Apple Music is the cheapest it's ever been, and it's ad-free. Here's how to get it

The new Apple Music Voice Plan is designed solely for Siri and could go live next week

Apple Music Voice Plan
(Image credit: Apple)

If you've been swithering about subscribing to Apple Music, Apple is about to launch a much cheaper version specifically for Siri – so you'll be able to use it with your HomePod mini, your AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, your iPhone, your iPad, your Apple TV and CarPlay.

It's not the full Apple Music, which is interesting – because it sounds very much like the way I currently use my Apple Music subscription.

The new tier is called Apple Music Voice Plan, it's due in iOS 15.2, and you'll be able to sign up by saying "Hey, Siri, start my Apple Music Voice Plan trial".

Siri's going for a song

According to MacRumors, the Apple Music Voice Plan could arrive in an iOS update as early as next week – although right now it's unclear whether it'll be US-only to begin with or available internationally. The US price will be $4.99 per month; we'd expect dollar-to-pound parity when it goes live here in the UK.

So if you're paying half the usual price, do you get half the experience? Yes and no. You get access to the same massive library of music – 90 million songs and counting – and to Apple Music Radio. But you don't get lossless or spatial audio, downloads for listening offline, music videos, lyrics or an Android version. And you can't control Apple Music with your device: it's Siri or nothing. If you try to control things on your iPhone, iPad or Mac you'll be invited to subscribe to the full-fat version.

The lack of lossless or spatial audio is a deal-breaker for me, and if you like to listen on the best wireless headphones it's probably a deal-breaker for you too. But for everyday listening this looks like it's going to be a really good deal.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (