Massive streaming of high-resolution music as interpreted by Apple is already on the doorstep, but as it turns out, not all models of this brand are ready for it. It has already announced access to high-definition tracks on Apple Music, but “lossless audio is not supported on any AirPods”, the company said. And on full-size AirPods Max as well.
All these models sound good, but the audio transmission technology itself will prevent their owners from enjoying full-size Hi-Res. In-ear AirPods and AirPods Pro are completely wireless headphones that receive a signal over Bluetooth using the AAC codec. And it does not even provide a digital signal resolution at the CD level, while we are talking about streams that are twice or even four times larger.
With AirPods Max, things are a little more complicated. When the signal is transmitted over the Apple Lightning cable, it is double-converted. From the 24-bit / 48 kHz received from the iPhone, it is converted to analog and then re-digitized to 24-bit / 48 kHz. This is high resolution – but with the right hand behind the left ear.
According to the company itself, Hi-Res is intended for “real audiophiles” – and they, apparently, Apple believes, use external USB-DACs to work with the signal in this quality.
But on all these headphones, and at the same time on the HomePod and HomePod mini speakers, it will be possible to listen to the already announced spatial sound of Apple Music – their owners will be able to enjoy Dolby Atmos mixes, if, of course, they are included in the phonogram.