iOS 14.6 allows users to AirPlay songs on Apple Music in Lossless from iPhone to HomePod


When Apple Music Lossless was announced, it was not clear whether the HomePod would be able to play lossless audio quality. The company later said that HomePod and HomePod mini will receive a future software update for supports functionality.

While Apple’s smart speakers don’t play lossless themselves yet, it looks like you can AirPlay in this quality from your iPhone to HomePod. Here is how it works.

Users running iOS 14.6 who have Lossless enabled can AirPlay this audio quality from iPhone to HomePod. Here are the steps:

  • Make sure the song / album is available in Lossless and that it is downloaded in the correct version;
  • Click the AirPlay button on the iPhone, then select your HomePod;
  • The icon should appear as “iPhone -> HomePod; If so, you will see a small “lossless” icon above the Play / Pause button.
  • If it only shows “HomePod” in AirPlay, it will not stream in lossless audio quality.

I have tried playing a lot of different songs in Lossless on the HomePod. The trick is this: not every time I hear a difference between the AAC file and the Lossless file. As we know, not everyone will hear the difference between AAC and Lossless. Here’s what Eddy Cue said about Lossless at Billboard while praising Dolby Atmos:

“The reality of lossless is this: if you take 100 people and take a stereo song in lossless mode and take a compressed song in Apple Music, I don’t know if it’s 99 or 98, I can’t tell the difference. “Cue revealed that he has regularly blind tested with the Apple Music team, and they confirm how rare it is for anyone to be able to consistently recognize lossless sound.” You can tell anyone. a: “Oh, you listen to lossless sound [song], ‘and they tell you,’ Oh, wow. It sounds unbelievable. They say it just because you told them it was lossless and it seems like the right thing to say, but you just can’t say it.

Since AirPlay is based on Wi-Fi and HomePod supports FLAC / ALAC codecs, technically you can AirPlay a song or album in Lossless through the iPhone to the smart speaker.

Home app adds new HomePod settings in iOS 15

And if you are using iOS 15, there is a new Apple Music section on the Home app which allows users to switch to “Lossless Audio”. Here are the steps:

  • Open the Home application;
  • Click on the Home icon in the upper left corner, then click on “Home settings”;
  • Select your Apple ID, then “Apple Music” in “Media”;
  • Activate the “Lossless audio” toggle.

The weird part is that even if you are already running HomePod 15 beta 1 and enable this feature on your iOS 15 beta device, the Music app will not show the lossless icon for songs played on HomePod.

As we’re still in beta 1 of iOS 15 and HomePod 15, it’s still not clear if everything is working perfectly. What it can be said is that Apple is indeed striving to support Lossless natively on the HomePod from iOS 15 and that AirPlay support is now present when you switch from iPhone to HomePod.

Can you AirPlay Apple Music Lossless from your iPhone to HomePod? Tell us in the comment section below.

Thanks Milan for the tip!

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Kehoe Young

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