One of the surprise announcements at WWDC this year was that Apple’s Spatial Audio and lossless audio formats would also be coming to Android devices. While no timeline was given for this, it seems that it features in the latest beta of Apple Music for Android.
The 3.6 beta of Apple Music for Android is available for those that sign up to the tester program and are expected to be added to the consumer version of the app shortly, provided there are no glitches.
Spatial Audio is described as being available on compatible devices, which so far include Apple and Beats devices, as the Apple H1 or W1 chip is required. Whether we will see compatibility in third-party headphones is not clear. Dolby Atmos, however, can be enjoyed on any headphones as long as the phone supports it. You just need to make sure the Apple Music setting is set to on, rather than automatic.
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Apple’s new lossless audio formats (ALAC) provide 24-bit/48kHz or 24-bit/192kHz in High-Resolution mode. The standard lossless format is beyond CD quality, while the high-res option is closer to the files that sound engineers produce from a mix. To listen to the high-res lossless files in their full glory, you’ll need to use an external DAC and wired headphones, but you can hear the difference from the regular lossless format using wireless headphones.
In addition to Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio, the Apple Music beta also adds automatic crossfade and search enhancements for Android users.