Leaked screenshots could be first look at Dolby Atmos and Lossless audio on iPhone

Apple Lossless Hero
Apple Lossless Hero (Image credit: Apple)

Apple Dolby Atmos Support press photo.

Apple Dolby Atmos Support press photo. (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • New screenshots could have given us our first look at Apple's new Dolby Atmos and His-Res Lossless audio features for Apple Music.
  • They depict prompts for both shown on the iPhone.
  • Apple Music's upgrades are coming in June and will be totally free.

New screenshots shared on the internet could be our first look at the prompts for Apple Music's upcoming new Dolby Atmos and Lossless audio features.

The following images were shared by DuanRui on Twitter and were likely sourced from Chinese social media. DuanRui has previously shared accurate information and images regarding upcoming Apple products:

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As you can see both Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res Lossless have prompts, which show the respective icons for both. The second shot shows the 'Hi-Res' 24 bit at 192 kHz frequency that will be available to users. The most potent of Apple's three Lossless audio tiers, Hi-Res is for "the true audiophile" and will require external equipment such as a USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to listen.

Unfortunately, the screenshots haven't been translated so we can't know exactly what they say. However, we know that Hi-Res and Lossless audio will be opt-in because of the large amount of data required to use it, so it's possible this is an opt-in prompt about using data to stream the music. Dolby Atmos will play automatically on any AirPods or Beats headphones that have an H1 or W1 chip, and through the built-in speakers on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, but will need to be activated in the settings for other headphone users.

As it stands, Lossless audio in any format won't be available to owners of wireless headphones because of the limitations of Bluetooth, which don't have enough bandwidth to be truly "lossless".

Apple has confirmed Lossless audio is coming to the HomePod lineup with a future software update. In a recent support document Apple confirmed that the first two tiers of Lossless audio will work with Apple's AirPods Max with a wired connection using the Lighting to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter, but because of the adapter, it isn't truly lossless.

Rumors are that Apple could enable wireless lossless audio playback for AirPods in a future software update. If you want to get ahead of the curve or you're preparing for Dolby Atmos on Apple Music, be sure to check out the best AirPods deals currently available.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9