How to stream music at the highest quality while using mobile data in iOS 9

You don’t have to be an audiophile or a music snob to appreciate good music played at the best quality possible. While no digital file will be as crisp as your grandparent’s phonograph, you can still get some great sound when streaming music. Apple Music provides the option to play the highest quality music available in iOS 9, even when using cellular data.

How to stream music at the highest quality while using cellular data on iOS 9

Since higher quality music are usually larger files, this causes more cellular data to be used. This is very similar to watching a video at 360p versus 1080p. One will undoubtedly look better, but the smaller video will load much faster and consume last cellular data in doing so.

Thus, High Quality on Cellular is disabled by default. Nevertheless, for those less concerned with a slight uptick in data consumption and more concerned with the quality of their music, iOS 9 provides a super simple way to assure that highest quality versions are being played whether you are on wireless or cellular data.

Step 1.

Go to Settings -> Music

Music - Settings

Step 2.

Enable High Quality on Cellular

High Quality - Apple Music

Take Note:

Pay attention to the text underneath the option. No one like to get surprised by higher than expected phone bills.

Note - High Quality Stream

It is speculated that Apple Music currently streams at a maximum bitrate of 256kbps (AAC), but company numbers have not been released. So, it would safe to assume that Music listeners streaming via mobile data would receive lower bitrate (lower quality) music. However, with the new option to maintain higher quality regardless of connection, this should no longer be the case.

It’s hard to argue that many users would even be able to tell the difference between songs of “higher quality” or regular, but Apple is giving the option nonetheless.

How important is streaming music quality for you? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

Don’t forget to check out our iOS 9 page for our comprehensive coverage of all the new and hidden iOS 9 features.