This Android Phone for Audiophiles Packs Not One but Two Headphone Jacks

This Android Phone for Audiophiles Packs Not One but Two Headphone Jacks

The latest versions of the iPad Air and iPad Pro have effectively discontinued any Apple tablet with a headphone jack. I know, I know, that slow march away from dedicated audio jacks has been trending on for the last decade, as much as we might miss them. It seems audiophiles who want wired audio devices may be in luck. As noted, audio device maker Moondrop has a phone with two headphone jacks and a design that seems tailor-made to appeal to sound hounds.

So what is it? It’s called the Moondrop MIAD 01. Just looking at the retro shell with that kind of NASA-white finish with moon mission fonts, you can tell this phone is more stylish than your average Android everything device, like the most recent Pixel 8a.

Moondrop is a China-based company that makes audio equipment, including planar headphones and in-ear monitors (essentially specialized wired earbuds for better sound isolation). The $US399 MIAD 01 is made to support HiFi audio as well as studio-quality cans with one 4.4 mm headphone jack alongside the more average 3.5 mm single-ended port. The bigger port supports 4 VRMs, and it’s specifically geared for hardcore headphone users who want a more reliable connection.

When the company announced the phone back in April, it claimed it had bypassed the Android SRC and had a 6-layer gold-sinking audio circuit with a separate LDO power supply. It also has its own dedicated Cirrus Logic Master DAC (digital-to-audio converter) and extra shielding to separate the audio layer from the rest of the phone. It also supports up to 2 TB of additional storage for music lovers to include their own audio tracks and avoid Apple Music or Tidal’s HiFi streaming.

Image: Moondrop

If it isn’t clear, the phone is meant to offer the all-in-one package for folks who normally take around an external HiFi player or sound decoder. How big is that audience? Well, it’s big enough for Moondrop to launch a product it says on its own product page “makes no sense commercially.”

Beyond the stated audio capabilities of the MIAD 01, the phone seems particularly mid-range. The 6.7-inch OLED screen has a waterfall-type design with an FHD resolution that goes up to 120Hz refresh rates. That’s pretty average for today’s mid-range phones, but it’s not a slouch either. The phone is running on a MediaTek Dimensity 7050, a chip that doesn’t get a lot of play in the U.S. as that company typically supplies chips to Chinese smartphones. The CPU itself is an 8-core chipset released last year. If you guess its performance compared to the Nothing Phone 2(a) with a Dimensity 7200 processor, you can expect some largely fine performance

You then get a 5,000 mAh battery with a promised two-day battery life, 256 GB of storage, and 12 GB of RAM. If you go to where it’s sold on places like HiFiGo, there’s no option to upgrade memory or storage. Essentially, what you see is what you get.

Though merely based on specs and looks, what you get is a pretty damn unique device. We have not yet seen it in person, though Moondrop promises a “native” Android experience,e which could mean it won’t be like a Nothing Phone and its own revised version of the OS. Instead, it does have a “built-in online interactive DSP [digital signal processing]” alongside its own spatial audio algorithms.

It’s a strange move for a well-known but still niche audio company to unleash a smartphone and promote it in the U.S. market. Still, Moondrop seems to think there’s a big untapped audience of audio-focused people who want to listen to music with as little latency as possible. Maybe they’re right, and with as cool a design as the MIAD 01 has, it could prove a hit for those who desperately need a damn headphone jack in a mobile device, for once.

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