New Apple HomePod update finally brings lossless audio to the smart speaker

a close up of the apple homepod smart speaker against a blue background
(Image credit: pianodiaphragm / Shutterstock.com)
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You can finally get hi-res audio on your Apple HomePod or HomePod mini – as long as you're a member of the invite-only AppleSeed program, that is. 

According to 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), the latest beta version of the HomePod 15 software brings support for Apple's Lossless Audio to the smart speaker, a feature that is expected to come to the public soon.

The introduction of Lossless Audio hasn't been without issues, though. 9to5Mac says that the first beta version of the software came with hi-res audio support, but it didn't work, and was removed completely in the second version.

However, with the release of the third HomePod 15 beta, the option to listen in Lossless Audio with Apple Music is back.

According to Apple, Lossless Audio means that subscribers to the streaming platform will "be able to hear the exact same thing that artists created in the studio".

It starts at CD quality (16 bit / 44.1kHz), and goes up to 24 but / 48 kHz, – and, for audiophiles, there's Hi-Resolution Lossless, which goes all the way up to 24 bit / 192kHz and should give you lots more clarity and detail from your music.

Should I upgrade my HomePod now?

Unless you're part of the official AppleSeed program, we wouldn't recommend updating your HomePod now. 

While the software can be found via a quick Google search, a previous beta version caused a host of problems for users, with some finding that their wireless speaker overheated and powered off, while others reported issues with Siri being unable to pause music using voice commands.

In general, it's a good idea to avoid downloading software betas to your primary devices, just in case something goes wrong – though publics betas like iOS 15 are usually fine, and can give you an exciting glimpse of what's coming next to your device. 

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.