After more than a year since the release of the Essential PH-1, Essential has released the Audio Adapter HD, its second mod for the phone. The first is the Essential 360 Camera, which is the world’s smallest 4K 360° camera.
To put it simply, the Audio Adapter HD adds an audio jack to the phone. A feature believed to be essential but which is missing from the phone. However, the Audio Adapter HD does more than just add an audio jack to your phone.
The adapter has a “high-resolution ESS Sabre DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) with hardware MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) rendering for high-res audio on the PH-1“. This means that audio sounds exactly the way it was recorded with no loss of quality whatsoever. Essential says it is the first DAC to have this feature.
The adapter which is built of titanium just like the frame of the phone supports 24-bit, 96kHz and MQA rendering up to 32-bit, 384kHZ. Essential says it also has an audiophile-grade amp for audiophile-grade headphones. The Audio Adapter HD has a multi-color LED that indicates if you are playing master quality, non-MQA, or standard content.
The Audio Adapter HD has an IP55 rating, measures 29 x 30 x 11.5 mm and weighs 15.5 grams. It draws power from the phone and since it doesn’t connect to the Type-C port, you can charge your phone while using it. Do note that it will only work on an Essential Phone running Android P (build number PPR1.181005.076 or later).
Essential has put a $149 price tag on the adapter. It ships to Canada and the United States only and is available for purchase on the Essential online shop.