Stepping into June, in addition to a series of system updates released on Apple WWDC21 last night, there is also the official launch of Apple Music’s lossless audio!However, to truly enjoy this function, some pre-preparation is required. The following are some of the teaching andPrecautions, I hope to help everyone.
Apple Music used to provide lossy compressed music files up to AAC 256kbps, which is certainly sufficient for general users. However, in the 5G era, data access capabilities have been greatly improved. Now, it is natural to have more power to transmit larger lossless music files, even high-resolution music files. The specifications of Apple Music are the same as those of other competitors in the market. There will be a CD-quality lossless compression level of 16-bit/44.1 kHz and a high-resolution up to 24-bit/192 kHz. These two new levels are through Apple’s own ALAC compression technology processing, giving a better preservation of the original appearance of the music.
First of all, you have to upgrade your iPhone and iPad to iOS 14.6 / iPadOS 14.6; Mac computer is in macOS 11.4 version, and then open Apple Music, you will see that the album of the song will have some more tags, namely “Apple Digital Master” , “Lossless Compression”, “Dolby Atmos”.
“Apple Digital Master” is actually the equivalent of Mastered for iTunes on iTunes. It is renamed, which means that the music files are directly converted from the record master and can retain the original version closest to the recording studio, but this does not necessarily mean that there is lossless playback. Yes, so you still have to look at the second icon “Lossless Compression”.
“Lossless compression” means that the songs of the album are what we said at the beginning. The sampling rate compression ratio is 16-bit/44.1 kHz and the highest 24-bit/192 kHz, which is also the focus of this time. Lossless audio and high-resolution audio used to be pursued by quite a small group of people who have requirements for sound quality. They have better sound quality than ordinary mp3 and AAC files, and can better restore the characteristics of singers and music. However, this requires the cooperation of audio sources, players, earphones or speakers, and it often costs a lot of money, because good music files are not cheap, and more people think that you don’t need to pay for listening to music… Apple’s addition of the lossless audio level is to lower the barriers of the past, so that people can use relatively cheap prices (without additional subscription), and everyone can reach the device (iPhone, iPad, Mac), you can have a first taste Quality music.
On the device side, take iOS as an example. In the settings page of “Music”, click “Audio Quality” to see the switch to enable lossless audio compression. Because the file size of lossless audio is several times larger than usual, and not everyone is interested, Apple also lets everyone open it by themselves. After opening, you can fine-tune the quality of mobile network streaming, Wi-Fi streaming, and download items. This allows users to determine the highest quality of streaming music according to different situations, and also determines data usage. Consumption. According to Apple, a three-minute song is about 6MB at 256k, 36MB when lossless, and 145MB for the high-resolution version. The difference is up to 24 times! So if your mobile data plan is limited, pay attention to it.
After the lossless audio playback is turned on, the corresponding music files will be streamed and played by the iPhone. However, the iPhone’s speakers cannot reproduce perfectly. At the same time, it was reported earlier that Apple’s own AirPods, AirPods Pro, and even AirPods Max do not support lossless. The bottleneck is that Apple’s AAC Bluetooth code is not supported. . What about Apple’s own speakers? HomePod and HomePod Mini are always okay, right? Apple has revealed on the support page that it will launch an update to correspond, but there is currently no. Even if AirPods Max is connected via a wired connection, Apple also stated that it is “not completely lossless.”
If you want to truly enjoy the end-to-end lossless audio experience, you need to ask for a DAC decoder. We have already introduced related products. Among them, Lotoo PAW S1 can be compatible between Android and iOS devices by changing the cable. Although it supports up to 24-bit/96kHz, this is already available on the market. For the higher-end model, it will probably wait a little longer to fully support the 24-bit/192 kHz DAC.
After connecting the DAC, you also need a headset that supports Hi-Res to ensure that it can correspond to the wide sampling rate of high-resolution music files, but this is relatively simple, just look for the golden Hi-Res when you buy the headset. If you have the opportunity, you can try it yourself before choosing.
Finally, there is the “Dolby Atmos” label. This has nothing to do with lossless audio. It only means that the music supports the stereo effect of Dolby Atmos, which can provide a more three-dimensional and wider sound field-like hearing. It is a bit contradictory to the pursuit of singers and studio soundtracks. However, this is also to be connected to the supported earphones. This is when Apple’s own AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max will appear. But this Dolby Atmos sound effect is also pre-loaded on many Android phones, which is not a novelty.
At the end, if you want to experience lossless audio at the current cheapest price, you can click to subscribe to Apple Music. New users are free for the first three months, and thereafter only one price, RMB 10 per month. There are also a student plan with a monthly fee of 5 yuan and a family sharing plan with a monthly fee of 15 yuan.