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Hands-on: Ears for Microsoft Surface

Microsoft's Surface tablets are designed to be mobile, powerful and full featured. One area where devices like the Surface, or any other thin-bodied product - such as a smartphone or Ultrabook - typically come up short is sound quality. That's where 'Ears' step in, by providing a claimed 10dB bump in sound output, while increasing the clarity of audio output too.

On a Surface, the speakers are on the side of the device which means that the sound is pointed away from you. But the Ears attempt to remedy that problem. The product is quite simple; it's a pair of rubber-like units that sit on the corners of your Surface and direct the sound towards you. 

The product comes in a small, plastic package that has one corner cut-away so you can feel the material without opening the package. To install the Ears, just slide them on to the corner of the Surface and you are done; it's quite simple. 

In practice, the Ears do live up to their name and make the volume louder on your device. We averaged around an 8dB gain with the Ears which is enough of an increase that you can hear the difference.

The product is currently up for backing on Kickstarter and comes in many different colors that can be matched to your Type or Touch Cover; there is also a version available for the Pro line of Surface tablets. 

If you find yourself wishing your Surface speakers were louder, Ears are a simple solution for this problem. Considering that they are priced in the 'impulse' range for a peripheral - rather than coming with a premium price tag that might make you think twice before buying - you can probably afford to toss a pair into your travel bag without a big dent to your bottom line.

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