Just like most flagships, the Essential PH-1 ditched the headphone jack in favor of a USB-C port, leaving users restricted to USB-C or Bluetooth headphones or dongles.
Now Essential is going to fix that with a new modular accessory it calls the Audio Adapter HD.
The Essential Phone Gets A Headphone Jack
Taking it at face value, the peripheral might not seem much, as a USB-C adapter can already add a 3.5 mm headphone jack to the mix. However, the Audio Adapter HD isn't just bringing back the port to the phone, but it's also upgrading the listening experience.
"It's one of the first to feature a high-resolution ESS Sabre DAC with hardware MQA rendering and an audiophile-grade amp that can drive demanding high-impedance headphones," Essential explains in a blog post.
The smartphone maker continues to say that it's compatible with "almost all types of 3.5 mm headphones." The best part is, there's no dongles in the picture, as it can latch onto the back of the smartphone via two magnetic pogo pins.
Essential also provided a sneak peek at the accessory on its website.
Why This Matters
One of the biggest issues with the lack of a headphone jack on a smartphone is that users can't listen to music and charge at the same time. That's evidenced by the uproar Apple caused when it removed the port starting from the iPhone 7.
On top of that, users couldn't keep on using traditional headphones without relying on an USB-C adapter, and it's probably safe to assume that people prefer having no dongles to deal with at all.
Thanks to the new accessory, Essential PH-1 owners can forget the dongle life. More than that, the improvement in audio quality is also a nice addition for audiophiles.
Aside from flagship specs, the smartphone stood out among the current brood because of its modular accessory system. It's similar to what Motorola did with the Moto Mods, including the magnetic pogo pins to establish a connection with the phone. The thing is, the only accessory from Essential that falls under this definition is its 360-degree camera, but that's now changing with the upcoming Audio Adapter HD.
To sum things up, the Essential PH-1 is getting a headphone jack in the form of a snap-on accessory. There's still no word on a release date, but it's expected to arrive sometime this summer. Pricing hasn't been announced either.