The latest beta of the HomePod system software adds support for Apple Music lossless audio. This allows both the large and small versions of Apple’s smart speaker to play music in a very high-quality format.
Apple promised HomePod support for Apple Music lossless audio in May, and it’s starting to carry through. For both the full-size model and HomePod mini.
Part of HomePod Software 15 beta 3
HomePod Software 15 beta 3 — released on Monday — includes support for the new feature.
But that doesn’t mean it’s widely available for testing. HomePod Software is a closed beta. It’s not even available to those who pay to be in the Apple Developer Program. Access is invite only.
More about Apple Music Lossless Audio
In the spring, Apple promised that its music streaming service will give subscribers the option to listen in lossless formats at no additional charge. That’s 16 bit/44.1 kHz up to 24 bit/48 kHz. The top-of-the-line Hi-Resolution Lossless service is 24 bit/192 kHz. It, too, is a free option for Apple Music subscribers.
Apple’s smart speakers use the lossy AAC format and so cannot play lossless audio. But in May the company said, “HomePod and HomePod mini currently use AAC to ensure excellent audio quality. Support for lossless is coming in a future software update.”
HomePod Software 15, with the new feature, is expected to leave beta this autumn, along with iOS 15.