Apple Music may be planning to stream Hi-Res Audio from next year, according to a report by Japanese website, Macotakara. The report states that the quality of the music that will be streamed will be more than what can be delivered via standard headphone jacks. The music will instead use the Lightning port for audio output. The site referenced several insiders who were exhibiting products at the Portable Audio Festival.
In 2014, Apple introduced new specifications for manufacturers in the company’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program. Under these new specifications, manufacturers could create headphones that could connect to iOS devices via a Lightning cable rather than a regular 3.5mm audio jack which would improve sound quality. Companies like Phillips and Audeze have already released headphones with a Lightning connector. Using digital signals over Lightning will allow headphone makers to user to user high quality 24-bit DAC (Digital Analog Conversion) with high end, low noise amplification. There are also rumours that Apple is planning to remove the audio jack from the iPhone 7 and use the Lightning port for audio.
Apple acquired Beats Music and Beats Electronics for $3 billion in 2014 and had announced Apple Music this year and launched the service in India in June. In September, it was reported that Apple was recruiting beta-testers for Apple Music on Android and the company launched the service on its rival OS last month. At a conference organised by the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO, Tim Cook said that the service has over 6.5 million users. He also said that the Apple Music has an additional 8.5 million user using the free trial which makes the total number of users around 15 million.
Google launched YouTube Music app last month for Android and iOS users in the US. The platform offers songs with and without video and allows users to switch between the two seamlessly. However, the company hasn’t announced when the service will be launched outside of the US.
Source: Apple Insider