The new trend in music streaming is Hi-Fi. According to Apple’s recent announcement, the company plans to introduce lossless audio streaming in Apple Music. Given that Apple has long ago introduced its own lossless format (ALAC), it will be logical to have it as a streaming standard. The current AAC format is great for streaming but, surpassing MP3 in effective quality/size ratio, it’s still far from real lossless quality. The new formats will include CD quality (16 bit at 44.1 KHz) and even higher 24-bit quality that no wireless headphones support so far: one will need an external DAC to unleash its potential.
This move is supposed to advertise both Apple Music as a streaming service and hi-end wireless headphones that provide quality high enough to appreciate lossless audio. Hardly can one expect lossless audio support from the basic AirPods, but Pro and Max models will probably let its users feel the difference.
Apple is not the only one. Spotify has announced similar plans to introduce CD-quality streaming, but this will also call to life an additional plan for lossless streaming. Unlike that, Apple offers lossless streaming for no extra cost at all, available even in the most basic plan. Another great feature to expect is Spatial Audio that AirPods Pro/Max users could already appreciate with videos in Apple TV+.