Starting next month, Apple Music will offer lossless audio to its subscribers, the streamer has announced. The lossless audio quality will start at CD quality (16 bit at 44.1 kilohertz) and will go up to 24 bit at 48 kHz. The “Hi-Resolution Lossless” option—for “the true audiophile,” as Apple put it—goes up to 24 bit at 192 kHz, but requires external equipment like a USB digital-to-analog converter. Along with the lossless audio, Apple Music is adding Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos.
Notably, Apple Music is offering lossless audio at no additional cost beyond the existing $9.99 per month subscription price. For comparison, TIDAL’s Premium tier also costs $9.99 per month and offers standard sound quality (320 kilobits per second). TIDAL HiFi costs $19.99 and offers lossless quality audio at 16bit at 44.1kHz, or “master-quality audio recordings” that go up to 9,216 kilobits per second.
In other streaming news, Amazon is making its own high-fidelity streaming service, Amazon Music HD, available to Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers at no additional cost, as Billboard reports. Previously, Amazon Music HD cost $14.99 per month but will now cost $9.99.
“It’s something we’ve all been wanting to do for a long time,” Amazon Music’s vice president Steve Boom told Billboard. “When we launched, we already broke the mold by taking a service that had been $19.99—and really just for the audiophile at that price point—and brought it down to something that was much more mass-market at $14.99.”
Back in February, Spotify promised a high-fidelity service that “will deliver music in CD-quality, lossless audio format to your device and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers.” No further details have been revealed.
Revisit “What Exactly Is Hi-Res Audio, and Should I Care About It?” on the Pitch.