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HomePod 15.1 update has added Lossless and Dolby Atmos to the original HomePod

HomePod 15.1 update has added Lossless and Dolby Atmos to the original HomePod
(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

It's been a long time coming, but Apple's HomePod smart speaker finally supports Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and lossless playback via Apple Music

After a couple of months of beta testing, Apple has released its hotly-anticipated iOS 15.1 software update. The firmware brings the original HomePod in line with other Spatial Audio-capable devices such as the new AirPods 3 wireless earbuds.

But what of the HomePod Mini? Sadly, it looks like Apple's smaller smart speaker has missed out on all the benefits of iOS 15.1. It plays songs in lossless, but unlike the larger-sized (and now discontinued) HomePod, doesn't support Spatial Audio.

If you own a HomePod and want to fire up the new features, open the Home app, click the Home icon located in the top left corner, select Home Settings and then go to your profile. Under Media, click on Apple Music and toggle on lossless audio and Dolby Atmos. 

Apple says the new HomePod software should be installed automatically. If that doesn't happen, you can always manually update your HomePod using the Home app. Here's Apple's very instructive support page on that topic. 

If you own a HomePod Mini, all is not lost. You can play Spatial Audio if you connect your device to an Apple TV. You can even connect a pair of HomePod Minis to the Apple TV 4K and still stream Spatial Audio tracks, according to the folks at 9to5Mac.

Back in May, when Apple Music announced lossless and Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos, it promised the HomePod and HomePod Mini would gain support at a later time. Perhaps Apple will add Spatial Audio to the Mini when the new orange, red and blue editions launch in November? 

MORE:

What is Apple Spatial Audio? And how do you get it?

Apple Music lossless demystified

Our handy guide to which devices will and won't play lossless

Tom has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Men's Health, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile tech, electric cars and video streaming.