HomePod beta brings Dolby Atmos and lossless music support

By

Apple Music lossless audio coming to HomePod, HomePod mini
The biggest HomePod upgrade yet.
Photo: Apple

Dolby Atmos (spatial audio) and lossless music are on their way to HomePod and HomePod mini. Both features are available for testing in Apple’s latest HomePod 15 beta, rolled out to registered developers on Thursday.

We’ll show you how to enable them.

There was some concern that Apple’s pricey smart speakers may miss out on the company’s newest audio features. They weren’t supported or mentioned when spatial audio and lossless music were announced in May.

Cupertino quickly quelled those fears weeks later, and with its latest HomePod beta firmware, it has made both spatial audio and lossless music support available for testing ahead of a public rollout later this year.

Enable Dolby Atmos and lossless audio on HomePod

After installing the fifth HomePod 15 beta firmware, users discovered the ability to enable Dolby Atmos and lossless audio inside the Home app. Here’s how you can enable them after updating:

  1. Open the Home app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
  2. While in the Home tab, tap the Home icon in the top-left corner.
  3. Select Home Settings.
  4. Tap Media, then select Apple Music.
  5. Use the toggles to enable Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio.

After these feature are turned on, you’ll notice that the Dolby Atmos and lossless icons appear inside the Apple Music app when streaming supported tracks to your HomePod or HomePod mini speaker.

Sadly, you can’t install the HomePod beta as easily as other Apple beta firmwares. It’s available on an invite-only basis.

Out this fall?

These are arguably the biggest and most exciting features to come to HomePod since it made its debut — particularly for true audiophiles. And it’s great that they’re both supported even on the smaller HomePod mini.

Although we can’t say for certain when the upgrades will roll out to everyone, it’s likely they will come alongside iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey this fall — if not a little later.