Introduction: Headphone Plug Kink & Break Preventer

Picture of Headphone Plug Kink & Break Preventer

I drive a lot, and listen to LOTS of books in mp3 format. I was tired of buying new headphones every month just because the cord at the plug end would kink and break the wires inside. I came up with this gadget to limit the range of movement of the cord at this vulnerable point.

Step 1: Find a Mechanical Pen With a Spring.

Picture of Find a Mechanical Pen With a Spring.

Open the pen and extract the spring. You can probably throw the rest of the pen away, because it doesn't work without a spring.

Step 2: Applying the Spring: Part 1

Picture of Applying the Spring: Part 1

Take the spring, and push it crosswise onto the cord, near the plug.

Step 3: Applying the Spring: Part 2

Picture of Applying the Spring: Part 2

Rotate the ends of the spring around the cord in opposite directions so that more and more of the spring surrounds the cord.

Step 4: Applying the Spring: Part 3

Picture of Applying the Spring: Part 3

Once the cord is completely inside the spring, work one end of the spring onto the plug housing. Make sure it is snug enough that it won't come off with regular use.

Step 5: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

When you are done, it should look something like this. The spring should keep the cord from getting in a bind at the plug.
This is my first instructable, so comments and criticism are welcome as long as they are constructive.


Vijeth002 (author)2016-02-18

Those looking for a guide to the ever expanding range of headphones on offer need look no further. I see every kind, from cheap in-ears for commuting, to wireless and Hi-Fi open-back over-ears for high quality home listening.Whether you like in-ear or over-ear, you're sure to find something that matches your needs. Possibly the most common upgrade from a pair of bundled buds is the IEM or in-ear headphone type. IEM stands for in-ear monitor, and it involves a pair of earphones have got that ends in an isolating tip of some sort – usually silicone, occasionally foam.

copycat42 (author)2016-01-15

Take the spring, and push it crosswise onto the cord (where the cord is between the coils), near the plug.
Rotate the ends of the spring around the cord in opposite directions so that more and more of the spring surrounds the cord. When you get to the ends of the spring, it will be tight, but the cord will wedge the coils of the spring apart if you use enough force.

MatthewC103 (author)2016-01-15

forgive my ignorance - how to you get the spring on?? both ends are too large to fit the spring over...

hamza_shahid (author)2014-02-15 this post I'm going to show you how to protect your headphone wires. It is very worst feeling when headphone wires get damaged. After losing my several headphones I decided to take care of my headphones by making it save by different techniques.

LeroyM4 (author)hamza_shahid2015-11-06

This link appears to be malware!

cbaars (author)2015-07-18

About every 9-12 months I need to replace my earbuds because they fail from excessive bending at the plug end while in my pocket. Your idea will defintely save the plug end from this type of wear, much to the dread of my soon to be dismantled pen. Thanks for the brillant idea!

KeithB2 (author)2014-09-24

Thanks an awful lot for a very useful practical solution. I have a pair of the best earbuds ever made, of which are discontinued. They are the iLuv "City Lights" brand earbuds. They don't make them anymore and I want to preserve them. They have the absolute best explosive sound ever and the cheapest price $6.00, light years ahead in sound quality than my $130.00 Bose earbuds. I think they discontinued them because the bass was too extreme. 4 months and counting and the are just fine...Thanks a million!!

StevenS9 (author)KeithB22015-02-19

I had a pair of those. The bass was not that great compared to many but ok for the price. They are not discontinued though they still make them.

Lancealator (author)2010-02-05

Great idea i just bought an 80 dollar pair of headphones that i want to last. Something that would be cool is to put shrink tube near the ear buds and at the plug with springs on each end. I don`t know if they make shrink tube that can go over the plug and shrink tight though...just an idea

zayyaf90 (author)2009-12-04

so simple yet so useful .. thanks for the idea !  :-)

Quelso (author)2009-11-14

Why I didn't saw this 1 month ago?

Great instructable, and very simple! 

bakn90 (author)2009-10-04

I'll test it, it seems to be good!

dacker (author)2008-09-14

Um, wouldn't it be safer for you and everyone else on the road if you did not wear headphones while driving? I believe it's expressly illegal in many states.

I'm also a big audio book fan and use an FM transmitter in my car. Please think about it....

copycat42 (author)dacker2008-09-15

It's no different than someone who is deaf driving (I mostly listen with only one earbud, or those gawd awful loud stereo systems. Most of my driving is done in rural ans semi rural areas of Tennessee ( the average size of the towns i service is about 10k people). Plus, if i could afford an FM transmitter, I could afford to keep buying headphones, and I wouldn't have had to come up with the object of this instructable. :)

Scammah (author)copycat422008-09-17

Where do you get your audio books? Also check out they have fm transmitters that play off of a simple and cheap thumbdrive. I use it every day to listen to podcast.

linuxnewbie (author)Scammah2009-07-09

If you want legal sources for audiobooks, check out - they provide free audio versions of public domain books, mostly from the Project Gutenberg website.
Also check out - these are new works, mostly recorded by the authors themselves, that want the publicity that an audiobook can generate
itunes also has quite a few free podcasts to enjoy.

dacker (author)Scammah2008-09-18

Public libraries often have audiobooks. My local library has only a small selection but I can request any books, audiobooks, etc. from any library in my county, which increases the selection greatly. My county library system also has audio books available to download via a 3rd-party supplier. Unfortunately, they are use Microsoft's DRM and will not play on an Apple iPod. Fortunately, I worked around this restriction with a neat utility call Tunebite.

copycat42 (author)Scammah2008-09-18

i have a collection of over 14000 sf and fantasy books in pdf format.i wrote a batch file to convert them to MP3. It does the following:
pdftotext = pdf --> txt
csplit = chop it into 15KB chunks (about 15 minutes apiece)

(for each chunk)
ttscmd (2nd speech center) = txt ---> wav
lame = wav --> mp3

I sometimes have to clean up the encoding, and the voice is whichever you choose from the installed voices list (takes some getting used to) but it works for me.

go to and search for fantasy or (mazzeltjes) to get the books.
here's the url for my collection of programs to convert them.
you may not get them to work, so i make no promises.

good luck!

TheMadTinker (author)copycat422008-11-16

You know, I don't think that it's legal for deaf people to drive either. An FM transmitter would certainly be cheaper than a single moving violation, which you would almost certainly incur if you were pulled over while using earbuds.

dacker (author)TheMadTinker2008-11-16

It is legal for deaf people to drive.

I used to live in Rochester, NY which has a high number of deaf people due to the Rochester School for the Deaf and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology. It was not unusual to see two people signing when stopped at stop lights.

Father Christmas (author)dacker2008-12-31

he is right tho, a fm transmitter with a 20foot range can be bought for a little over 20$

i bought one for 10$

what model?

it was i bought at shoppers drug mart centrios or domthin g like that

frollard (author)copycat422008-09-15

While you present a good point - it wont prevent you from getting a due-care-and-attention/careless/distracted driving ticket :(

Great instructible though!

Incredibly simple concept, and good cheap fix for a common problem.

One thing you need - Macro photographs. Macro Photography

tom61 (author)2008-09-15

Awesome! I've been looking on how to create a better stress reliever, as I too have been breaking a lot headphones that way. I need to pick up a couple of click pens now. How long have you been doing this? I'm curious how much it helps. As an aside, I've noticed that Radio Shack plugs use springs as their stress relievers.

copycat42 (author)tom612008-09-16

my current pair of headphones have lasted twice as long as any previous pair. so far, so good.

zomfibame (author)2008-09-15

ya gotta love a simple solution to a really annoying problem. I like this one.

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-09-15

Why didn't I think of this! Thanks!

threecheersfornick (author)2008-09-15

This is great!

burstfire (author)2008-09-15

it's great

Gypsyman (author)2008-09-14

this is actually a really great idea, yet so simple

Elementix (author)2008-09-14

Awesome! Great idea! Thanks! :-D

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