Essential finally launched the Audio Adapter HD mod for the PH-1 smartphone in the U.S. and Canada, where the product can be acquired at $149. At least in theory, because as of this writing, the accessory is already out of stock on the manufacturer's website and no additional information regarding a potential inventory replenish has been disclosed. In a way, this only goes to show that Essential PH-1 owners craved for a way to connect their headphones to the smartphone using a standard 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, or at the very least, they have been excited by the accessory’s audio capabilities. The gadget includes a high-resolution ESS Sabre DAC compatible with the MQA audio format at up to 32-bit, 384kHz rendering, and all of the internal components have been wrapped in a Titanium case.
The Essential PH-1 is the first smartphone created by Andy Rubin’s startup, and was released more than a year ago in the summer of 2017 lacking a standard 3.5-millimeter headphone jack in favor of a relatively thin profile and a USB Type-C connector, even though in theory, the two type of connectors should be able to coexist on a single device. Last June Essential teased the Audio Adapter HD as the second mod for the Essential PH-1 capable of snapping magnetically onto the back of the smartphone via the pogo connectors, and while exact pricing and launch details were missing at that time, the company claimed that the accessory should be made available by the end of the summer. Obviously, the Audio Adapter HD arrived later than anticipated, and now, shortly after its market debut, the accessory is out of stock. This likely indicates that the accessory may have been manufactured in fairly low quantities compared to the number of Essential PH-1 units sold over the past year, and the phone maker may have underestimated its customers’ desire for a viable method to connecting their wired headphones with the mobile phone.
The Essential PH-1 has been discontinued months ago and the Stellar Gray variant has been sold out since August, but the other two models featuring a Black Moon and Pure White finish are still available for purchase unlocked for the price of $499, including the 360 Camera and Earphones HD for free. As of this writing, the Audio Adapter HD doesn’t seem to be available at a discounted price when paired with a new phone purchase, and this may or may not become an option later down the line, depending primarily on whether Essential intends to manufacturer additional units.