Well, this is a bummer: Apple has announced that it’s adding “Lossless” and “Hi-Resolution Lossless” streaming options to Apple Music in June 2021 for no extra charge, as well as offering Dolby Atmos “Spatial Audio” 3D music, too. However, the tech giant has confirmed to T3 that this equipment, sadly, doesn’t include the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max.
In Apple’s terminology, Lossless is CD quality, from 16-bit 44.1kHz playback up to 24-bit 48kHz, while Hi-Res Lossless delivers up to 24-bit 192kHz. Both of Apple’s elite (and expensive) 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. So if you’ve spent US$549 for the AirPods Max or $199 for the AirPods Pro, sorry.
As T3 notes: ”It raises questions over what the best options for listening to the higher-quality music will be – Apple has already noted that listening to the ‘Hi-Res Lossless’ tracks will definitely require wired hardware such as an external DAC, but with no aptX Bluetooth support on iPhone, that means some kind of wired headphones and likely a dongle for ‘Lossless’ listening listening from an iPhone too.”