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March 13, 2014

Amazing tricks to make your Lumia sound bigger

You’ve turned up at a dinner party with a meticulously prepared playlist on your Lumia smartphone or tablet, but someone forgot to bring the speakers. However, all is not lost…

Your mobile device might not pack the mighty audio punch of a dedicated speaker system, but there are a few life hacks you can use in order to amplify the sound and ensure your playlist remains the highlight of the party.

There are all manners of theories on this, from placing the phone in a pint glass (ensuring all liquids are pre-consumed of course), to placing the speaker facing the wall at an angle, and even using old toilet roll and plastic water cups to build your own speakers!

We had a chat with Thorin Klosowski, writer and Lifehacker extraordinaire, who’s put some of these unorthodox ways of boosting mobile audio to the test.

DIY speakers

You were listening to Nokia MixRadio on your way to the party, so you have your earphones, right? There’s going to be disposable drinking receptacles at this party, right? Then all you need to do is poke holes through the bottom of the cups, thread through the earphones and hey presto! Speakers! “The volume is lower, but the stereo sound provides a nice effect,” said Thorin.


Wall-to-wall sound

Other folks have sought to boost the audio by using some existing structures; namely a wall. Everyone has one of those. While the success of this approach will vary depending on each room, the ceiling height and the contents, placing the handset at an upward 45-degree angle, adjacent to a wall, can create a much larger surface area to reflect the sound waves. Give it a try.


The cup method

As we alluded to earlier, make sure you finish your drink before giving this a try. Different materials will offer different quality and loudness for your Lumia, but the best performer is a paper coffee cup. That boosted the base audio by +13 decibels in Thorin’s test. “The paper cup was not only the loudest it also sounded the best regardless of where we were in the room. Quality was on par with non-powered speakers I’ve heard,” he wrote. If you’re working with a Lumia tablet, maybe you could give a sanitised KFC bucket a try!


Getting creative

Other interesting solutions involve creating a gramophone-style effect using a cereal box and a little masking tape. Some folks actually place the phone in a ceramic or glass cereal bowl itself.  If you’re really keen on steam-punking your smartphone you could try the toilet roll and water cup method (via Wikihow) or even the solo cup and hairpin method (via Macgyverisms).


Have you got your own tricks? Let us know in the comments section below.