High-res Apple Music ‘in weeks’, says music biz tip sheet
In what may become quite a significant move (at least to music lovers), Apple may soon introduce a new high-res music service via Apple Music, with new third-gen AirPods to go with them.
HI Fi Apple Music and AirPods ‘in weeks’
That’s news emerging from Hits Daily Double, which music industry types will know to be a pretty decent tip sheet for what’s happening in the digitized spaces we once called Tin Pan Alley.
So, what’s being claimed?
- New hi-fi audio streaming service in Apple Music.
- At same price as current plan, $9.99 per user per month.
- Will be announced along with third-generation AirPods.
I’ve wondered for years why streaming music services have stranded us with less than CD/Lossless Audio quality music streaming. It’s something that only makes sense in order to protect sales in other music formats, or to ensure those of us with poor ISPs can still listen to the music, too.
What’s changed is the industry.
Amazon introduced Amazon Music HD at $14.99/m in 2019 and Spotify has confirmed its intention to offer HD music at some point. Apple’s move to offer a competing service at a lower price point (that also pays the artists more) should make Apple Music more popular, and also suggests where the company has been focusing its attention on the next-gen AirPods.
Which is what they sound like
We’ve been told in previous episodes of the eternal Apple rumor mill to expect ‘AirPod Pro’-like features in the next iteration of the 2019 AirPod range. What might this mean? I don’t know for sure, but here’s some speculation I can live with, and which would benefit from and offer benefit too Apple’s speculated upon high res music service:
- A new headphone chip. Apple will need something that delivers high-res audio over Bluetooth but doesn’t impact battery life.
- A wider dynamic range. What’s the point of high-res music services if the headphones can’t support them? While loads of people using off the shelf headphones may not have recognized this, a good range is essential to music playback. Where current AirPods emphasize bass response to make up for the lack of seal when in the ear, AirPods Pro can put their focus into higher notes above 1,100Hz.
- A seal: It makes sense to expect the next-gen AirPods to offer a better sealed fit to your ears, but it’s unlikely Apple will give them noise cancellation etc. Those features will stick with Pro.
- Other stuff: Lots of speculation, but it makes sense to expect additional sensors, particularly around heart rate. Adding these makes total sense given the company’s push behind Fitness+ and its Activity app.
When will we see these things? No one really knows, but the latest report claims we can expect them “within weeks”, which seems interesting and potentially true, given recent market speculation Apple has reduced its manufacturing orders for the product. As you’d expect when you have new products in the pipeline and a huge international event coming in just a few weeks time.