Apple released today HomePod 15.1 Software with the long-awaited Lossless and Dolby Atmos support. While both the HomePod and HomePod mini support Lossless, if you want to listen to Spatial Audio with the HomePod mini, there’s a hidden workaround…

In June, when Apple first released Lossless and Dolby Atmos support, it said that in 2021, both HomePod and HomePod mini would offer these new capabilities. After the WWDC21 keynote, the company started testing HomePod 15 Software, and 9to5Mac reported a couple of times that Apple was readying this feature.

When iOS 15 and all the other systems were released, the company pushed back Lossless and Dolby Atmos support for its smart speakers because the features weren’t ready. Then, with HomePod version 15.1 Software beta, Apple started testing these features again and now it’s finally releasing them. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as it appears.

For example, the original HomePod can play songs in Lossless and with Spatial Audio enabled even if you only have one speaker. HomePod mini can play songs in Lossless, but it doesn’t support Spatial Audio.

At 9to5Mac, we conducted a few tests trying to stream in Dolby Atmos with a pair of HomePod mini speakers, but Apple Music didn’t show the toggle of “Dolby Atmos,” only “Lossless.” Not only that but Apple’s release notes also make clear that the HomePod mini can’t play Spatial Audio, except if you connect them to the Apple TV…

So, the tweak is: if you connect a pair of HomePod mini to the Apple TV 4K, you’re able to stream Spatial Audio songs – and they do sound as they’re using this feature.

Although it’s unclear whether this is a bug or Apple intended it this way, the only way to stream Spatial Audio with a HomePod mini is with a pair connected to your Apple TV. It’s also important to note that with HomePod 15 Software and tvOS 15, the company released HomePod mini support as Apple TV speakers.

To check if these features are enabled in your device running iOS 15.1 and HomePod 15.1, follow these steps:

  • Open the Home app
  • Click in the Home icon on the top left corner
  • Choose “Home Settings” then click on your profile
  • In “Media,” click on the “Apple Music” tab
  • Toggle on “Lossless Audio” and “Dolby Atmos”

How do you like Lossless and Spatial Audio in your HomePod? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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About the Author

José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at tv globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

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