Concept render imagines iPod Max Hi-Res audio solution for AirPods Max
Apple Music’s new lossless audio tier recently launched to much fanfare offering CD-quality audio to listeners at no additional cost. Also included in the upgrade is support for spatial audio and Dolby Atmos mixes which is an added bonus. Not so welcome, however, is that none of Apple’s AirPods support the new lossless tier over Bluetooth while even the AirPods Max doesn’t fully support lossless audio over the included Lightning connector cable.
While Apple has subsequently announced that lossless audio will be supported on its HomePods via a future software update (likely via the AirPlay protocol), a third-party high-end DAC is required for full lossless audio. AirPods Max will also support full lossless over a similar connection as the headphones themselves are more than capable of reproducing lossless quality audio. To take advantage of this, the folks at 9to5Mac have created an iPod Max, resurrecting the iPod Classic and giving it a modern twist.
It would feature a 3-inch Retina display, an Apple Watch S6 SoC with W3 chip, AirPlay 3 and Bluetooth and up to 512 GB of storage. It would also include a 3.5 mm audio jack for a lossless but wired connection. To work via lossless over a wireless connection, 9to5Mac imagines a second-generation AirPods Max with support for lossless audio over AirPlay 3 using a proprietary Apple codec. The only problem with this approach, from our perspective, is that AirPlay uses far more power than Bluetooth. A custom Bluetooth replacement would be a better bet.