Today Apple announced that Apple Music is bringing unparalleled sound quality to its subscribers with the addition of Spatial Audio, which supports the Dolby Atmos format. Spatial Audio gives artists the opportunity to create immersive audio experiences with true multidimensional sound and great clarity. Apple Music subscribers will also be able to listen to over 75 million tracks in Lossless Audio – just as the artists created them in the studio. These new features will be available to Apple Music subscribers starting next month at no additional cost.
“Apple Music is making its biggest advancement ever in sound quality,” said Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “Listening to a song in Dolby Atmos is like magic. The music comes from all around you and sounds incredible. Now we are bringing this truly innovative and immersive experience to our listeners with music from their favorite artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd, and so many more. Subscribers will also be able to listen to their music in the highest audio quality with Lossless Audio. Apple Music as we know it is about to change forever.”
Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos support
Apple is bringing Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos support to Apple Music. Dolby Atmos is a revolutionary immersive audio experience that allows artists to mix music so that sound comes from all around and from above. By default, Apple Music will automatically stream Dolby Atmos songs to all AirPods and Beats headphones equipped with an H1 or W1 chip, as well as the built-in speakers of the latest versions of iPhone, iPad and Mac. Apple Music will regularly add new Dolby Atmos tracks and create a Dolby Atmos playlist to help listeners find the music they love. In addition, albums available in Dolby Atmos will be identified by a badge for easy discovery.
From launch, subscribers will be able to enjoy thousands of songs in Spatial Audio format from some of the world’s greatest artists across all genres, from hip-hop, to country, Latin, pop and even classical music. Apple Music is working with artists and labels to add new releases and deliver a Spatial Audio version of the best catalog tracks, as more and more artists start creating music specifically for the Spatial Audio experience. Together, Apple Music and Dolby make it easy for musicians, producers and sound engineers to create songs in Dolby Atmos.
“Today marks the introduction of Dolby Atmos on Apple Music – a new music experience that is transforming how music is created by artists and enjoyed by their fans,” said Kevin Yeaman, president and CEO of Dolby Laboratories. “We are working with Apple Music to make Dolby Atmos widely available to all musicians and anyone who loves music.”
Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter and composer Giles Martin said: “I have so far had the pleasure of mixing some of the greatest artists in history in Dolby Atmos. With this work I have found myself falling into albums I love. There is a unique experience of being able to fully immerse myself in music that, although is familiar, suddenly sounds new, fresh, and immediate. As a creator, it is beyond exciting that we can now share this incredible experience through Apple Music.”
Mixing engineer Manny Marroquin said: “Spatial Audio gives music a new identity. Every time I mix in Atmos it gives me goosebumps. The future has arrived.”
Apple Music will also make its catalog of over 75 million songs available in Lossless Audio quality. Apple uses ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) to preserve every bit of the original audio file. This means that Apple Music subscribers will be able to listen to exactly what the artists created in the studio.
To start listening to lossless audio, subscribers using the latest version of Apple Music can turn it on in Settings> Music> Audio Quality. Here, there they can choose different resolutions for different connections such as cellular and Wi-Fi. Apple Music’s Lossless tier starts at CD quality, which is 16 bit at 44.1 kHz, and goes up to 24 bit at 48 kHz and is playable natively on Apple devices.
For the most demanding audiophiles, Apple Music also offers Hi-Resolution Lossless quality up to 24-bit at 192 kHz.
Producer Piper Payne said, “The soul and life of the mix is sitting in the extra bits of data that are stored in the lossless file. As a mastering engineer, having the ability to convey the music to the listener at its highest quality is the end goal of what I work for every day.”