Apple Music and Audio System

This is not really a dCS orientated question but it could have ramifications. How does one play Apple Music through an audio system?

From what little information I have read one can use AirPlay. However I am advising a friend and his equipment has no Airplay facility. Neither has he Bluetooth. In any case even if he had Airplay this would be limited to 16/44.1 or 16/48 so the high resolution formats Apple now tout <24/192 could be received by his phone or tablet but how can he listen to this via a full sized audio system? Would it require a wired lightning to USB interface? Would the output from , say, an iPhone provide this resolution?

There doesn’t seem to be any API available to partner manufacturers so the Apple app seems to be he only option.

Am I right and/or do you have any suggestions (my suggestion is use Qobuz instead but my friend has equipment with HEOS streaming and this is not supported. Otherwise he is very much an Apple person hence his interest.).

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As AirPlay adaptors go, one option could be a second-hand dCS Network Bridge?

This doesn’t solve the problem that they would still need to use Apple’s Music app as Apple appear to have restricted the API to vendors such as Sonos :frowning:


Not sure about lightning but from an iPad via USB-C cable you get full resolution into a dCS. As long as the HEOS device is visible on the same network as the iPhone / iPad and HEOS configured, then it should be visible as AirPlay output device.


Pete, coincidentally, I did this for a friend not that long ago. Likewise not for a dCS system, but it would work for dCS as well.

The key is a “permanent” Apple iDevice acting as a network-to-USB streamer connected to the Audio system via USB for full high-resolution playback.

Here’s the recipe so to speak. It’s pretty straight forward but has some associated set-up cost;

  1. Get a dedicated iDevice - iPad or iPhone, age or model doesn’t really matter as long as it supports the Apple Music flawlessly
  2. Get an Apple certified 3-in-1 Lightning Adapter - Ethernet port for network access, a USB port for DAC connectivity, and USB port for power
  3. Connect this iDevice up permanently to the USB DAC, Ethernet Switch, and Power, and launch Apple Music on it
  4. Install iTunes Remote on a (separate) main control-point Apple device, and pair it to the dedicated Apple Music iDevice - this is for remotely controlling the dedicated Apple Music iDevice playback

From that point, for Apple Music as a source, just select the right input on the DAC, and using the iTunes Remote, select appropriate album/track for playback.


Thanks to everyone for your very useful advice. I will be seeing him later in the week and will put the solutions to him.

This is a really interesting project as he wants everything - streaming ( at least from services if not local storage), vinyl, CD, SACD, amplification, speakers and supports. He has a vast collection of LPs and silver discs resulting from nearly 50 years in the music business. Budget is limited by dCS forum standards though it may be thought of as large by civilians (20k gbp). Fortunately the vinyl kit ( Rega) already exists. I don’t think that dCS units will fit the brief unfortunately especially as he won’t be interested in used. He has first bought a Marantz 30n so that sorts the optical disc needs and ( from his viewpoint) streaming and DAC. No Qobuz hence his interest in Apple Music as an alternative. Tidal is not too interesting for various reasons.

I expect this will take a while to be resolved.

Pete, thanks for the additional Marantz 30n info. If you google SACD30nU_ENG_PDF_USER_GUIDE.pdf then on page 72 is some info for Apple Airplay.

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Thanks Andre. I now see that the 30n does support AirPlay 2. However the second part of my query was that AirPlay is limited to 16/44.1 or 48. Is that correct? BTW, although I am not convinced that any significant gains arise from extremely high PCM sampling rates, 24/96 is desirable and there is now extensive availability of titles.

Pete if you search ‘Apple’ in the manual there are references to higher resolutions but some may be related to downloaded files rather than streaming. I didn’t read in detail only skimmed.

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Thanks again. Yes, you are correct but the manual ( p.130 and p.135) only advises that it supports hi-res ALAC rather than anything to do with AirPlay 2.

What I have found about AirPlay 2 for audio us as I expected except bit depth can be supported to 24. Otherwise sample rate is still limited to max 48 KS/s. Further AirPlay converts lossless ALAC to lossy AAC.

I will try to dissuade my friend.

Any iOS device can output high res audio via lightning (with camera connector) for an iPhone or usb c direct on newer iPads. Connect directly into any usb dac. Works with the Apple Music app or Qobuz. Airplay is a different beast limited to wireless 16/44 or 48. I use my iPad and iPhone as Roon end points for my system in my studio


In my case, it is a Win 10 PC running Apple music lossless. I cannot control it remotely though.

In my experience wired connectivity is far better than AirPlaying.

One annoying thing with Apple is the fact that MacOS doesn’t not automatically switch sample rates with playing from the Music app. Must be done manually with the midi app. No issue for Roon, Audirvāna, Qobuz apps -they switch rates automatically. iOS does sample rate switching automatically.


Use iTunes Remote on an iPhone/iPad. It works just as well with Apple Music on MacOS as it does with iDevices. You will need to pair them.

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Try the Eversolo DMP A6 (or its Master Edition) for hi res streaming of Apple Music as it has its Android app for Apple Music. It can send up to 24bit/192k via SPDIF/USB out to external DAC and sounds better than Airplay or USB out of iPhone/iPad with camera kit.

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Thank you. I was not aware of this device. I will bear it in mind when I next discuss my friend’s needs later this week.

You are welcome.