Despite canning development for a second-generation smartphone, Essential has announced a second module for the PH-1 called the Audio Adapter HD which brings back the audio jack. Yes, the same audio jack that the company chose to omit from the Essential Phone. Go figure.
Besides bringing back the audio jack, the module adds full MQA rendering and ‘an audiophile-grade amp’ to power high-impedance headphones. If you aren’t familiar with the MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) term, Essential explains it here:
“MQA is a new way of unpacking songs that gives a lossless audio experience in a smaller size so you can experience the sound of the original recording. And all without sacrificing your device’s storage or cellular data.”
The Essential Phone will receive a software update adds MQA certification to the phone, allowing it to handle lossless music files. As a bonus, both new and existing Essential Phone owners are getting three months subscription to the TIDAL music service, where you can listen to MQA tracks free of charge. Purchase of the Audio Adapter HD module isn’t tied into the offer either.
For the moment, there’s no word on pricing although Essential says it will be available this summer. If you own an Essential Phone, does the Audio Adapter HD module with its ‘audiophile-grade amp’ and 3.5mm audio jack appeal to you?