HomePod and HomePod mini will get Apple Music Lossless audio playback support in a future software update, according to a recently released Apple support document.
At launch, the HomePod and HomePod mini will not support Apple Music Lossless but will support Dolby Atmos for Apple Music. Dolby Atmos, also known as Spatial Audio, creates an immersive three-dimensional experience that simulates music all around the listener. Apple Music Lossless gives listeners better sound quality.
In June, Apple will offer “Apple Music” subscribers “Standard” “Apple Music” Lossless with sound up to 48 kHz and “Hi-Res Lossless” with sound between 48 kHz and 192 kHz. Hi-Res Lossless requires external equipment such as a USB digital-to-analog converter.
Despite Apple Music Lossless support in a future software update for HomePod and HomePod mini, AirPods and AirPods Pro will not be supported. In the support document, Apple explains that the current Bluetooth does not support the higher quality format provided by Apple Music Lossless. The AirPods Max won’t support Lossless wireless either, but Apple says that when used with a cable, the $ 550 on-ear headphones will play lossless audio, but not completely:
The Lightning to 3.5mm audio cable was designed to allow “AirPods Max” to connect to analog sources for listening to movies and music. AirPods Max can be connected to devices playing Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless recordings with exceptional audio quality. However, given the analog-to-digital conversion of the cable, playback will not be completely lossless.
Apple Music Lossless and Dolby Atmos will be available in June with over 20 million tracks supporting Lossless audio and thousands of tracks supporting Dolby Atmos.