One of the highlight features of the Essential Phone are the magnetic connectors on the back of the phone that allow users to attach add-ons. To date, the only accessory that’s been available is a 360-degree camera, but soon that’ll change.
Essential has announced that it will launch an Audio Adapter HD accessory this summer. It includes a high-res ESS Sabre DAC with hardware Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) rendering and an audiophile-grade amp to support high-impedence headphones. The titanium clad add-on will also give the Essential Phone a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Audio Adapter HD looks like a nice add-on for Essential Phone owners that care about audio quality. There’s no word yet on how much this accessory will cost, but not only will it be nice to have a 3.5mm headphone jack that supports high-quality audio, but the Audio Adapter HD will also enable Essential Phone users to listen to music and charge their phone at the same time.To support this new accessory, Essential says that it’s adding MQA support to the Essential Phone. MQA is a new method of unpacking songs that offers lossless quality audio, but in a smaller file size than typical lossless applications.
Also of note is that Essential Phone owners can get a free three-month trial of Tidal HiFi. This service, which normally costs $19.99 per month, includes access to Tidal’s MQA song library as well as the on-demand streaming and HD music videos included with a regular Tidal subscription.
Finally, Essential says that it’s now bundling its Earphones|HD earbuds with every Essential Phone purchase. Normally priced at $99, these earbuds connect over USB-C and include a multi-function remote for answering calls and activating Google Assistant. They also offer USB Audio Class 2 support and use a 9.2mm High Resolution driver.