No Hi-Res Lossless Audio For Apple TV 4K At Launch, AirPods Max In Wired Mode ‘Will Not Be Completely Lossless’
Apple has officially announced that the Apple TV 4K will not support hi-res lossless audio at launch, and that audio playback on the AirPods Max will also not be completely lossless when in wired mode.
Lossless audio has been all the rage lately where Apple is concerned. Apple Music will begin supporting lossless audio starting June, and today we were also told that the HomePod and HomePod mini will also support this hi-res audio. However, a new support documents gives us more insight into what to actually expect.
Starting with the Apple TV 4K, you can expect a playback at standard Lossless tier ranging from 16-bit at 44.1 kHz to 24-bit at 48 kHz.
As stated in the document:
Apple TV 4K currently doesn’t support Hi-Res Lossless (sample rates greater than 48 kHz).
Then we have the AirPods Max. Apple’s flagship and first branded pair of headphones is also limited to an extent. Of course Bluetooth mode doesn’t support lossless audio at all.
The Lightning to 3.5 mm 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 in the cable, the playback will not be completely lossless.
But what does this really mean for all the audiophiles out there. Apple says:
We developed our own implementation of AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) that delivers audio that’s virtually indistinguishable from the original studio recording.
Apple Music will also be receiving a major Spatial Audio update with Dolby Atmos in June which should enhance your audio experience on the AirPods lineup considerably.