Apple Music, Hi-Res Files and Apple AirPod MAX Playback Bluetooth

I had a abnormal experience yesterday…(well ok maybe everyday, but that’s just me) There has been this discussion about what resolution Apple will be providing in their new Apple Music in and how would you listen to it…

Well I walk my dog every day for a little over 3 miles. I wear my Apple AirPod Max cans when I walk him.

But yesterday I was in my office with my office system playing a High Res album on Roon of course. It was playing Yello at 48kHz 24 bit…when all the sudden it started playing on my AirPod Max Cans…

WTH??? How am I getting Hi Res on my Apple cans? If it’s not 48kHz 24 bit…then what resolution am I listening to??? I have my Roon Core on my a M1 MAC Mini…which appears to have incredible Bluetooth.

I know you HQP folks don’t think PCM is hi res…well I do especially when it has been supposedly proved than even Golden ears cannot discern Hi Res from 16 Bit 44kHz anymore than half the time.

I tried to search what the Max Resolution is on current Bluetooth signals and could not find anything that made sense!

Now that I have exposed my ignorance on the topic of Bluetooth resolution playback…I hope there is someone who can answer the question…??

Hi Larry, This is confusing and I"m not sure what you are trying to say.

PCM can be Hi Res

HQPlayer upsamples to PCM and many people use for PCM only upsampling.

But, to your question: Take a Read of this article

And, this one.


While I appreciate your reply, it does not answer my question…I was specifically listening to an album, on Roon, from my M1 MAC Mini via Bluetooth, file at 48kHz 24 bit WIRELESSLY …yet listening via my AirPods Max cans…so what was I listening to? What was the resolution getting to my headphones???

This is my Mac playing a 48kHz/24-bit Qobuz file to the AirPods Max:

This is a 96/24 file:

The OS mixer resamples the stream to whatever the Max accept. Could very well be a 48/24 stream – resampled to AAC for BT transmission.

So Roon actually knows what BT device they are playing to? And Roon knows to resample it or the M1 is resampling? This seems so confusing. Apple is now supposedly going to release some super duper upgrade to all their devices that can make use of their supposed new Hi Res capability?

No – Roon just hands it off the stream to the system audio mixer of your Mac – and your Mac deals with the AirPods.

For now – Apple isn’t doing anything but stating that all AirPods are unable to play Lossless, let alone HighRes. There’s a few rumours floating around saying this may change – but we’ll see.

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Apple. Roon knows nothing about Bluetooth speakers. You are sending the audio to apple OS and it is processing the audio to send. According to the second article I linked, it only senda acc. So, it is converting your audio to acc which is like MP3. Resolution doesn’t really mean anything with mp3 or acc.

Thanks Dan…That’s what did not make sense… playing a file from Roon but I knew it could not be hi res let alone Redbook…The cans work great on Dog walks with the ACC I get from my iPhone…I was real surprised m when just getting back from a walk, the M1 Mini started playing on my phones and just surprised me. I know iTunes will not play anything other than ACC and their tiny on-board DAC is set up to only play that format. It will interesting to see what Apple releases with this update.