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  • Apple Reportedly Developing a New Hi-Res Audio Format, Rumored for Release in 2016


    Apple is looking to develop a new Hi-Res Audio format featuring an expanded 96 kHz, 24-bit sampling rate for its Apple Music subscribers, leveraging the higher fidelity audio output capabilities of its Lightning ports. According to the Japanese site, Macotakara, Apple Music is planning to launch its new Hi-Res music streaming, with higher audio quality, sometime next year. The site referenced “several insiders familiar with Apple” who were exhibiting products at the Portable Audio Festival.

    For those of you who weren’t aware, last year Apple announced its new Lightning connector audio specification which was adopted in the emergence of Lightning-equipped headphones from Philips, JBL and others. There are rumors that Apple’s next iPhone may potentially drop its mini-jack audio plug to use the thinner Lightning port as an audio output instead. Doing so would remove the need for a deep, physical plug that takes up space and makes the device harder to protect against water damage. Furthermore, it would also differentiate iPhones with high quality playback.

    As it stands, the physical, analog headphone jack is limited to delivering roughly CD-quality sound. Using digital signals via a Lightning port, headphone manufacturers can use higher quality 24-bit DAC (digital analog conversion), paired with high end, low noise amplification to deliver an experience closer to the full quality of studio recording.

    With the growing popularity of Apple Music coupled with its Beats hardware and its control over the Lightning Connector specification, the Cupertino California company is in a position to popularize the Hi-Res Audio across larger audiences than ever before. This can be used as a way to sell iPhones, accessories and subscription access to music labels’ content mastered in studio quality sound. The company has seemingly been working its way towards this with an increased focus on Lightning, making it the connector for charging its Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, Magic TrackPad 2, iPad Pro Pencil and Apple TV Siri Remote, in addition to the Lightning connector being the primary port on the iPhone and the iPad.

    We’ll have to wait and see how the plans work out.

    Source: Macotakara
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Reportedly Developing a New Hi-Res Audio Format, Rumored for Release in 2016 started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. bbrks's Avatar
      bbrks -
      Walking down the road and listening to the high res audio.....now that would be a miracle , the only question is, how much would one have to spent for headphones able to properly reproduce high res audio.
    1. Perceptum's Avatar
      Perceptum -
      Quote Originally Posted by bbrks View Post
      Walking down the road and listening to the high res audio.....now that would be a miracle , the only question is, how much would one have to spent for headphones able to properly reproduce high res audio.
      $800???
      http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-news...ine-store.html
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      You're being duped. This is all snake oil:

      https://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

      https://www.yahoo.com/tech/it-was-on...496883039.html

      In itself, shifting the DAC from the phone to the headphones will do absolutely nothing to improve audio quality. The only reason for eliminating the 3.5 mm jack (if it happens) will be to persuade iPhone users to buy a new pair of Apple-branded lightning-equipped headphones, or a $35 adapter which you'll have to carry with you everywhere (otherwise none of your existing headphones will work with your iPhone 7).

      For those that think Apple wouldn't really stoop so low as to try and push empty, hyped garbage on the masses just for the $$$$s, remember that Apple acquired Beats...
    1. bbrks's Avatar
      bbrks -
      Technically, iPhone could send a high res audio to the headphones, but honestly, I don't believe it will ever happen....
    1. Selfmadexpert's Avatar
      Selfmadexpert -
      Will they make the high Res audio able to send to headphones using Bluetooth?
    1. bbrks's Avatar
      bbrks -
      Way to soon for bluetuth and high res audio....as far as I know, the most they figured it out so far is FLAC....so 44 khz, 16 bit.
    1. kelkel5313's Avatar
      kelkel5313 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Selfmadexpert View Post
      Will they make the high Res audio able to send to headphones using Bluetooth?
      I believe that Bluetooth will get better quality compare to analog port. As long as the Bluetooth headphone are built to handle the new format.
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      Folks, you need to get educated about this stuff or you're going to get seriously ripped off.

      1) Hi-res audio (anything greater than red-book CD, i.e., 16-bit dithered/44.1 kHz sampling rate) sounds absolutely NO different to the human ear. This is why:

      https://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html


      2) Eliminating the 3.5 mm audio jack and buying lightning-enabled headphones will also do absolutely NOTHING to improve audio quality. All this does is shift the digital to analogue conversion into the cable or into the headphones themselves. The one and only purpose of this is for Apple to be able to sell you yet another product.
      3) All current incarnations of Bluetooth (including aptx) are lossy, which means they degrade the audio signal. Bluetooth headphones have to be regularly charged and never sound as good as a quality pair of wired headphones.

      If you really want to improve your audio quality, the most effective (and also most cost-effective) option is to buy yourself a good pair of wired headphones with a 3.5 mm plug. (The ATH-M50x is a good start, or check out headfi.org for LOTS more options!) BTW, don't try looking in the Apple Store for a good pair of headphones. This is sad for me to admit as an Apple fanboy, but in terms of headphones, Apple only sells over-priced garbage.

      P.S. Apple has never supported FLAC and it's extremely unlikely that they ever will. However, Apple does have its own lossless format (ALAC) and it's conceivable Apple might one day offer downloads and streaming in ALAC format. That's one thing that would make sense.
    1. bbrks's Avatar
      bbrks -
      Agree almost 100 % with your post....only point 1. doesn't count, sorry....... This is not the place to discuss this topic, but all I can tell you is, I can clearly hear the difference in sound quality between 44/16 and 24/192, of course on a serious HIFI setup. I was reading many similar articles in the past, as the one you have provided, but sorry, I only believe my ears.
      I only have serious doubts, if the technology will ever be able to figure it out, how to implement high res audio on the phone....Frankly, I don't think so.
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      The only way you can possibly hear any differences between 16/44 and 24/192 is if they come from a different master. That's a possibility. From the same master, it's only placebo.
    1. bbrks's Avatar
      bbrks -
      Fair enough ...after all, it's all about production...
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      BTW, for those that doubt (or don't understand) Monty's explanations in the link above, you folks can (and should) test this out for yourselves at home.

      Find a good-quality 24/192 recording. Down-sample the file to 44.1 kHz and convert to 16 bit. (I like Audiofile Engineering’s Sample Manager with MBIT+ dithering, but pretty much any shaped dither would do.) Finally, output this into something lossless, like FLAC format. Then load both files into foobar's ABX plug-in and test yourself. How many times can you tell the "hi-res" version from the 16/44 version? You'll find that over a large enough number of tries you'll end up with the exact same statistics as everybody else on the planet: 50/50. In other words, to the human ear, both files are completely indistinguishable. (N.B. All the above software can be downloaded for free.)

      Hi-res audio does nothing to address the main problem of poor quality, over-compressed recordings. It exists only to extract money from the pockets of the gullible and the ignorant. I would be incredibly disappointed in Apple if they followed this path. I do, however, hope that Apple one day offers us ALAC downloads. It's crazy that at the end of 2015, we still have to buy a physical CD and rip it in order to get lossless music.
    1. bbrks's Avatar
      bbrks -
      Well, I am an old fashioned guy, I only listen the music from vinyl or CD....on the phone never, that would be to much for my sick audiophile ears
    1. rolandgabor's Avatar
      rolandgabor -
      Quote Originally Posted by bbrks View Post
      Agree almost 100 % with your post....only point 1. doesn't count, sorry....... This is not the place to discuss this topic, but all I can tell you is, I can clearly hear the difference in sound quality between 44/16 and 24/192, of course on a serious HIFI setup. I was reading many similar articles in the past, as the one you have provided, but sorry, I only believe my ears.
      I only have serious doubts, if the technology will ever be able to figure it out, how to implement high res audio on the phone....Frankly, I don't think so.
      I think his post was related to the original article that mentioned the audio is being developed for the apple lightning port. Obviously your mention of the sound quality for high quality audio set up is absolutely correct but does not apply to the article. If I understand it correctly.