Today, Apple announced Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos coming to Apple Music. The idea is that the audio experience is multidimensional, therefore being more immersive. Thousands of songs will be available with Spatial Audio at launch, but the Cupertino firm is going to be offering the entire catalog of 75 million songs with Lossless Audio.
Interestingly, this all comes without a price hike. If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, your service is just going to get better when this comes out in June. Other companies have tried their hand with high-fidelity music, such as Amazon, but those companies have historically charged a premium for it. With Apple Music, Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio are coming at no extra charge.
“Apple Music is making its biggest advancement ever in sound quality,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “Listening to a song in Dolby Atmos is like magic. The music comes from all around you and sounds incredible. Now we are bringing this truly innovative and immersive experience to our listeners with music from their favorite artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd, and so many more. Subscribers will also be able to listen to their music in the highest audio quality with Lossless Audio. Apple Music as we know it is about to change forever.”
When you go to play a song that supports Dolby Atmos, you’ll automatically get that version of it if you’re using AirPods or Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, or if you’re playing it through the speakers on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. As you’d probably expect, Apple is going to have Dolby Atmos playlists, and it’s planning to frequently add new songs.
Lossless Audio is something that you’ll actually have to turn on by going to Settings -> Music -> Audio Quality. Naturally, you’ll be able to set different quality levels based on if you’re streaming over Wi-Fi or cellular, or if the music is downloaded. Apple says it starts at 16-bit 44.1kHz and you can set it for up to 24-bit 192kHz. However, the best you can do that can be natively played is 24-bit 48kHz. For 192kHz, you’ll need to explicitly opt in and you’ll need some special equipment.
All of this will arrive on your Apple Music subscription in June, presumably alongside the iOS 14.6 update. You might just be listening to music after updating your phone and realize that it sounds better.