Does airplay 2 support Apple Music lossless or hi-res lossless?

bidgooj

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Jun 16, 2007
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Does airplay 2 support lossless or hires lossless?

I have a Naim Uniti Nova stereo streamer and subscribe to both Apple Music and Tidal. With Apple Music about to support a minimum of lossless I would drop my Tidal subscription if I could use Airplay 2 this way.

Upto now there has been a definite drop in perceivable quality going from the Naim streaming app using the built in Tidal link or even Tidal app with Chromecast going to Apple Music using Airplay 2 and their 256kps AAC source.

Unfortunately there is no native Naim streamer application link so the only way to use Apple Music on the Naim Uniti Streamers is via Air Play 2 directly off an IOS or MacOS source.
 
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iMark

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May 16, 2008
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The Airplay protocol uses Apple Lossless at 16/44.1 for streaming. Lossless streaming at CD quality.
Higher than CD bitrates will be downsampled for AirPlay streaming. For HiRes streaming you will need to buy extra equipment. All devices supporting AirPlay will work for streaming Apple Music at CD quality.
 

Novanew

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Jun 22, 2021
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The Airplay protocol uses Apple Lossless at 16/44.1 for streaming. Lossless streaming at CD quality.
Higher than CD bitrates will be downsampled for AirPlay streaming. For HiRes streaming you will need to buy extra equipment. All devices supporting AirPlay will work for streaming Apple Music at CD quality.
I also have a Nova. and an iPad Pro. I saw this at the Naim forum: “you can connect your iPad or iPhone to the Nova with a USB to Coax/Spdif converter.” I saw this, and have no clue what it is. My iPad has a USB-C. What plugs into what with whatever it is we need to connect.
 

Deliriumbassist

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Apr 27, 2011
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AirPlay 2 does not support Apple Music Lossless.

Here's how to use AML:


Frankly, it's an uncharacteristically poor launch and implementation. Unavailable on Windows (as the iTunes app doesn't support AML), and on Mac, the sampling rate doesn't switch based on the audio file, i.e. what you set in the MIDI output settings for your output device is the only SR that will be fed out, meaning all audio not at that SR will be resampled by the Mac. Tidal/Qobuz apps take this over and auto switch, whereas Apple Music does not. So make sure you set to the highest sample rate possible for your outboard DAC, or 24/192, whichever is lower.

@Novanew You will need something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Douk-Audio-Converter-Interface-PCM192Khz/dp/B085XPRSGM/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=USB+to+Optical+Audio+Adapter&qid=1624425070&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzVDBBQVJISlEzNVImZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAzMTY1MzQzS1FUREhPQ0IyUEdYJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA2MzI3OTAzRkk3Q0JKWUQ1NFlXJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

But I would also get this as well:


So you can use a USB-A to USB micro to the adapter, and a USB-C into this dongle to keep your iPad charging. But it's a lot of dongles.
 
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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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AirPlay 2 does not support Apple Music Lossless.
This is not quite correct. Airplay converts to ALAC up to 16/48. So it WILL play ‘lossless’ (CD quality) but not ’Hi-res Lossless’.
However there is apparently a current problem with the ‘link’ Apple use for Airplay where the AAC file is chosen instead of ALAC. Hopefully this gets sorted soon…..🤞
 
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Novanew

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Jun 22, 2021
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Does airplay 2 support lossless or hires lossless?

I have a Naim Uniti Nova stereo streamer and subscribe to both Apple Music and Tidal. With Apple Music about to support a minimum of lossless I would drop my Tidal subscription if I could use Airplay 2 this way.

Upto now there has been a definite drop in perceivable quality going from the Naim streaming app using the built in Tidal link or even Tidal app with Chromecast going to Apple Music using Airplay 2 and their 256kps AAC source.

Unfortunately there is no native Naim streamer application link so the only way to use Apple Music on the Naim Uniti Streamers is via Air Play 2 directly off an IOS or MacOS source.
Wah
AirPlay 2 does not support Apple Music Lossless.

Here's how to use AML:


Frankly, it's an uncharacteristically poor launch and implementation. Unavailable on Windows (as the iTunes app doesn't support AML), and on Mac, the sampling rate doesn't switch based on the audio file, i.e. what you set in the MIDI output settings for your output device is the only SR that will be fed out, meaning all audio not at that SR will be resampled by the Mac. Tidal/Qobuz apps take this over and auto switch, whereas Apple Music does not. So make sure you set to the highest sample rate possible for your outboard DAC, or 24/192, whichever is lower.

@Novanew You will need something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Douk-Audio-Converter-Interface-PCM192Khz/dp/B085XPRSGM/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=USB+to+Optical+Audio+Adapter&qid=1624425070&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzVDBBQVJISlEzNVImZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAzMTY1MzQzS1FUREhPQ0IyUEdYJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA2MzI3OTAzRkk3Q0JKWUQ1NFlXJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

But I would also get this as well:


So you can use a USB-A to USB micro to the adapter, and a USB-C into this dongle to keep your iPad charging. But it's a lot of dongles.
 

Niallivm

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Oct 28, 2019
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petergabriel

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Oct 30, 2019
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www.petergabriel.dk
According to Deezer hifi, they are casting lossless to Airplay 2, but your link now makes me question that. I’m flabbergasted.
 

Niallivm

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Oct 28, 2019
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I think Apple Music lossless files sound great via Airplay 2 on my Sonos system and what I hear is all that matters to me - all the audiophile intrigue is fun but ultimately meaningless
 

petergabriel

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Oct 30, 2019
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www.petergabriel.dk
Agree, but if in my case I pay for hifi with Deezer I would like to be sure that I am getting, what I pay for. Airplay has always been sold as being CD quality using the alac codec, so I feel cheated if I only get 256 aac. Doesn”t really make sense to me why they would do that. But, again, there is no mention of Airplay at all on their page describing lossless, so it seems to me like they are trying to get around it.
However the test shows that Quebuz is bit perfect with Airplay 2 to Airport Express 2. gen, so my guess is Deezer hifi is bit perfect as well (that is also what Deezer dev team claims), and only Apple Music suffers, while Tidal use MQA which is far from bit perfect from the get go. The test seems to confirm my findings, as to not being able to hear the difference between Airplay 2 to my 2. gen Express and my hires Squeezebox Touch, and I can usually hear the difference between lossless and e.g. aac, as lossless almost always sounds more full bodied.
 
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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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I think Apple Music lossless files sound great via Airplay 2 on my Sonos system and what I hear is all that matters to me - all the audiophile intrigue is fun but ultimately meaningless
Not sure what you mean by ‘intrigue’ but it's certainly not meaningless…..
 

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