Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Essential's second smartphone module adds a headphone jack

Essential is one of the many smartphone makers that has eschewed the headphone jack, but what's this?

Once users download the latest Essential Phone Android Oreo build, OPM1.18014.234, which also includes Android's June security patch and Bluetooth stability fixes, they'll need a source of MQA-encoded tracks to listen to high-quality tracks. According to Essential, this particular accessory will be the first to feature a high-resolution ESS Sabre DAC with hardware MQA rendering.

But even as the company's fate hangs in the balance, a brand-new mod is officially scheduled for a commercial release "later this summer", which feels like a pretty good sign for an imminent Essential Phone 2 announcement as well.

Earlier today, the startup announced its new Audio Adapter HD, a petite device that attaches to the Essential PH-1 and offers a-you guessed it right-3.5mm headphone jack.

If you're not aware of MQA, it's a new way of unpacking songs that gives you a lossless audio experience without using as much data.

Lastly, Essential's rounding these audio upgrades out by giving new and existing owners of the Essential Phone three free months of TIDAL.

Along with the module, Essential also announced a partnership with MQA and Tidal, along with a new PH-1 bundle. The earbuds work over USB Type-C, feature 9.5mm drivers, and typically sell for $99.

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