Hi Def streaming services through SONOS - does Apple Music work or not?

  • 14 March 2023
  • 4 replies

I’m pretty confused here and am struggling to get an answer. A long time ago I had a Deezer 1 year trial of their Hi Def audio service. It played through all my SONOS equipment at that time - certainly pre S1/S2 split on an original Play 3 and a number of Connects which all became defunct later. I didn’t maintain the subscription as I didn’t want the cost, and have used Spotify since.

Now I’m looking at Apple Music. It offers a Hi Def option on music files - lossless - and even though I’m on S2 and have upgraded all my SONOS equipment to latest models, I may or may not be able to play the Hi Def audio through any of it. Really? We’ve gone backwards over the last 10 (?) years. 

I’d be interested to get a clear answer. I’m struggling to believe that SONOSNET is incapable of running a Hi Def stream around it.

If it works, then I’ve got a reason to swap over from Spotify (who won’t offer Hi Def) to Apple. If it doesn’t work, then there is no reason. So Apple if you are listening, then it would help if you too joined in the conversation and tried to make this clear.

(BTW I ripped my CD collection to FLAC many years ago and store it all on my NAS. No problem playing that through SONOS - it trundles through SONOSNET no problem. So can I or can I not use Apple lossless. And if not, why what’s the problem? And if not, is there anything I need to do to make it work?)


Best answer by jgatie 14 March 2023, 18:48

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Apple Music lossless streaming is not supported through Sonos at this time.  Why is a question for Apple, not Sonos, because Sonos has no control over the Apple implementation in the Sonos app.  Sonos only supplies the API, the implementation of features is all done by Apple.  

OK thanks that’s a nice clear answer. Since it is Apple that benefits from my sub to Apple Music, not Sonos, it makes sense for them to need to do a bit of work to gain it. 

I guess what I heard about it working through Apple TV is a myth then. 

I’ve also put the same query to Apple through their feedback mechanism. 

I would love for Sonos to answer this specific question. 

Sonos just announced spacial audio compatibility with Apple Music:


But it specifically does not mention that hi-def audio will be supported. I agree that I have a hard time believing that hi-def audio has a bandwidth limitation compared spacial audio so I would imagine it is either something with licensing or with the Apple Music API not supporting the ability for third party apps to stream this type of content. 


To answer the poster above on Sonosnet, 24-bit FLAC is not a limitation as it’s supported for local files on both S1 and S2:


Apple CarPlay over a wired connection supports 24-bit lossless but wireless Apple CarPlay only supports 16-bit. This leads me to believe it’s an Apple Music API issue and they prioritized adding spacial packets before hi-def.