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Hi-res Audio

Apple offers lossless audio free to subscribers

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Competition for our ears has stepped up to another level with Apple announcing it will offer spatial audio through Dolby Atmos and high quality lossless music from next month.

The great news for current Apple Music subscribers? You’ll get it for free.

Apple Music’s library of more than 75 million songs will be available in Lossless Audio.

All you have to do to start listening is go to Settings > Music > Audio Quality.

From there – choose different resolutions for different connections such as mobile, Wi-Fi, or for download.

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Make it stand out

Hi-Res Lossless 24 bit at 192 kHz audio is serious stuff and requires external equipment, such as a USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC).

I’ve tested Hi-res players with insanely expensive open back headphones and it’s mind blowing.

You’ll hear stuff in songs you didn’t know was there.

It’s like hearing your favourite music for the first time all over again.

Apple Music’s Lossless tier starts at CD quality (16 bit at 44.1 kHz) up to 24 bit at 48 kHz and is playable natively on Apple devices.

Apple Music also offers Hi-Resolution Lossless all the way up to 24 bit at 192 kHz.

Many services are offering, or about to offer, Hi-res Audio in a streaming format.

Qobuz, a popular French music streaming and download service just launched in Australia.

Although audiophiles have been downloading Hi-res Music for some time – streaming of these large files has been limited.

It can be difficult to understand the technical aspects of Hi-res audio.

I’ll be going into depth on Hi-res Audio on Sky News this Sunday with a follow up deep-dive on Image Matrix Tech.

A quick note on the spatial audio that Apple is offering.

Many may not even notice the improved audio when active but there’s no doubt the spatial experience will have an impact – even on AirPods.

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Audio

The noise cancelling champ is back with new-look Sony WH-1000XM5

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When it comes to noise cancelling headphones – Sony’s 1000X series is King. I’ve got four of them and each one was a sensation at launch. Now the WH-1000XM5 version is coming our way, mid-June in Australia actually, for $549.95 AUD.

The WH-1000XM4s are already pretty amazing so it will be an interesting hands on review.

The WH-1000XM5s have a different look to the previous models but under the hood there’s more power to the shut the world out and improve audio reproduction. The M5’s use two processors controlling eight microphones that reduce noise especially in the mid-high frequency range. The Auto NC Optimiser automatically optimises noise cancellation, depending on the environment. Think of cafe, train or walking the city streets.

The 30mm driver unit with a light and rigid dome uses carbon fibre composite material that improves high frequency sensitivity for more natural sound quality. LDAC means High-Resolution Audio with and without the wires.

When it comes to phone calls, Sony’s precise Voice Pickup technology uses four beamforming microphones and an AI based noise reduction structure to isolate your voice. A new wind noise reduction structure minimises wind noise during calls.

Sony’s tweaked the look of the WH-1000XM5s and stepless slider. The new synthetic soft fit leather material should take pressure off your ears. 

The WH-1000XM5 unit integrates Quick Access so you can configure the headphones to resume Spotify playback with two or three taps without using your smartphone.

As expected the headphones can be paired with two devices at the same time. When you receive a call, your headphones know which device it’s coming from and instantly connect you to the right one. You can also quickly switch between devices with just the touch of a button.

The WH-1000XM5s support Google’s new Fast Pair feature, allowing you to effortlessly pair with your AndroidTM devices. You can also locate where you last left your headphones. Swift Pair makes it quick and easy to pair your headphones to your Windows 11 or Windows 10 laptop, desktop PC or tablet.

Sony says the WH-1000XM5 comes with 30 hours of battery life. If you need a quick top up, you’ll get 3 hours of listening from just 3 minutes using USB Power Delivery (PD).

There’s also a handy collapsible carrying case that can be made thinner for storage.

No Plastic!

Always happy to see this when a new product comes out. There’s no plastic in the WH-1000XM5 packaging. The product box is produced using recycled and sustainable materials developed specially for Sony. The WH-1000XM5s also use recycled plastic materials from car parts.

 

SPECS

Battery Life: NC on – Up to 30H

NC off – Up to 40H 

Processor: HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 x Integrated Processor V1 

Driver Unit: 30mm 

Noise Cancellation: Yes, Industry-Leading Noise Cancellation

Ambient Sound: Yes, Ambient Sound Control, Quick Attention, Speak-to-Chat 

Bluetooth: Version 5.2 

Sound Engine: DSEE Extreme 

Supported Codec: SBC, AAC, LDAC 

Supplied Accessories: Carrying case, Headphone cable, USB Type-C™ Cable

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AI

Image Matrix Tech on Sky News: Google I/O security privacy and medical – Apple Lossless Music – $130K LG Rollable TV is here

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In Sunday’s segment on Sky News Australia (Weekend Edition with Jaynie Seal) we went through Google’s new privacy and security updates in Android 12.

Google’s AI will detect your skin condition from uploaded photos and questions.

Apple Music goes lossless, spatial and Hi-res. What does it mean? And how do you listen to it?

Plus … LG’s rollable OLED TV is coming to Australia at last.

The price tag .. $130 000.

LG’s new range looks incredible with a bump in OLED brightness.

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