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Luba

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
1,772
369
Any idea on how close to Lossless audio quality when using AirPod Max with the $35 Lightning to 3.5 mm Audio Cable? In Apple's support document they don't quantify how close it gets.
 

doboy

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,745
2,871
Any idea on how close to Lossless audio quality when using AirPod Max with the $35 Lightning to 3.5 mm Audio Cable? In Apple's support document they don't quantify how close it gets.
92.54356%. I just typed in some random number. Let me ask you, how would anyone know? Even Apple probably won't know it.
 

Luba

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
1,772
369
92.54356%. I just typed in some random number. Let me ask you, how would anyone know? Even Apple probably won't know it.
I had no idea that Apple wouldn't know. If they knew enough to say it's close I figured they knew how to quantify it.
 

honglong1976

macrumors 68000
Jul 12, 2008
1,634
1,089
UK
There is either:

Lossless - No compression
Lossy - compression
Close to lossless - compression

It's Apple's spin on things (from a PR point of view, close to lossless sounds better than lossy or compressed audio, which is essentially what you are getting).

The whole Apple Music, are the headphones, homepod supported? Lossy? lossless? it's a disaster!
 

bigshot

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2021
285
149
The audio quality over bluetooth is likely indiscernible from wired. They both should be audibly transparent. Lossy audio at a decent data rate sounds the same to human ears as lossless.

Audiophools sometimes worry more about sound they can't hear than the sound they actually can.
 
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Cashmonee

macrumors 65832
May 27, 2006
1,504
1,244
If you have to ask this question, then the answer is irrelevant. Either Apple Music sounds good to you or it doesn't. No label changes that.
 

Htsi

macrumors 65816
Oct 14, 2020
1,389
1,260
Should be better than plain BT, I was looking forward earlier but doubt how often I’ll be bothering with the cable. I’ll be all up for lossless airplay to headphones though.
plus it’s the dongle +cable. Too ugg
 

bigshot

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2021
285
149
Since the wire transcodes from analog to AAC, I don't see how that can sound any better than just streaming AAC.
 

axantas

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2015
781
1,072
Home
Many lossy formats are "close to lossless". Lossless means 100% lossless, otherwise it simply is lossy.
If you buy "one hamburger" and get "almost one hamburger", then there is something missing, even if it almost looks like "one"

But personally I do not focus too much on that feature. You simply do not hear the difference in a mostly noisy environment.
 

PegasusTenma

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2014
194
94
Which lightning to 3.5 mm adapter is 35 bucks? All the ones I am seeing from Apple are 9 bucks. Can you link up the product you are referring to?
 
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swandy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2012
927
267
You are probably looking at adapters that are not made by Apple (I did the same thing). But as the ones made by everyone else - at this point - rather than Apple are not bi-directional. They are for sending audio from the Lightning end (which would be in your iPhone/iPad) to the audio connector (which would be in a speaker, etc.), not the other direction.
 

bigshot

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2021
285
149
Many lossy formats are "close to lossless".
The more accurate term for it is "audibly transparent". That means that in a direct comparison with lossless, human ears can't discern a difference. AAC is audibly transparent at around 192. If you add VBR, it's probably transparent at 128. Apple Music is AAC 256 VBR. It is certainly audibly transparent.
 
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conshok26

macrumors 6502
Apr 10, 2006
482
27
North Tonawanda, NY
Just picked up a pair of open back headphones and I was wondering if I could use the lightning to 3.5 cable to pass lossless to those or am I stuck using the lightning to 3.5 dongle and then a 3.5 cable to the headphones?
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,807
5,403
Atlanta
Just picked up a pair of open back headphones and I was wondering if I could use the lightning to 3.5 cable to pass lossless to those or am I stuck using the lightning to 3.5 dongle and then a 3.5 cable to the headphones?
I believe the DAC in the Lightning cables that come with the iPhone accepts only 256kbps AAC audio (it is a small cheep/integrated device). So you will likely need a 3ed party DAC.

For reference the Lightning cables made for the AirPods are ADC (opposite of what you need) and not applicable.
 

bsamcash

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2008
1,024
2,475
San Jose, CA
Thank you. I think I was getting hung up on the fact that it didn’t work with the APM.
No problem.

I think the only reason the APM do not support lossless is because everything has to pass through the built-in DAC. I’m really hoping that it’s not a hardware issue so it’s possible that Apple can change that with a firmware update.
 

Luba

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
1,772
369
No problem.

I think the only reason the APM do not support lossless is because everything has to pass through the built-in DAC. I’m really hoping that it’s not a hardware issue so it’s possible that Apple can change that with a firmware update.
So you're thinking it's the DAC in the APM that's the issue? If a lightning to lightning cable existed it wouldn't give us lossless on APM?
 

bigshot

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2021
285
149
It's so it can do the spatial audio and adaptive EQ on the fly. The processing makes more of an impact on sound quality than the difference between lossy and lossless does.
 

bigshot

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2021
285
149
There is a processor inside the AirPod Max. It controls the microphones and equalization to correct the EQ as the position of the cups change, and it has the head tracking for the spatial audio. It might do other kinds of processing as well. The chip is limited in how big a file it can process. We are told that it operates with files in bluetooth codecs only.
 

bsamcash

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2008
1,024
2,475
San Jose, CA
There is a processor inside the AirPod Max. It controls the microphones and equalization to correct the EQ as the position of the cups change, and it has the head tracking for the spatial audio. It might do other kinds of processing as well. The chip is limited in how big a file it can process. We are told that it operates with files in bluetooth codecs only.
What I mean is how does it make the sound quality worse? It’s still encoding and decoding AAC, so how do the other processes affect it?
 
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