What is Apple Music Lossless Audio and What Devices are Supported?

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December 6, 2023

On May 17, 2021, Apple Music announced it would make its catalog of more than 75 million songs available in Lossless Audio. Now the full catalog(over 90 million songs) are in lossless audio for student, individual and family subscribers.

What is Lossless audio?

Lossless Audio is a feature that ensures the decoded audio is mathematically identical to the source audio. Lossless audio files are very large and require more bandwidth and storage space. Apple uses ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to preserve every single bit of the original audio file. In addition to AAC, the entire Apple Music catalog is now also encoded using ALAC in resolutions ranging from 16-bit/44.1 kHz (CD Quality) up to 24-bit/192 kHz. This means Apple Music subscribers will be able to hear the exact same thing that the artists created in the studio. However, Apple also says “the difference between AAC and lossless audio is virtually indistinguishable”.

What is Spatial Audio?

Spatial Audio gives artists the opportunity to create immersive audio experiences for their fans with true multidimensional sound and clarity.

What is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is an innovative audio technology that envelops you in an immersive listening experience. While music mixed in stereo is limited to left and right channels, music created in Dolby Atmos is freed from channels, allowing artists to place individual sound elements all around you. Artists can also decide the volume, size, and diffusion level of each instrument (vocal, guitar, or drums, etc.) to reveal nuanced details in the music. Apple Music will be adding new Dolby Atmos tracks constantly and will be curating a special set of Dolby Atmos playlists to help listeners find the music they love. In addition, albums that are available in Dolby Atmos will have a badge on the detail page for easy discovery.


Thousands of tracks will be available in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos at launch, with more added regularly.

Apple Music is making its entire catalog of more than 90 million songs available in lossless audio at different resolutions. Lossless audio is not available with Apple Music Voice Plan.

Which devices work with Apple Music lossless?

Apple Music lossless is supported on iPhones (since the iPhone 7), iPad, Apple TV 4K, HomePod or HomePod mini, Mac.

No model of AirPods will support lossless audio. AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, AirPods (3rd generation), and Beats wireless headphones use Apple’s AAC Bluetooth Codec to ensure excellent audio quality. Bluetooth connections don’t support lossless audio.

How to listen to lossless on your iPhone or iPad?

  1. Go to Settings > Music.
  2. Tap Audio Quality.
  3. Tap Lossless Audio to turn it on or off. From here, you can choose the audio quality for streaming and downloading audio.

Apple’s iPhones (since the iPhone 7) natively support lossless – but only Apple Music Lossless, and not the highest quality Hi-Res Lossless (which delivers up to 24-bit/192kHz). If you want to listen to Apple Music tracks above 24-bit/48kHz on your iPhone, you’ll need to connect an external DAC and use a wired pair of headphones.

How to listen to lossless on your Mac?

  1. Open the Apple Music app.
  2. In the menu bar, choose Music > Preferences.
  3. Click the Playback tab.
  4. Under Audio Quality, select or unselect “Lossless audio” to turn it on or off. From here, you can also change the settings for streaming and downloading lossless.

How to listen to lossless on your HomePod?

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Home app.
  2. Tap the Home button.
  3. Tap Home Settings.
  4. Under People, tap your name.
  5. Tap Apple Music.
  6. Turn Lossless Audio on or off.

How to listen to lossless on your Apple TV 4K?

What you need

  • Update your Apple TV 4K to the latest version of tvOS.
  • Connect your Apple TV 4K to an AV receiver using an HDMI cable.

How to turn lossless on or off

  1. Go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Select Music.
  3. Select Audio Quality.
  4. Select or unselect Lossless. Apple TV 4K currently doesn’t support Hi-Res Lossless (sample rates greater than 48 kHz).

How to listen to lossless on your Android device?

What you need

You can listen to lossless on an Android device with the latest version of the Apple Music app using:

  • A wired connection to headphones, receivers, or powered speakers
  • To listen to songs at sample rates higher than 48 kHz, you might need an external digital-to-analog converter. To see if your Android device requires an external digital-to-analog converter, check with your device’s manufacturer.

How to turn lossless on or off

  1. Open the Apple Music app.
  2. Tap the More button the More button.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap Audio Quality.
  5. Tap Lossless to turn it on or off. From here, you can choose the audio quality for streaming and downloading audio.
  • Lossless for a maximum resolution of 24-bit/48 kHz
  • Hi-Res Lossless for a maximum resolution of 24-bit/192 kHz

Related: How to get Spotify 3 months free?

How to listen to lossless on your Windows?

However, Apple Music lossless is not available on Windows. To listen to lossless Apple Music songs on Windows 11, you can run Apple Music Android app on Windows 11. If you don’t have a Windows 11 PC, download Apple Music songs to lossless WAV or FLAC and then play them with any compatible music player.

Pazu Apple Music Converter is the best third-party tool to download Apple Music songs and convert them to widely-used formats like MP3, FLAC, AAC, AIFF, WAV, or AIFF at 10 faster speed. Besides, the program supports to keep the original lossless audio quality 16-bit/44.1 kHz. By using Pazu Apple Music Converter, you can add downloaded Apple Music to any audio editor, or burn them to CD with more freedom. In the following part, we will show you how to use Pazu Apple Music Converter to download high quality Apple Music on Mac or Windows computers.

Step 1 Launch Pazu Apple Music Converter

Download, install and run Pazu Apple Music Converter on your Mac or Windows. Click the key icon to activate the full version if you have purchased a license, otherwise you can only use the trial version.

Step 2 Log in your Apple Music account

Follow the on-screen instructions to sign in with your Apple ID.

Apple Music Converter

Step 3 Choose output format

The default format is M4A in 256kbps. Apple Music Converter also supports MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV and AIFF. Click the gear icon if you want to change output format or output folder. Here you can also customize song name format with any combination of Playlist Index, Track Number, Title, Artist and Album. Or set Pazu Apple Music Converter to archive output song with Artist, Album, Artist/Album or Album/Artist.

Step 4 Choose a playlist, artist or album you want to download

Follow the instructions to choose a playlist, artist, or album that you want to download.

add Apple Music songs

Step 5 Add songs

Click the Add button to select songs for converting.

All songs in the playlist or album are selected by default. Uncheck the songs you don’t want to download if there are any, then click Convert button.

If you are using the trial version, you will get below pop-up window indicating trial version limitations, just click Try if you haven’t purchased a license.

The songs you selected will be downloaded to the format you want.

After conversion, click the history button to quickly locate the DRM-free Apple Music songs.

Click the output folder to view all downloaded songs. You can check them by converted date, artist or album.

convert Apple Music to MP3

After conversion, find the downloaded lossless Apple Music songs in WAV or AIFF format, you can then play them with iTunes or Windows Media Player.