Essential just teased an upcoming accessory for its PH-1 Android smartphone called the Audio Adapter HD, saying the device will become available for purchase this summer. Although pricing details remain unknown, the phone maker disclosed that the accessory boasts full MQA rendering capabilities and relies on an "audiophile-grade" amplifier capable of powering high-impedance headphones. In addition, the Audio Adapter HD includes a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and clips to the back of the Essential PH-1, much like the ongoing 360 Camera accessory does, effectively making it the second mod for the PH-1 to attach magnetically to the device using the pin connectors on the back panel.
The Essential PH-1 lacks a standard 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and only has a single USB Type-C connector. For many gadget enthusiasts, this particular design choice rendered the "Essential" moniker a misnomer, but nevertheless, the OEM did provide a relatively cheap solution in the form of a $15 audio adapter designed to hook into the USB Type-C connector at one end and provide a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack at the opposite end. Fortunately for users who might not want to rely on this type of dongle, the Audio Adapter HD will also come with its own 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, all the while providing better audio quality compared to the smartphone's on-board hardware. Judging by the render shared by the OEM, the Essential Audio Adapter HD seems to be almost as thin as the PH-1 smartphone itself, though the 3.5-millimeter headphone "hump" adds a bit of extra girth. Nevertheless, the unit is still fairly small compared to dedicated amplifiers and since it clicks securely to the back of the phone, it could actually be a more comfortable solution for smartphone users who already carry external amps alongside their handsets. But evidently, only time will tell how the unit will fare against other dedicated solutions in terms of audio prowess.
Pricing details remain unknown and this will also be an important factor to consider. For added context, Essential's ongoing accessories range in price from $15 to $299, while the 360 Camera mod that clips to the back of the Essential PH-1 costs $199 at present. The Audio Adapter HD should be launched this summer, and without any additional information, this can mean sometime in the next couple of weeks or months.