on it and then scroll down to Audio Quality and tap on that too.
Inside the Audio Quality settings page you will see that Lossless Audio will be switched off by default. You need to tap on the slider to switch it on.
This will unlock the different quality modes for Lossless Audio. You can change each individually, depending on whether you want to save data or storage space.
Each of the streaming/download menus offer the same quality settings. Unless you own a separate USB DAC (digital to audio convertor) you will want to choose Lossless.
Note: Apple provides rough estimates on the file size of each format. Unless you are on an unlimited data plan, you might not fancy streaming Lossless Audio at 36MB per audio track - more than five times a standard (high) quality file. In that case, you might want to set only downloads to be Lossless and download all the music you want to play when on Wi-Fi at home.
Once your Apple Music settings are done, you will need to redownload any albums already stored on your iPhone or iPad - regardless of whether your downloaded version now sports a Lossless symbol under the album art or not.
Tap on the tick icon in the top right of the album page on Apple Music to start the process.
You will be asked if you want to remove downloads in a pop-up, tap on that option.
Now tap on the arrow icon in the top-right-hand corner to get the new Lossless Audio version.
Once downloaded, you will have the Lossless Audio tracks stored on your iPhone or iPad. Now all you need is the right kit to listen to them.
How to listen to Lossless Audio on Apple Music
Sady, you cannot listen to Lossless Audio through wireless headphones - not even Apple's own AirPods or AirPods Max.
You will need wired headphones, therefore and Apple's own Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter (or a USB-C equivalent on an iPad Pro).
You should also make sure that your headphones are capable of rendering 24-bit 44.1kHz or 48kHz - Lossless Audio, basically.
If so, plug them into the adapter and you should hear the benefits.
Unfortunately, you cannot listen to Apple's 24-bit 192kHz High-Resolution Lossless Audio through the Apple adapter. You will need a dedicated third-party DAC for that. This is a device that sits between your iPhone and headphones that processes audio independently. They can often be reasonably pricey and you will need an additional Lightning to USB cable (A or C depending on the device).
How to turn on Apple Music Lossless Audio on an Apple TV or Mac
You can also listent to Lossless Audio through an Apple TV or Mac.
On a Mac running macOS 11.4 or above, you must click on Music > Preferences in the menu bar when running the Apple Music app. Click on the Playback tab, and switch on Lossless under Audio Quality. You can also choose the quality here, although you will similarly need an external DAC for Hi-Res Lossless.
Additionally, Lossless Audio can only be heard through a Mac's wired connection - to headphones, AV receiver or speakers.
On an Apple TV 4K running tvOS 14.6 or above, you need to head to Settings > Music and select Audio Quality. Select Lossless Audio.
This will only work when the Apple TV 4K is connected to an AV receiver. Only the Apple TV 4K can play Lossless Audio. Hi-Res Lossless is not yet available on Apple TV.