Now Hear This

Essential Phone includes award-winning MQA technology, revealing the full sound of the original master recording.

With the new Audio Adapter HD, hear your music like you've never heard it before.

Pure form, clear function

This limited edition digital-to-analog converter is handcrafted from 100% machined titanium and the lightest of its kind on the market. With our Click-Connect technology, you can charge your phone and listen to music simultaneously.

Unparalleled sound

It sports a high-resolution ESS Sabre® DAC with MQA support to deliver master quality authenticated audio on your device. Featuring an audiophile-grade amp, it can power high impedance headphones for optimal listening with low distortion. Plug in your favorite 3.5mm HD headphones and enjoy.

Product Q&A

TIDAL x Essential

We teamed up with TIDAL to bring you an even better sonic experience. Tap into one of the largest Master Quality Audio music catalogs and hear the difference. Essential Phone users who activate new TIDAL subscriptions will receive three free months of TIDAL HiFi.

Redeem 3 months of TIDAL HiFi
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The Breakdown

Update to the latest version of Android 9 Pie

Download the TIDAL App and redeem your HiFi subscription (new TIDAL users only)

Select “Master” in Quality settings on the TIDAL App

Snap on your Audio Adapter HD, plug in audiophile-grade headphones, and enjoy


Model Name



DAC chip: ES9281Pro

Digital Audio

Resolution: 16, 24, 32 bit (MQA)

Frequency: 44.1, 48, 96, 192(MQA), 384 kHz(MQA)

Audio Quality

Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz


Up to 24-bit / 96kHz

MQA indicator

Multi-color LED


Via PH-1

(simultaneous PH-1 charging via USB-C port)


Audio connector 3.5mm Audio Connector

Data connector Click Connect® for PH1

Mobile compatibility

Works with PH-1

IP rating



Length: 29mm

Width: 30mm

Height: 11.5mm



View all specsCollapse specs


What is MQA?

Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) is a way of packaging digital music without limitations. Nearly all of the music you hear from your favorite streaming service or the songs you've purchased from an online store have had information stripped out of them. They're compressed, so they take up less space on your device or don't use as much cellular data when you stream them.

But that information contains elements the artist created to intensify your connection with their music—so, in essence, you don't hear the entire song.

MQA is a new way of capturing and unpacking those songs that gives a lossless, studio-master audio experience in a smaller size. So you hear the richness and depth of every guitar string; every delicate vocal nuance; every piercing vibrato from a horn; and everything else the artist created in the studio without losing a single thing. And all without sacrificing your device's storage or cellular data.

To learn more about how Master Quality Authenticated works, visit MQA’s website.

What do I need to hear MQA songs?

First, you need a device that supports MQA (that's Essential Phone). Next, the music files on your device, or your music source, will also need to support MQA (and hey, TIDAL supports MQA, and has lots of music). With just those two things and your trusty headphones, you'll enjoy a higher-quality audio experience.

To get the full, blow-your-socks-off, studio-quality audio experience, the last thing you'll need is something to fully decode the music—like a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). And whaddya know, our Audio Adapter HD is a DAC. And that's coming this summer! But if you can't wait, you can get a USB DAC and a USB-C to USB adapter to use with your Essential Phone right now. Visit MQA’s website to see a list of USB DAC’s.

How do I know if the songs I'm listening to have MQA?

In TIDAL, songs that have a Master-Quality Authenticated version feature an (M) next to their title.

How can I find MQA versions of songs in TIDAL?

There are several ways to find master-quality audio songs. One of the easiest ways is to tap , then type TIDAL MASTERS. Here you'll see entire playlists of MQA songs from a variety of artists. And once you've listened to a few, TIDAL will suggest other MQA tracks and albums in categories like Suggested New Tracks and Suggested New Albums.

How many MQA songs does TIDAL HiFi have?

TIDAL has over 50,000 tracks (and growing) from Warner Music Group, TIDAL artist owners, and key independent labels. You'll find music from Beyoncé to Bowie, Ella to The Eagles, from Metal to Motown, and so much more.

Do I need to change any settings to make sure I can listen to MQA songs?

Yes. In the TIDAL app, tap My Collection, tap Settings, then tap Streaming. Here, you can choose the quality of your audio streaming over Wi-Fi and Cellular. To listen to songs that feature MQA, tap Master.

Is this voucher only good for TIDAL on my phone?

Absolutely not! While we're sure you'll love TIDAL HiFi on your Essential Phone, your subscription also gives you access to TIDAL HiFi on your PC or Mac; on the web using Chrome, Firefox, or Safari*; and even other Android (and yes, iOS) devices. Go to for more info.

What Android update do I need on my phone?

You'll need to update your Essential Phone with the latest build of Android 8.1 Oreo that features MQA support (OPM1.180104.234).

If you don't see an update available, tap Settings, tap System at the bottom of the menu, tap System update, then tap Check for update. If it says your system is up to date, it's possible your carrier hasn't made it available—so check back periodically.

How do I redeem my TIDAL HiFi voucher code?

To redeem your code for three months of free TIDAL HiFi, visit

Can I download MQA music to my phone and listen offline?

Absolutely. In each Playlist and Album, there's an option to download it. For individual songs, you'll need to create a Playlist. Then tap My Collection, tap Playlists, then tap or tap and hold on the Playlist you want to download, and select Add to Offline.

Where is TIDAL available?

TIDAL is available in 52 countries, like the U.S. and U.K., Australia, Hong Kong, France, Germany, and many more. Visit TIDAL’s website to see a complete list of country availability.

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