The Essential PH-1 smartphone has a set of Pogo pins on the back that you can use to attach modules that extend the phone’s functionality. But since launching the phone last year, Essential has only offered a single module: a 360-degree camera.
This summer Essential plans to launch its second module. It’s a hi-fi audio add-on that, among other things, gives the phone a 3.5mm audio jack.
Essential says the adapter includes an ESS Sabre DAC (digital to analog converter) with hardware rendering and a high-quality headphone amplifier.
Since the adapter connects to the back of the device, it doesn’t block the USB port at the bottom, which means you can charge and listen at the same time (something you can currently only do with a USB dongle or wireless headphones).
Essential hasn’t announced the price or exact launch date for the add-on, but it’s interesting to see that the company is finally following through on long-promised plans to offer more modular accessories… especially in light of recent reports that Essential has scrapped its next smartphone and is looking at ways to raise money, possibly including a sale of the company.
The upcoming audio adapter isn’t the company’s only new announcement: the company has also announced that even without any new hardware, the Essential PH-1 smartphone now supports MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) music, and that Essential Phone owners can get a free 3-month trial to TIDAL‘s HiFi music streaming service (which usually runs $20 per month).