Essential shows signs of life with launch of $149 headphone dongle

Essential isn’t dead, not yet at least. The handset maker from Android co-founder Andy Rubin, who’s now at the center of an explosive controversy over the mishandling of sexual harassment claims at Google that prompted a worldwide employee walkout, has quietly released its next product. It’s the $149 magnetic headphone jack adapter Essential promised way back in September 2017. The company first announced in June that the accessory would start shipping in the summer, but it apparently missed that deadline.

The product is officially called the Audio Adapter HD, and it’s quite pricey at $149, which is about 30 percent of the cost of the phone itself — not counting the heavy discounts you can get at Amazon, Best Buy, and other retailers….

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