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How to Stream Lossless Audio from Apple Music

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  • Apple Music delivers lossless sound, which is the highest quality music you can get from streaming apps.
  • Lossless audio takes up more space and Internet bandwidth to download than standard music.
  • You can get lossless sound in every version of Apple Music app at no additional cost.
  • Visit Insider’s Technical Reference Library for more stories.

Music


Diffusion

apps like Spotify and Apple Music are ideal for creating massive collections of your favorite songs from all eras. But any audiophile will tell you that what you get in accessibility, you give up on audio quality.

In order to reach your ears without using too much Internet bandwidth, most music streaming is “lossy” – the audio is of lower quality than what you might get on a CD or disc. It’s not always easy to notice, but can make a big difference in some songs.

This is why some streaming applications offer users the option of enabling “lossless” music, which takes up more internet and data space, but gives much clearer sound.

What is “lossless” audio in Apple Music?

Lossless audio preserves as much detail as possible of the original music, which means you hear the song much closer to how it is “supposed” to sound. It also increases the amount of internet data the song needs to stream and the space it will take up on your device if you download it.

Apple Music allows all subscribers to listen to lossless music at no additional cost. They also give you two types of lossless audio: you can listen to regular lossless music, or “Hi-Res Lossless”, which retains even more detail.

But there are a few pitfalls. Even if you enable lossless audio, the only way to hear it is with a wired connection –


Bluetooth

audio is naturally lossy. And if you want to listen to Hi-Res Lossless, you will probably need to connect a digital to analog converter to your device.

Lossless audio is available in all Apple Music apps. Here’s how to get Apple Music lossless on your iPhone, Android, or Mac.

How to Get Lossless Sound in Apple Music on iPhone

To change your Apple Music settings on an iPhone, you’ll use the built-in Settings app.

1. Open your iPhone’s Settings app and scroll down to tap Music.

2. Under audio, faucet Audio quality.

The music settings menu on an iPhone.

Select the “Audio quality” option.

William Antonelli / Insider


3. Activate Lossless audio.

4. You can tap any of the options below – Cellular Streaming, Wi-Fi Streaming, and Downloads – to choose whether you want lossless music all the time or only when on Wi-Fi, and whether you want that your downloaded music is lossless too.

The Audio Quality menu on an iPhone.

Enable lossless audio, then choose where you want to use it.

William Antonelli / Insider


You can also use these options to enable high resolution lossless.

Any music that you have already downloaded will keep its original lossy quality until you delete it and download it again.

How to Get Lossless Sound in Apple Music on Android

1. Open the Apple Music app and tap the three stacked dots in the upper right corner of the screen.

2. Faucet Settings.

The Apple Music app on an Android phone, with the Settings option selected.

Open the settings of the Apple Music app.

Apple; William Antonelli / Insider


3. Faucet Audio quality, then activate Lossless audio. You can also use the options that appear to choose whether you want to stream lossless audio over cellular data or Wi-Fi, and whether you want your downloads to be lossless as well.

The menus that allow you to choose the audio quality in the Apple Music Android app.

The menus that allow you to choose the audio quality in the Apple Music Android app.

Apple; William Antonelli / Insider


By tapping on one of the options, you will also have access to high resolution lossless quality.

How to Get Lossless Sound in Apple Music on Mac

1. Open the Music app on your Mac.

2. Click on Music in the menu bar at the top of the screen, then click Preferences.

The Music app on a Mac, with the Preferences option highlighted.

You will find the “Preferences” option in the menu bar.

William Antonelli / Insider


3. In the window that appears, click Proofreading at the top, then tick Lossless sound below.

4. Use the Diffusion and To download drop-down lists to choose if you want Without loss Where High resolution lossless music.

The playback settings menu in the Music app on a Mac.

Choose the quality with which you want to stream and download music.

William Antonelli / Insider


5. Once you have set your settings the way you want, click Okay at the bottom of the page.


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