At launch, Lossless Audio on Apple Music was not working with HomePod or HomePod mini. Thanks to the latest beta version of iOS 15, that’s no longer the case.
HomePod and HomePod mini users will enjoy audio pleasure as Apple had added lossless audio support. This allows both HomePod speakers to take advantage of the higher quality streaming in Apple Music, allowing for a more immersive listening experience than previously available.
Lossless Audio first came to Apple Music last June as a free update for all subscribers. Where Apple Music previously maxed out at 256 Kbps using the AAC standard, Lossless Audio added two new options for more detailed playback, including 24-bit / 48 kHz Lossless and 24-bit / 192 kHz high-resolution Lossless. At launch, unfortunately, this improved streaming quality didn’t work with HomePods. It seemed like a strange omission that such an important feature of Apple’s music service didn’t work with an Apple speaker, leaving many users understandably frustrated.
Fortunately, that is beginning to change. As reported by 9to5Mac, Lossless Audio support is now starting to roll out on HomePod and HomePod mini. Functionality is currently limited to the beta 3 version of the HomePod 15 software, which is available after downloading the beta version of iOS 15 on a connected iPhone. The good news is that anyone can now download the beta version of iOS 15 for free, and for people who prefer to wait for the final release, it will be available sometime this fall.
How to enable lossless audio on a HomePod
For HomePod users running iOS 15 on their iPhone, enabling lossless audio only takes a few taps. Open the Apple Home app, tap on the home icon in the upper left corner, tap on ‘Home Settings’, and tap on ‘Apple Music’ under the Media section. From there, tap the switch next to ‘Lossless Audio’ to activate it. As Apple describes in the Home app, “Lossless audio files preserve all the details of the original file. Enabling this will consume significantly more data.” That last point is worth noting, especially for someone whose Internet provider has a monthly data cap. For example, a 3 minute song uses 6MB of data in High Quality mode compared to 36MB in Lossless mode.
Now that Lossless Audio has arrived for the HomePod, it will be interesting to see if this has any influence on Apple’s HomePod strategy going forward. The $ 99 HomePod mini offers excellent sound for its size and price, although the now-discontinued $ 299 HomePod is still objectively better in every way. A high-end HomePod paired with Lossless Audio on Apple Music sounds like a dream come true, so we hope it’s an area the company is keen to explore in the future. Until then, anyone who still owns the original HomePod or is using the mini can expect a major audio update with this latest update.
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