Essential looks to curb headphone jack concerns - Mobile World Live

Essential looks to curb headphone jack concerns

19 SEP 2017

Smartphone start-up Essential is developing a “high end” audio accessory, which will include a headphone jack, to attach directly onto the device’s magnetic connector.

In a Q&A hosted on Reddit, Essential founder Andy Rubin and others from his team confirmed the accessory was being developed, after the company followed Apple in ditching the traditional headphone jack on its recently released Essential phone.

The Reddit post revealed Essential is developing a number of “click connector accessories”, including a charging dock and a “high end audio accessory to support a 3.5mm jack”.

Like the iPhone 7, which was one of the first premium handsets to ditch the traditional jack, the Essential phone comes equipped with a USB-C dongle in the box to connect wired headphones.

It is therefore unclear what the new accessory will look like.

In the post, the Essential team opened up on its reasoning behind ditching the jack, suggesting it did not fit in with its bezel-less screen display.

“Headphone jacks are pretty big components and they don’t play nice with all-screen phone architectures. We studied it very seriously, but fitting a headphone jack into our phone required trade-offs we were uncomfortable with,” read the post.

The team added that having the jack would reduce battery life by 10 per cent, or it would mean the screen had a “huge headphone bump”.

It is unclear when the audio accessory will be available.

The Essential phone is now available to buy at Sprint stores in the US, at a cost of $700.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress Americas last week, Essential president Niccolo de Masi slammed Apple and Samsung for being “too timid” with smartphone innovation in recent years.


Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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