Symphonica Aims to Kickstart Smartphone Speaker

With 10 days to go, Symphonica is facing an uphill battle to meet its $35,000 Kickstarter funding goal for a hand-crafted acoustic horn designed to naturally amplify sound from smartphones. To date, the startup has 73 backers who have pledged just over $9,500—less than a third of its goal.

The Symphonica speaker is the brainchild of Freddie Kwoh, audio engineer and the holder of multiple patents, who died in 2016 at the age of 68 before his invention was fully realized. On March 28, a team of Kwoh's close friends and associates launched the campaign to fund the initial manufacturing and operations costs needed to bring his dream to market.

Reminiscent of the iconic Victrola-style horn, Symphonica is sculpted from “sustainable woods using environmentally friendly practices” and said to boost the volume of sound from an iPhone or Android phone’s speaker by up to 6 decibels without the need for an electrical connection. The company calls it ideal for background ambiance or listening in a relaxed setting, such as bedside or in an office.

The speaker is slated to sell for $99 and initial delivery to backers is estimated for June and July.

The team behind the launch say they have made a number of improvements to Kwoh's original design to improve sound quality, appearance, and construction, moving it closer to the end product that Kwoh first envisioned so many years ago.

Symphonica is compatible for iPhone 5 and later, the Samsung Galaxy S series, and any other smartphone with a similarly placed bottom mounted speaker and charging port.

Pledge packages starting at $25 are being offered with rewards such as matching wooden smartphone cases, docking stands, and a rechargeable Bluetooth remote control for phones, tablets, and computers.

"Unfortunately, we've already experienced the greatest challenge our start-up could encounter, the untimely passing away of Symphonica's inventor," said Marc Edwards who is heading up the crowdfunding effort. "After taking some time to regroup and reorganize we are now ready to move forward again…and can't wait to share Symphonica with the Kickstarter community and have them help nurture this unique technology with us."

For more information, visit kickertarter.com.