Does Apple Music Support USB DAC Bypass on Android?

For iPhone and iPad users, getting bit-perfect lossless and high-resolution audio output is straightforward. However, for Android users, the situation is more complicated due to limitations in the Android audio stack.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine if and how Android users can get bit-perfect lossless and Hi-Res Lossless output from Apple Music using external USB DACs (digital-to-analog converters).

The Problem: Android Audio Stack Limitations

The key issue lies in the Android audio stack. By default, the Android system resamples audio to 48kHz sampling rate. This prevents bit-perfect output of high resolution audio like 96kHz files from Apple Music Lossless.

Android apps have limited control over audio output. To achieve bit-perfect output, an app needs to bypass the Android audio stack and output audio directly to the USB DAC. Very few Android apps currently support this audio bypass feature.

Symptoms of Android Audio Resampling

How can you tell if the Android audio stack is restricting Apple Music Lossless output? Here are some telltale signs:

  • Your external USB DAC supports 96kHz output, but only shows 48kHz when playing 96kHz tracks from Apple Music.
  • The sample rate/bit depth indicator in your USB DAC stays at 48kHz even when switching between high resolution and CD-quality tracks.
  • There is no change in the DAC display or sound quality between Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless tracks.

These likely indicate the audio is being resampled to 48kHz by Android before reaching your USB DAC.

Solutions for Bit-Perfect Audio Output

Fortunately, some solutions exist to achieve bit-perfect lossless and high-resolution output from Apple Music on Android devices. Here are some options:

Use a Specialty App Like UAPP

USB Audio Player Pro (UAPP) is a popular Android app that supports bit-perfect audio output by bypassing the Android audio stack. With UAPP, you can get bit-perfect lossless and high-resolution output from Apple Music using your external USB DAC.

UAPP supports all major music services including Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify and Apple Music. Just link your Apple Music account in UAPP, and you can stream music in original quality.

The main downside is that you lose the Apple Music app experience and integration. But if audio quality is your top priority, UAPP is a proven solution.

Use Supported Android Devices

Some Android manufacturers like Samsung and Sony have custom implementations that allow bypassing sampling rate conversion and deliver bit-perfect high resolution output.

For example, recent Galaxy S and Note series phones can output 24-bit/96kHz lossless audio to external USB DACs when using Apple Music.

So if you have a Samsung, Sony or LG phone with a high-end Quad DAC, check if it supports bit-perfect audio pass-through before trying other options.

Use a Portable DAP as a USB DAC

Another option is using a portable high resolution music player or DAP (Digital Audio Player) like the Fiio M11 Pro as an external USB DAC for your Android phone.

DAPs like the Fiio M11 Pro have powerful onboard DACs and custom Android implementations that bypass sampling rate conversion. Connect it to your Android phone via USB-C, and the DAP can decode Apple Music audio in original quality.

You get excellent audio quality and the best output from Apple Music Lossless. The downside is having to carry an additional device.

Use Lossless Audio Conversion Apps

Some apps like AudFree Tidal to Apple Music Converter allow converting Tidal HiFi lossless tracks to Apple Lossless ALAC format. You can then play the DRM-free ALAC files in original quality using apps like UAPP.

While not ideal, this lets you build a library of high-resolution ALAC files from Tidal to use with UAPP for bit-perfect playback.

Getting Bit-Perfect Audio from Apple Music on Android

In summary, getting bit-perfect high-resolution lossless output from Apple Music on Android requires:

  • An app or device capable of USB audio bypass of Android’s sampling rate limits
  • A high-quality external USB DAC that supports above 48kHz audio
  • Tweaked device settings to enable passthrough audio output

UAPP is the most reliable software solution available currently. For hardware, look for devices specifically designed for high-resolution audio.

While Android’s audio limitations pose challenges, the good news is lossless audio playback is definitely possible with the right gear and apps.

We expect more Android apps and devices to add support for bit-perfect audio output in the future. But for now, UAPP remains the gold standard for bit-accurate Apple Music Lossless streaming on Android.


Does the Apple Music app support high resolution output on Android?

No, the native Apple Music app does not currently support USB audio bypass or bit-perfect output on Android. The audio is resampled to 48kHz by the Android stack.

What sample rate does Apple Music stream at on Android?

Apple Music will stream Lossless audio up to 24-bit/48kHz. Hi-Res Lossless up to 24-bit/192kHz is also available. However, Android system limitations typically restrict output to 16-bit/48kHz.

Can I get Hi-Res Lossless on Android with Apple Music?

Yes, you can get high resolution 24-bit/96kHz or 192kHz output using solutions like the UAPP app that bypass Android’s sampling rate conversion.

Do I need special headphones or earphones?

To benefit from Apple Music Lossless, you generally need wired headphones or earphones. The USB DAC and wired connection allow lossless digital audio transfer. Bluetooth headphones compress the audio, eliminating benefits of lossless quality.

What’s the easiest way to get lossless audio?

The easiest way is using a Samsung, LG or Sony premium smartphone with a high-end Quad DAC chipset. These may naturally support bit-perfect pass-through when using Apple Music.

Getting Help with Apple Music Lossless on Android

If you face any issues getting lossless output from Apple Music on your Android device, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Check your USB DAC manual and device OTG support for audio output.
  • Enable passthrough/exclusive mode in your Android USB settings if available.
  • Use a different cable between your DAC and phone.
  • Close other apps using audio to prevent conflicts.
  • Check the bit rate/sample rate reported in your player app for confirmation.
  • Try factory resetting your DAC and phone audio settings.

You can also reach out to the Apple Music or your DAC/accessory manufacturer’s customer support for assistance. The Apple and Android audio ecosystems are complex, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.

With some patience, you can get an enriched listening experience from Apple Music Lossless. It’s worth the effort to unlock the full audio quality for your favorite tunes library.

Choosing the Right USB DAC for Apple Music Lossless

To enjoy the full benefits of Apple Music Lossless, having the right USB DAC is key. Here are some things to consider when choosing a USB DAC for use with Apple Music on Android:

DAC Specs

  • Sample rate support – The DAC must support at least 96kHz output to handle Hi-Res Lossless.
  • Bit depth – 16-bit or 24-bit support is fine, Apple Music uses 16-bit audio.
  • DSD support – Not required as Apple Music is PCM not DSD.
  • Headphone amp – A built-in headphone amp allows direct headphone connectivity.


  • USB-C connector – Modern Android phones use USB-C ports so a USB-C DAC eliminates adapters.
  • OTG support – The DAC should support USB OTG connectivity standard for interfacing with smartphones.

OS and App Compatibility

  • Android compatibility – Choose a DAC designed and tested specifically for Android devices.
  • UAPP compatibility – If planning to use UAPP, check it supports your DAC model.
  • Native app support – Some DACs come with custom Android apps that enable bit-perfect output.


  • Size and weight – If portability matters, choose a smaller USB-stick design vs a larger module.
  • Battery power – Battery-powered portable DACs allow use with phones.
  • Case – A protective case prevents damage when transporting.


  • Entry-level – Sub-$100 USB DACs like Apple USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter.
  • Mid-range – $100 to $500 options like AudioQuest DragonFly series, Cobalt, JitterBug.
  • Audiophile – Premium $500+ models like Chord Mojo, iFi Micro iDSD Black Label.

Considering these factors will help choose a DAC that best fits your usage – whether portable, desktop or high-end listening.

Optimizing Your Audio Setup

Once you have a suitable USB DAC, here are some tips to optimize the setup for the best Apple Music Lossless experience:

Use a High-Quality USB Cable

The cable between your phone and DAC carries the digital audio signal, so use a good quality shielded USB cable. Avoid ultra long (>3m) cables that may affect sound.

Install Supporting Apps/Drivers

Install any companion apps or drivers provided for your USB DAC model. This helps integrate with your phone’s audio system.

Tweak Your Phone’s Audio Settings

Enable options like “USB audio routing”, “Increase volume” and toggle on exclusive/direct DAC access if available under phone sound settings.

Use an Audio Player App

As mentioned earlier, apps like UAPP allow properly bypassing Android audio limitations for bit-perfect output.

Get a Headphone Amp

Pairing your USB DAC with a portable headphone amp can help drive high-impedance headphones for better sound quality.

Use External Power

For portable battery-powered DACs, use an external battery pack to avoid draining your phone battery.

Keep Software Updated

Use the latest firmware for your USB DAC and keep your Android phone OS updated for best compatibility.

Implementing these tips will help extract the most performance from your USB DAC and Apple Music Lossless setup.

The bottom line

There are definite limitations in Android’s handling of digital audio that prevents getting bit-perfect output from Apple Music currently. But with the right gear and apps, you can experience high-quality lossless music on your Android phone.

We hope this guide has provided lots of helpful insights and solutions. The world of digital audio continues to evolve rapidly. With improvements in mobile OS audio subsystems, we can expect a more seamless listening experience in the future.

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