Friday, June 8, 2018

Essential Phone gets headphone jack module and MQA certification

Essential has been paying a huge amount of attention to the Essential Phone as of late. Not only has the company been consistently providing stable updates, but we also saw the latest version of the Android P developer preview available for the device the same day it came out. Not only that, but the company is in a spot of turmoil with its future in doubt. One of the interesting parts of the Essential Phone is its module support. The first module they have released in a long time adds a 3.5mm headphone jack. The module is also getting MQA certification.

MQA stands for "Master Quality Authenticated" and it effectively means you're getting the highest audio quality possible from your device. Many in the music industry deem it a bad thing due to the logistical implications of handing over the record industry to an external organization. However, it's still an assurance of quality, and to the average user means that you're getting what legally defines "Hi-Res MUSIC" according to the RIAA and other music-related organizations in the US. Essential will be selling a headphone jack which you can attach to your phone to listen to music that's fully MQA certified – without making use of one of the USB-C ports on the device. Being MQA certified also means you can listen to services like TIDAL in its highest quality, which Essential phone owners will get a free 3-month subscription starting from now. You can check out how to take advantage of that offer here.

This isn't the first external module released for the Essential Phone since its launch. We've already seen the 360-degree swivel camera module, but after that, the company was pretty quiet about making additional modules. It certainly isn't a Moto Mods competitor, that's for sure. Still, it's great to see the company getting back on its feet and releasing some cool upgrades to a near-year-old device.



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