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Alongside the iOS 15.1 update that was released today, Apple has introduced a new 15.1 software update that's designed for the HomePod and the HomePod mini.

HomePodandMini-feature.jpg

The HomePod update introduces Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio to Apple's HomePods, bringing them in line with other devices that have supported the features since earlier this year. Lossless Audio is available on both the HomePod and HomePod mini, while Spatial Audio is available on the larger-sized and now-discontinued HomePod.

Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos can be enabled through the Home app. Open up Home Settings, tap on your profile, and then under Media, tap on Apple Music. From there, toggle on Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos. Note that these options appear in the iOS 15.1 beta, but the ‌HomePod‌ 15.1 beta seems to be needed to actually use the features on the ‌HomePod‌.

‌‌‌‌‌HomePod‌‌‌‌‌‌ software is installed automatically on the ‌‌‌‌‌‌HomePod‌‌ unless the feature is disabled‌‌‌‌, but the ‌‌‌‌‌‌HomePod‌‌‌‌‌‌ can also be manually updated in the Home app by following the instructions in our ‌‌HomePod‌‌ update how to.

Article Link: Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos Support Come to HomePod With 15.1 Software Update
 
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WaxedJacket

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
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I might be way out of the loop but isn't lossless audio through Bluetooth still compressed or I should say down sampled?

edit: from apples site

What you need to know about lossless in Apple Music​


  • Streaming lossless audio over a cellular or Wi-Fi network consumes significantly more data. And downloading lossless audio uses significantly more space on your device. Higher resolutions use more data than lower ones.
  • AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and Beats wireless headphones use Apple AAC Bluetooth Codec to ensure excellent audio quality. However, Bluetooth connections aren't lossless.
  • To get a lossless version of music that you already downloaded from Apple Music, just delete the music and redownload it from the Apple Music catalog.
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2005
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I understand how spatial audio works with headphones. How does it work when it doesnt know where you are relative to the speaker? All the research on surround sound and spatial audio assumes fixed speaker and listener positions.
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,482
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Great addition.

I love how apple makes existing hardware more and more valuable. Haters love to claim forced obsolescence, and yes, some features require new hardware, but the fact-based reality is Apple supports and improves products for existing customers for years.
 

smithrh

macrumors 68030
Feb 28, 2009
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I might be way out of the loop but isn't lossless audio through Bluetooth still compressed or I should say down sampled?

edit: from apples site

What you need to know about lossless in Apple Music​


  • Streaming lossless audio over a cellular or Wi-Fi network consumes significantly more data. And downloading lossless audio uses significantly more space on your device. Higher resolutions use more data than lower ones.
  • AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and Beats wireless headphones use Apple AAC Bluetooth Codec to ensure excellent audio quality. However, Bluetooth connections aren't lossless.
  • To get a lossless version of music that you already downloaded from Apple Music, just delete the music and redownload it from the Apple Music catalog.

This post is about HomePods, not AirPods...
 

FatPete

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May 24, 2021
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digduggler

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Jul 2, 2007
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Gotta say my stereo pair of OG Homepods (which are not paired to an aTV, which already worked) sound effing great playing Daddy's Home by St Vincent in Atmos. TBH this is the update I've been most excited about.
 

WaxedJacket

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
634
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This post is about HomePods, not AirPods...
True, but it doesn't go into detail as to what is changing.

From Apple: "HomePod and HomePod mini currently use AAC to ensure excellent audio quality. Support for lossless is coming in a future software update," says Apple.

So they're using wifi now?
 

greenbreadmmm

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2007
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Forgive my ignorance, but am I going to notice a difference with Dolby Atmos on my homepod paired to my apple tv? Or is it mostly a gimmick?
 

FatPete

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May 24, 2021
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True, but it doesn't go into detail as to what is changing.

From Apple: "HomePod and HomePod mini currently use AAC to ensure excellent audio quality. Support for lossless is coming in a future software update," says Apple.

So they're using wifi now?
Yes - this is the update they were talking about (although they were already using wi-fi - think you might be getting mixed up between codecs and transport protocol). Prior to this update the HomePods pulled AAC via wi-fi from Apple's servers. Now they're pulling ALAC instead if you enable the Lossless setting, and still via wi-fi
 

digduggler

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Jul 2, 2007
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Forgive my ignorance, but am I going to notice a difference with Dolby Atmos on my homepod paired to my apple tv? Or is it mostly a gimmick?

If you turned on Dolby Atmos already in the Music app settings, you've been using Dolby Atmos on it since this summer (as well as for movies/tv etc even if you didn't, and have the Audio settings to use default). This update only brings Atmos to standalone OG HomePods (aka not paired to an Apple TV). And for music it will only work on albums/tracks designated as such, which you must request via Siri (AirPlay doesn't support it IIRC).

It is definitely noticeable to me. Some Atmos mixes are much more noticeable than others. Whether you like or not is a personal preference.
 
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greenbreadmmm

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Jun 4, 2007
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If you turned on Dolby Atmos already in the Music app settings, you've been using Dolby Atmos on it since this summer (as well as for movies/tv etc even if you didn't, and have the Audio settings to use default). This update only brings Atmos to standalone OG HomePods (aka not paired to an Apple TV). And for music it will only work on albums/tracks designated as such, which you must request via Siri (AirPlay doesn't support it IIRC).

It is definitely noticeable to me. Whether you like or not is a personal preference.
Interesting, so you're saying I've already been utilizing atmos with my homepod thats paired with my apple tv 4k?
 

digduggler

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2007
312
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Interesting, so you're saying I've already been utilizing atmos with my homepod thats paired with my apple tv 4k?
Yup. See this Apple Doc. Seems like for Home Theatre it's been there pretty much all year. Here's an article from March talking about how they discontinued the OG HomePod months after launching Home Theatre.

For Apple Music, it has to be enabled in the Music Setting (although I think it was toggled on by default during the update in July).
 
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