Apple recently announced the lossless audio function on Apple Music, followed by a cold shower: Apple audio gadgets including AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, HomePod and HomePod mini do not support lossless audio.
Now, in a new document on its website, Apple discloses more detailed information about lossless (a form of audio data compression that can perfectly reconstruct the original audio data), and an interesting message is hidden in the FAQ: HomePod and HomePod mini will eventually get support for new features.
Apple said: “HomePod and HomePod mini currently use AAC to ensure excellent audio quality. In the future software updates will provide lossless support.” There is no news about when the above update may be available.
As for the company’s headphones-AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max and Beats wireless headphones-the news is not so good.
Apple stated that all of them “use Apple’s AAC Bluetooth codec to ensure excellent audio quality” and “Bluetooth connection does not support lossless audio.”
Apple’s large in-ear headphones, AirPods Max, can be connected to analog music sources via Apple’s Lightning to 3.5 mm audio cable. However, this still does not mean that you will be able to listen to lossless audio on them.
Apple said: “AirPods Max can be connected to devices that play lossless and high-fidelity lossless recordings with unparalleled audio quality. However, considering the analog-to-digital conversion in the cable, playback will not be completely lossless.”
However, this is interesting-Apple’s Lightning to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter does have a “digital-to-analog converter that can support up to 24-bit/48 kHz lossless audio,” Apple said.
It is not clear whether it can be used to listen to lossless audio on AirPods Max. In theory, this should be the case, but we can be sure that Apple will mention it.
Some digs on the MacRumors forum show that AirPods Max cannot use the above-mentioned cables or third-party Lightning-to-3.5mm cables, so the answer may be no.
Lossless audio, which will be launched in June, will provide a large part of the Apple Music catalog with a higher sound quality than what you get now. However, it requires the use of Apple’s ALAC codec, which is not supported by Bluetooth, which in turn causes most of the incompatibility issues listed above.