Apple Music Hi-Fi could see a release 'in the coming weeks'
Lossless audio on Apple Music could soon be a thing.
What you need to know
- A new report says high-fidelity audio is coming to Apple Music "in the coming weeks."
- The announcement could come with the introduction of some new AirPods as well.
Apple Music could finally go Hi-Fi.
A new report from HITS Daily Double says that the company will unveil a new high-fidelity audio streaming tier for its music streaming service "in the coming weeks." According to "label sources," it will be added as an additional feature for the current $9.99 per month price rather than a higher-priced tier of the service.
According to the report, the announcement of the new feature will pair with an unveiling of the long-rumored third-generation AirPods.
The announcement is expected to coincide with the launch of the third-generation AirPods. Whether these will be compatible with the new, improved audio offering is unknown.
Speculation within the industry suggests Apple's move is to provide a more aggressively priced, higher-quality option after Spotify announced this week it was raising prices.
Spotify announced in February that it would start offering an HD tier but has yet to give a launch date. It currently offers streams at a maximum bit rate of 320kbps. Amazon launched Amazon Music HD in 2019 at $14.99 per month, or $5 more than a standard plan.
Labels and publishers are said to be taking a wait-and-see approach as to whether Apple's move will increase total subscribers or merely convert existing users to the new platform.
9to5Mac also discovered hints that Apple would add lossless audio to the Apple Music app in the first developer beta of iOS 14.6.
9to5Mac can now confirm that a HiFi plan may indeed be coming to Apple Music. In the first beta build of iOS 14.6, which was released last week to developers, we found new code added to the Music app that specifically mentions "Dolby Atmos," "Dolby Audio," and "Lossless." Despite supporting Apple's own HiFi audio codec ALAC, the Music app has never offered support for Dolby Atmos or Dolby Audio.
If Apple does add high-fidelity audio streaming audio to Apple Music at no additional cost to its users, it sets itself up to compete very aggressively against rival music streaming services like Amazon and Tidal.