You can bet that Essential in its current form is not what Andy Rubin and his team initially had in mind. The company happily trotted out its Essential Phone only to see the device tank on the market and sell fewer than 90,000 units in all of 2017. The poor sales of the device have reportedly led Essential to stop development on its second-generation smartphone and to consider selling its assets. The uncertainty in what will happen to the company hasn’t prevented Essential from following up with one of the more anticipated accessories for its smartphone.
Essential has now confirmed the coming of the second of its attachment accessories for the smartphone and this one is a wired headphone adapter called the Audio Adapter HD. It has an integrated amplifier and the ability to play the MQA streaming format. MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated and is a hi-res streaming format that audiophiles love. The Essential Phone is now MQA-certified thanks to a software update that landed today.
Crank up your audio experience with the Audio Adapter HD, dropping this summer. It simply clicks to your Essential Phone to deliver full MQA rendering and an audiophile-grade amp that powers high impedance headphones. Oh yeah, and it brings back the 3.5mm audio jack. pic.twitter.com/G045ZYf4Sh— Essential (@essential) June 7, 2018
The 3.5mm headphone port means that audio fans can use their favorite headphones. If you like the idea of a streaming format that lets you hear all the nuances of your favorite tracks, you might also be interested in the tie-up between Essential and TIDAL. The partnership gets new and current Essential Phone customers a 3-month trial to TIDAL HiFi. That streaming service promises "thousands" of MQA tracks to enjoy.
An exact date for the launch of the Audio Adapter HD accessory hasn't been announced at this time, but reports indicate it will arrive at some point this summer. Essential is also being mum on the pricing for the accessory.