Rumored “Apple Music HiFi” could roll out on May 18th as a lossless streaming competitor to Tidal
Tipster Luke Miani recently claimed that Apple is slated to launch "Apple Music HiFi," alongside the third generation of AirPods, as early as May 18th. The HiFi Apple Music streaming tier would reportedly cost US$9.99 per month. If true, this would be less than half the cost of Tidal's $19.99 HiFi streaming option.
While Miani doesn't have a significant track record of leaks, his YouTube channel regularly covers Apple content. More importantly, the timeline lines up well with what we've heard previously about AirPods 3 production timeframes.
This is the first we're hearing about a potential Tidal competitor from Apple. However, Apple's own push for high-fidelity audio, with the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max lends credence to the idea that Cupertino could soon get into the lossless streaming market.
Currently, Apple Music streams music in the lossy AAC format at a maximum bitrate of 256 Kbps. Tidal, on the other hand, offers lossless FLAC and MQA audio at up to 2000 Kbps. Differences between standard AAC and lossless streaming are hard to spot with standard audio equipment. However, users with high-end headphones and IEMs, from the AirPods Max to the likes of the Audeze iSine 20, would benefit from a higher quality Apple Music streaming tier.