Apple Music Lossless


Will lossless be avialable using Apple Music/S2 app on March 28th or just Dolby Atmos

 

 

Moderator note: We updated this article in October 2023 with new information below.

Lossless music from Apple Music isn't currently supported on Sonos from the Sonos app or the Apple Music mobile app.

Sonos currently supports streaming hi-res audio from Amazon Music Unlimited (which streams up to 24-bit, 192 kHz). In order to listen to hi-res audio from Amazon Music on Sonos (which Amazon calls “Ultra HD”), you’ll need to sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited. (Note: when streaming on Sonos, the maximum sample rate is 48 kHz.)

You can stream spatial audio from Apple Music to Sonos speakers that support the format.

 

Here are some more information regarding lossless and Atmos music:


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24 replies

Userlevel 1
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This feels like something that should be implemented, and wouldn’t be hard to do.

Userlevel 7

Curious as to what you’re basing your “wouldn’t be hard to do” on? I’d think Apple would need to stand up new servers for that connection, at the very least, although the code in the Sonos API already exists. But in my personal experience, standing up new servers is not a minor thing. Less so now than it used to be years ago, what with AWS and similar companies, but I’d be willing to bet Apple doesn’t use AWS. 

Pretty sure Sonos has a switch for lossless support that they can easily turn on and off like a light. They are just too lazy to switch it on. But if they had a smart switch, they could just ask a voice assistant to switch it on for them.

Badge +20

Simple if you switch you get CD quality, cannot vouch for functionality as I just play complete Albums.

 

Lossless does not exist using Apple Music on Sonos or via Airplay 2 - period 

Curious as to what you’re basing your “wouldn’t be hard to do” on? I’d think Apple would need to stand up new servers for that connection, at the very least, although the code in the Sonos API already exists. But in my personal experience, standing up new servers is not a minor thing. Less so now than it used to be years ago, what with AWS and similar companies, but I’d be willing to bet Apple doesn’t use AWS. 

It depends on what Apple is sending them. Sure, the API can handle lossless, as it does in other streamers cases, but Apple needs to send them that signal. It’s not that Sonos is too lazy, I’m certain of that. The content does not exist on a Sonos server, anywhere. 

Userlevel 2
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So… interesting one here, tried playing Apple Music via Airplay on my Sonos Move (tbh all my other Sonos speakers too, including Ones, Playbase etc) and it tells me Lossless 24-bit/44.1kHz ALAC (see pic) anyone confirm if this is actually correct?

 

The song may be lossless to your devices, but Airplay will strip back the song quality, as only certain bitrates are supported when playing using Airplay.

Badge +20

Apple Music via Airplay 2 is not lossless, Apple Music is capable and likewise Airplay 2 of providing lossless just not together. As for hires… that’s another matter and involves using an external DAC. This is as of today, may change in the future.

I believe there might be 3 ways to get Apple Music lossless on Sonos

  1. Use Apple Music app on iPhone and stream to play 5 (wired 3.5mm)
  2. Use Apple Music app on Apple TV and stream to sound bar (wired optical or HDMI (Arc, Beam, Playbase))
  3. Use Apple Music app on Mac and use system Airplay 

None of those are accurate.

Can you please describe why they are not accurate? Have you tried these?

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

I believe there might be 3 ways to get Apple Music lossless on Sonos

  1. Use Apple Music app on iPhone and stream to play 5 (wired 3.5mm)
  2. Use Apple Music app on Apple TV and stream to sound bar (wired optical or HDMI (Arc, Beam, Playbase))
  3. Use Apple Music app on Mac and use system Airplay 

None of those are accurate.

Can you please describe why they are not accurate? Have you tried these?

 Can you state if this works and how? 
Use Apple Music app on Mac and use system Airplay

i may just buy a Mac. Stupid I can’t just use my iPhone or iPad!

Badge +20
Using an Apple MacBook or iMac with Apple Music over Airplay 2 does play at CD quality, all you need to do it set the system wide audio preferences once.
 
Seriously though…
 
If you want CD quality (or better)  then at this moment in time on Sonos look at subscribing to Deezer, Qobuz, Tidal or Amazon Music and don’t bother with Apple Music. 
 
Saying that AAC from Apple Music is very high quality and on Sonos equipment most won’t be able to distinguish a difference.
 
Even Bluesound hardware which supports MQA (ignoring the current financial status) and 24/192 bitrate only supports Apple Music using AAC via Airplay unless you have a MacBook / iMac.
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
Using an Apple MacBook or iMac with Apple Music over Airplay 2 does play at CD quality, all you need to do it set the system wide audio preferences once.
 
Seriously though…
 
If you want CD quality (or better)  then at this moment in time on Sonos look at subscribing to Deezer, Qobuz, Tidal or Amazon Music and don’t bother with Apple Music. 
 
Saying that AAC from Apple Music is very high quality and on Sonos equipment most won’t be able to distinguish a difference.
 
 

Thanks for your input.

can i ask, why would switching from Apple to Amazon be better for Lossless or Hi Res as Apple support these masters? Originally had an Amazon subscription when I was on Android. The only reason I left for Apple is that Amazons shuffle would mostly likely play tracks I had previously heard and wasn’t very random. I have a very broad library and only listen to set genres, artists ect if I’m in the mood or occasion. Generally, all the music I add to my library is by the track, so I tend to like what I’m listening to at the time, if I don’t I skip. 
 

If I could just use the Sonos/Apple app I would be able to listen to lossless or high resolution. However, I can’t get the app to shuffle tracks, it just won’t do it. Tried on my IPad, iPhone and Android phone. 
 

I can really hear the difference in lossless hi resolution compared AAC. I Annoy my partner with tests using the Apple TV and IPhone. Every time I would hear the difference, it annoys me as I wish I were one of those people who don’t give a toss! 

 

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

Simple if you switch you get CD quality, cannot vouch for functionality as I just play complete Albums.

 

Lossless does not exist using Apple Music on Sonos or via Airplay 2 - period 

Thanks for the advice. So, if I use the native Amazon app, I will receive losses and high resolution? 

Badge +20

Yes.. the resolution is however limited on Sonos equipment to 24/48 https://support.sonos.com/en-gb/article/supported-audio-formats-for-sonos-music-library

 

If you wanted to play back higher bitrates then you need to look at other platforms such as Bluesound.

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

Yes.. the resolution is however limited on Sonos equipment to 24/48 https://support.sonos.com/en-gb/article/supported-audio-formats-for-sonos-music-library

 

If you wanted to play back higher bitrates then you need to look at other platforms such as Bluesound.

Awesome, thanks again. 👍

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

Yes.. the resolution is however limited on Sonos equipment to 24/48 https://support.sonos.com/en-gb/article/supported-audio-formats-for-sonos-music-library

 

If you wanted to play back higher bitrates then you need to look at other platforms such as Bluesound.

Can I ask the icons next to each Sonos room are they AirPlay or direct network to the hardware? If they are AirPlay icons, won’t this be a lowered to 256 AAC using the native Amazon app? It doesn’t show the streaming resolution in the native app and when doing blind tests vs the Apple App, I hear no difference in sound quality. However, I notice a distinct difference when played via the Sonos/Amazon app. 
 

Can someone clarify confirm. I much prefer to use the Native Amazon app rather than the Amazon integrated version. 
 

 

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

I believe there might be 3 ways to get Apple Music lossless on Sonos

  1. Use Apple Music app on iPhone and stream to play 5 (wired 3.5mm)
  2. Use Apple Music app on Apple TV and stream to sound bar (wired optical or HDMI (Arc, Beam, Playbase))
  3. Use Apple Music app on Mac and use system Airplay 

None of those are accurate.

Number 2, if you have an Apple TV 4K, will give you lossless playback over HDMI (can’t speak for optical. Probably would work too?)

See “How to listen to lossless audio on your Apple TV 4K”, in this Apple support doc about Lossless audio in Apple Music https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT212183 - Note the caveat that “Apple TV 4K currently doesn’t support Hi-Res Lossless (sample rates greater than 48 kHz).”

 

Badge +2

So… interesting one here, tried playing Apple Music via Airplay on my Sonos Move (tbh all my other Sonos speakers too, including Ones, Playbase etc) and it tells me Lossless 24-bit/44.1kHz ALAC (see pic) anyone confirm if this is actually correct?

 

I’ve heard reports elsewhere this is true - but don’t currently use AM.

Apple Music via Airplay 2 is not lossless, Apple Music is capable and likewise Airplay 2 of providing lossless just not together. As for hires… that’s another matter and involves using an external DAC. This is as of today, may change in the future.

I believe there might be 3 ways to get Apple Music lossless on Sonos

  1. Use Apple Music app on iPhone and stream to play 5 (wired 3.5mm)
  2. Use Apple Music app on Apple TV and stream to sound bar (wired optical or HDMI (Arc, Beam, Playbase))
  3. Use Apple Music app on Mac and use system Airplay 
Userlevel 2

I am fine with CD quality - is AppleMusic still limited to 256AAC?  I get the ‘HD’ Symbol when streaming FLAC from my NAS so I know I have 16/44, but get conflicting info when playing AppleMusic from the SONOS app or from AppleMusic directly.

 

I also assume Tidal would be fine and play to the 24/48 limit if I had the correct tier (although again the CD quality tier is just fine)

Userlevel 7
Badge +23

I believe there might be 3 ways to get Apple Music lossless on Sonos

  1. Use Apple Music app on iPhone and stream to play 5 (wired 3.5mm)
  2. Use Apple Music app on Apple TV and stream to sound bar (wired optical or HDMI (Arc, Beam, Playbase))
  3. Use Apple Music app on Mac and use system Airplay 

None of those are accurate.

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

For me this a mess! I have spent £1000s on Sonos hardware and subscribe to Apple Music, but I can’t play music in Hi Res or lossless without using the Sonos/Apple or Amazon integrated app? The Sonos Apple app or Amazon app doesn’t function the same within Sonos as it does with the Standard IOS app. It’s just poor all round. For goodness sake, I can’t even shuffle tracks or add them to my apple library in the Sonos integration!  I can’t even filter Dolby Atmos or Lossless, High Res music in either integration; apple or Sonos! It’s just poor from Apple and Sonos. Before anyone says I should be complaining to Apple about this is wrong! Like many others, I have, but if I don’t voice the same disappointment hear how are Sonos ment to push Apple for a better experience? It effect me as a Sonos user and an Apple customer, period. 
 

I don’t think they’ve mentioned lossless in the Apple press release, so I think we will all just have to wait and see….

Userlevel 7

Lossless support on Sonos hasn’t been mentioned by Sonos or Apple, so probably not.