One of the big selling points with the Essential Phone was supposed to be a magnetic accessory system that would allow for all sorts of fun modules. The only one that's actually come to market so far is the 360-degree camera, but now Essential is selling its 3.5mm headphone jack accessory announced back in June ... for a mere $149.
Similar to the 360-camera, this headphone jack adapter snaps onto the back of the Essential Phone using its two-pin connection system and strong magnets. You can already bring back the 3.5mm port using a regular USB-C adapter, which Essential includes in the box, but Essential says this adapter provides audiophile-level quality with a high-quality DAC. It lists a pretty impressive set of specs on its website.
Along with the new accessory, the Essential Phone's also receiving a software update that gives it MQA certification. MQA stands for "Master Quality Authenticated" and allows the Essential Phone to properly handle lossless music files "so you can experience the sound of the original recording" for what you're listening to. Pairing that certification with the high-quality (and high-priced) adapter should seriously elevate your listening experience.
Essential goes on to say that:
Unfortunately, the adapter is pricey — it'll set you back $149, which is a pretty hefty price to pay for an accessory that connects to a phone that's nearly 18 months old. Not to mention that many Essential Phone owners purchased their phones for somewhere between $250 and $400 on sale, which makes this accessory even more expensive by comparison. Forward-compatibility with a future Essential Phone would normally be part of the value proposition, but the chances of a sequel happening seem slim at this point as well.
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