The Mug+ turns cups into Bluetooth speakers, whether it’s a good idea or not

If you’ve spent a fair amount of time on the internet, chances are fairly good that you might have stumbled across a tip that placing your phone inside a cup can amplify its volume. The Mug+, launching today on Kickstarter, takes that idea and runs with it. The speaker doesn’t have a cabinet of its own. Instead, as the name implies, the creators urge users to stick it on top of their favorite coffee mug.

Of course, coffee mugs are far from the only suggested homes for the hermit crab-inspired Bluetooth speaker. Looking over the project’s Kickstarter page, you’ll notice a photo of a fish bowl (including an unhappy looking fake fish) being used, along with mentions of antique tea pots, paper boxes, and even Pringles cans being used with the speaker.

If you’re left feeling somewhat dubious regarding the sound quality, it’s with good reason. There are indeed ceramic in-ear headphones on the market, but while we’ve seen our fair share of speakers, we’ve never seen a speaker with the cabinet made entirely out of ceramic. The Mug+ Kickstarter page explains the benefits of different materials, with a paper cup offering sound that is thin, resonant, and clear, while metal is supposedly more punchy.

The Mug+ uses a 3-watt, 45mm driver with a fundamental frequency of 130Hz, so you won’t be pumping earth-shaking bass out of your water glass, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The speaker is meant to sit on top of openings from 6 to 10 centimeters, so while the company mentions containers used mainly for food, a user could create their own cabinet for the speaker, though whether this would be worth the time is questionable.

The speaker will use Bluetooth 4.0 for connectivity, and claims battery life of up to eight hours of playback time. It will charge via a Micro USB power located on the bottom of the speaker, meaning you’ll likely have to remove it from its temporary home in order to charge it.

Fortunately, if you’re looking to experiment with the Mug+, you won’t have to spend a fortune to do so. While the team behind the Mug+ says the speaker will eventually retail for $60, the standard Kickstarter price is $45. Early Bird pricing brings the price down to $40, while Super Early Bird pricing lowers the price even further to $30, though these are limited to 200 and 250 backers, respectively.

If the campaign, which launched on Tuesday, reaches its funding goal of $15,000, the team expects to begin shipping the Mug+ in February 2017. As with all Kickstarters, there is some amount of risk here, but if you’re already looking around your home for ideal places to stick the Mug+, you can find out more about it on the Kickstarter campaign page.


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