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103

Turn up the volume to eleven with Ears for Surface

Ears for Surface

Microsoft's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are great machines for getting things done. They're equally as good at entertainment. Movies, television shows and games look great on the 1080p resolution spread across the 10.6-inch display found on both machines. Here's a project on Kickstarter that's going to increase your listening experience when watching video or playing games. Want some Ears for your Surface?

Ears for Surface is a new project on Kickstarter that aims to add 10dB of loudness to your listening experience. The Ears are small pieces of silicone that slip onto the corners of the Surface. They work by directing and focusing the sound from the speakers forward, towards you.

Ears for Surface

These little pieces of silicone are designed to work with the Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2. Right now the early bird pricing of $5 to get a paid on Kickstarter has sold out. You can pledge $10 to get a pair of Ears for Surface if you want. There are of course pricing tiers that increase in the amount you need to contribute, but you get extra perks as you move up the ladder.

Ears for Surface come in a variety of colors and even include the colors to match your Type or Touch Cover. You've got cyan, magenta, orange, white, purple, black and green to choose from.

Anyone thinking of picking up Ears for Surface? While they certainly won't beat a pair of wireless speakers or headphones, they could be a very good way to increase the volume for your kids without damanging their ears. Anyways, let us know what you think!

Source: Kickstarter Via: @maryjofoley

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Comments

There are 103 comments. Sign in to comment

Sam Sabri says:

I want a Mickey mouse version of these.

rockstarzzz says:

I was thinking Avatar version to match cyan keyboard!

PammyLZ says:

They could do a lot of different "ears". Cat ears, fox ears, etc. Certain people would go nuts for those things.

Now that's a great idea. I have a young daughter and I could picture her and her friends with what you suggested. Cats ears, heck even actual Mickey Mouse ears.

sunbee says:

Maybe Pikachu! :)

nikon133 says:

Those would add 20db at least! ;)

herbertsnow says:

Pink bunny ears like the ones on Bob's Burgers.

MadSci2 says:

I want Skimbleshanks ears. I have a Jellical Surface.

Binson#WP says:

It's a 10.6 in screen, right?

Sam Sabri says:

Yes! Fixed. Thanks!

I want surround sound speaker's that my neighbor can hear, for my surface/phone.

Tafsern says:

It's called a home cinema

Zeroplanetz says:

Genius as I'm always cuping my hands.

Chemilinski says:

Cupping what, exactly?

cannon#WP says:

Same here. I have no idea why they designed the sound to go away from you on the Surface.

I've always found it very satisfactory, it's not like I'm watching a movie from 10 feet away. And you get more of a true stereo effect.

Zeroplanetz says:

Well when its silent around me for instance when the dogs aren't playing I can hear it. But when there's background noise sometimes it can still be difficult for me to hear. I do have a monster Bluetooth speaker but I only use it about half the time. It does work great though.

R0bR says:

Yea me too, not always now since MS boosted the volume but the early days did quite a bit. Now I'm mostly hooked up to Bluetooth speakers. Funny, I cupped so often back then and never thought of making something like this.

Just out of interest, any problems with those Bluetooth speakers?

Steven Soto says:

Does the Surface 2 have the same speaker quality as the original Surface?

Chemilinski says:

No, the Surface 2's are much better fidelity and louder. Big difference in sound.
I have both.

sundawg#WP says:

Still not as good as the 2520 :)

The device overall looks much more lovely and expensive (even though that's true literally, I don't mean that. I mean gorgeous expensive) than the 2520, to me, at least.

As as much as I love Surface 2, I think that iPad does the best music playback among tablets.

Chemilinski says:

Seems louder!
If it were faster the pitch would increase and it would be like listening to James Blunt all the time..

I had a vision. You will get killed by a AT-AT the has the words faster bannered to the back

Chemilinski says:

A very RP account ^
I salute you.

q21701 says:

Seems deader?

I skimmed through the article quickly so I might not have noticed it if it was there. I do hope they do more colours that match the covers.

danielgray says:

Ordered already

felickz says:

"backed" would be appropriate terminology

danielgray says:

True it might not come off..

mab664 says:

Great idea ordered/backed too!

DanWalshAU says:

Same, backed this morning :)

Tlcoman says:

Seems faster.. Ermm louder

SwimSwim says:

Huh, interesting....

Jas00555 says:

Thank you so much for this, Sam. I've backed this and I was worried that they weren't going to reach enough money to make it.

Sam Sabri says:

No problemo. We saw the link after Mary Jo posted it. Looked like a cool project that could use a bit more publicity. Not for me, but we knew at least a handful of people would like it.

ShaneRay says:

You can make your own out of pretty much anything.  I made some out of thin cardboard that just slides over the top.  Took me less than 5 minutes.

But, still a good idea. :)

 

 

 

sdreamer says:

Two plastic cups, cut hole fittings, viola lol. That's what I would do.

q21701 says:

This looks like a job for sugru

NIST says:

I think I'll just make my own.

You shall Become my apprentice and together we'll rule the galaxy!

NIST says:

Your apprentice? Oh you have no idea who I am. You will bow before me a suckle from my teets of wisdom little one.

goldenpipes says:

There was something like this on iPad I believe.... Maybe on shark tank.

wpn00b says:

Yes there is a single version of this for iPad. It is rounded though and called the Amplifiear.

I don't understand why they made it in two pieces. Why not a single piece, or two that are attached somehow. Kids, as mentioned in the example use case are bound to lose these things.

Wasn't it pitched by a Hassid?

willboyce says:

Looks ridiculous

NIST says:

Large elbow macaroni, al dente and an Exact-O knife.

Zulfigar says:

Finally! No more cupping the speakers towards me just to hear in quiet places... Hope this works on the Surface 1 though.

Leaf81 says:

Great idea, I have cupped my hands behind the speakers so many times.

NIST says:

Like when I make Rodney's mom cup her feet behind her ears.

madmoondog says:

I hope everyone gets that movie reference. Mine goes to 11

NIST says:

Spinal tap

How black are the black ones?

I was looking for a solution that wouldn't destroy my wee ones ears and this looks like it, thanks for the post!

Sam Sabri says:

Glad to hear. I know our core audience won't need these since they already have and prefer headsets/speakers. But this is a good solution for kids!

This may turn out to be a niche item and may never really take off, but since we backed the campaign, we'll at least own a couple of pairs. My kids are still just a wee bit too young for headphones and as much as I love kidstv123 blaring out the audio system, this would be a more tolerable? solution. :). Not to mention, have you ever tried to Skype grandparents with two screaming kids? These will help immensely

Ugly, don't like it.

Duduosf says:

Cheap, practical and useful. I must have these! Not to mention, I find my Surface 2's speaker to be not so loud. At least it's louder than my old iPad 2.

Ken Heslip says:

Not to dump on this great idea, there's a speaker enhancement called "loudness equalisation" that drastically increases the sound volume.

Still doesn't do the trick, same with bass boost, visualization and the other one I can't remember right now. my biggest gripe with the whole Surface lineup is the atrocious speaker quality.

Ken Heslip says:

Not sure why it worked so well for me then.

jmikla says:

Backed it! Hope they pull it off!!

Tafsern says:

Just buy a good headset, lol.

So's your mama...........dooooohhhhhh...had to bub, it was way too easy :)

PammyLZ says:

I backed it. Its a great idea. And they'll ship from Holland, MI! That's just an hour away from me. I could go pick them up if they'd let me. :)

jayc101 says:

Mickey Mouse meets Surface.. Nevertheless cool though.

I swear, if I have to do the hotdog dance to get one of these..............

drg says:

If you search low volume Surface 2 you will find the Surface 2 is plagued with sound problems. Also many Surface 2's get a clicking sound at 100. I have Surface RT and Surface 2 and Surface RT is much louder and better. The Surface 2 sound has improved over time with updates but search low volume Surface 2 Skype and you'll find Skype calls are nearly impossible to hear through the speakers so even though music and videos are ok now you can't hear audio in Skype calls. I've contacted MS and they suggested to swap it. I did. Same problem. I contacted MS again and they said contact support which I'm yet to do. Its a great device but the low sound does spoil it. Will be buying some of these ears to hopefully fix it.

crise says:

That looks ridiculous.

And so does wearing your pants around your knees.....

jmk1127 says:

Why not just redesign with front facing speakers?

wpn00b says:

Because that would mean a change to the actual device, which would require another purchase for the consumer. The company producing these is offering an inexpensive solution to those that already own a Surface.

A complete redesign of the Surface as a solution would be like someone owning a PC without WiFi, going out and buying a brand new computer for hundreds of dollars to fix the "issue" instead of just purchasing a $20 USB WiFi adapter.

pookyjoralyn says:

There should be a pink one, it'll be cewt!

wtma says:

If only they would make it not to look like some stuff you grab from the kitchen.

Curious, why do devices like the Surface, and ESPECIALLY the iPad, have the speakers booming away from you? You either have to cuff your hands around the speaker to fix it or get one of these...

Pretty cool! The speakers on the surface 2 SUCK! I connect it to my beats pill when I'm using it for media and whatnot.. 

Lipe13 says:

Wow those accessories look fun, inexpensive and practical. I believe this is useful, even though I'd not use it.

My school has a 3d printer I'll make one. :)

There are a few designs out there for 3D printers that do this same thing.

Only thing with doing the 3D printing route would be to make sure and use some sort of felt on the inside of them so it does not scratch your display.

I'm still thinking of getting a set of these to help back the guy. Just wish he would have stayed with an American manufacturer though.

DJCBS says:

Nice idea, horrible design.

diktea says:

If it were to be on April fools day, I would call it a bluff

KrightonX says:

This is a thing...

angietan says:

THAT'S SO CUTE

daelumia says:

Reminds me how good the speakers on my 2520 are...

jargonz says:

It comes in black. Batman will be pleased.

jargonz says:

Batman will be more pleased if it was shaped like bat wings.

PLGomez says:

Looks nice but will it work with the Freedom Case some of us are gonna be getting pretty soon? Don't wanna be taking the case off to put those on. Maybe it won't be so bad?

pr0phecy says:

While that no doubt works as it should, it certainly doesn't win any beauty contests...

pmich says:

I had to back this!... i hate the sound on my surface.  Only the music app seems to play volume louder while everything else is pretty weak. Getting tired of cupping the corners on my surface while watching Metrotube.

SMMinke says:

Funny. I had a post on these forums a while back detailing what side-panel slide-out flaps should be added to the next Surface. Glad to see someone run with the idea, if in fact my post and others feedback sparked the innovation. Keep it up. If you have a coffee table book or even a piece of folded cardboard to place behind your Surface, it's amazing what a difference it makes. And yes, I'm one of the apparently many who have figured out the "cupped hands" trick. And yes... The very need for this product and those work-arounds should make the Surface design team cringe enough to give us forward-facing side-facing, AND rear facing "smart speakers" with Dolby surround sound for Surface 3. They should use the camera and such to be "smart", but we should be able to change the sound mode to forward-only, etc with a simple setting or gesture. Run with that. Please. :D

danielgray says:

I reckon your article just made this happen, game on! Target met!