A new rumor suggests Apple Music could announce a HiFi tier in the coming weeks as well as the launch of the third-generation AirPods alongside it. The rumor contradicts other reports that suggest AirPods 3 aren’t coming until the fall.

According to the music site Hits Daily Double, Apple will announce a new high-fidelity audio streaming tier in the coming weeks at the same $9.99-per-user price point, as label sources tell the site.

“The announcement is expected to coincide with the launch of the third-generation AirPods. Whether these will be compatible with the new, improved audio offering is unknown.

This move would be a counterattack against Spotify, which announced in February a new HiFi subscription coming later this year.

As for now, Apple Music offers its ‘Digital Masters’ catalog, which substitutes ‘Mastered for iTunes’. In 2019, Apple said “about 75% of of the Top 100 in the U.S. and 71% of the Top 100 globally were created under the program.” With Digital Masters, artists can offer higher-quality tunes. Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish, and Sigrid, for example, offer their catalog with this label.

Apple says the second-generation AirPods can already can take advantage of the ‘Digital Masters’ catalog.

About the third-generation AirPods, Apple analyst Ming-Chi-Kuo said these won’t launch until Q3. With WWDC 2021 approaching in June, this could be an opportunity for the company to announce its new wireless earbuds.

Apple Music with Hi-FI could be announced with iOS 14.6, which is already on beta 2. There is not yet any evidence to suggest this feature, though.

For now, we’ll have to wait and see if any of this turns out to be true. If Apple launches a HiFi tier with the same price, this could be a deal-breaker while competing with other music streaming services.

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