The boss of Apple Music, Eddy Cue, confirmed in an interview with Billboard he “can’t tell” the difference between lossless and compressed audio when performing blind tests with the Apple Music team.
The boss went on to say:
“The reality of lossless is: if you take 100 people and you take a stereo song in lossless and you take a song that’s been in Apple Music that’s compressed, I don’t know if it’s 99 or 98 can’t tell the difference.”
Apple’s audio hardware, such as AirPods and AirPodsMax use the standard AAC codec over Bluetooth. The codec is lossy – lossy is a method to provide higher degrees of digital compression, with the files becoming considerably smaller – even when wired, you don’t get truly lossless audio.
The timing of the admission from Eddy Cue is unusual, to say the least, after a high profile launch. The Apple Music boss went on to say:
“The problem with lossless is you can tell somebody, ‘Oh, you’re listening to a lossless [song],’ and they tell you, ‘Oh, wow. That sounds incredible.’ They’re just saying it because you told them it’s lossless and it sounds like the right thing to say, but you just can’t tell.”
The boss predicts Spatial Audio is the future for audio and was glowing about Spatial Audio:
“It’s the way I want to listen to music in my car. It’s going to be the way I listen to music immediately with my AirPods. It’s going to be the way I listen to music in my house.”
Watch here how to hear spatial audio and lossless audio in Apple Music.