Introduction: Never Tangle Earphone Life Hack

It is a scientific fact that earphones "want to tangle" in your pocket. According to this article, this is due to the fact that earphones have more ways of being tangled than being untangled. That combined with time causes headaches. To fight against earphones' natural tendency to eat your nerves, you have to somehow prevent them from moving. Most common option is to wind them around some object. This method works but takes much more space than it should. Another solution will be described in this instructable. A solution that costs nothing and takes little to no extra time for safely putting earphones in your pocket. What makes my method different from others is that I don't coil cable but fold it.

Interested? Keep on reading!

Step 1: Grab a Piece of Wire

All you need is a piece of wire. My personal favourite is wire that comes with tea bags as it is the softest. For this instructable I used cable management wire as white tea bag wire was hardly visible in all photos.

Grab a piece of wire and go to next step.

Step 2: Fold Earphone Cable in Half Multiple Times

Now that you have your piece of wire, start folding your earphones in half. Do it multiple times. Most headphones will require 4 folds but your may be non standard in length - fold until you think it is still reasonable.

Step 3: Wrap Wire

Now you can simply wrap it all in wire or do it as I did: attach wire in middle of end closest to 3.5 jack and wrap entire bundle afterwards. This will allow you to untie your earphones, use them and later, when you are done using them, allow for faster storage for dangerous storage in your pocket, full of cable goblins :)

Step 4: Conclusion

If you doubt this will work, try it yourself. Preparation takes no time, it costs nothing and when you find out it how good it works, you will be glad you gave it a try.

The same method can also be used for storing any other cables. I manage all my computer cables, extra computer mice and keyboards, headset cable when I don't use it etc.

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Comments

author
crazyeyes4u (author)2016-12-03

I think its a cool idea which I'm sure people will use. I myself use wireless headphones which are well worth the price & no tangled wires.

author
fraser02 (author)2016-04-08
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SkUG (author)2015-08-26

easier way - stick your two fingers in the air - buds first wrap the cables in and out of your fingers, last few inches wrap around the cable bundle between your fingers

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ScottF19 (author)2015-08-19

Just tie a knot in the middle of the wire. The wire wants to tangle. The knot is a tangle. The already tangled wire is less apt to tangle.

Did this 2 years ago. No tangles yet. Ball em up and throw em in a drawer.

author
CadenceSF (author)2015-08-18

Meh... I use the over and under cable folding method, sometimes with ties too, I even pinched it with small metal clips, or Rip-ties... But I still find it either too slow, or inconvenient to use,

author
mrsharkit (author)2015-08-18

A Kinder Egg do the job for me...

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author
mrsharkit (author)2015-08-18

I roll them on to my finger and put inside a Kinder Egg yellow surprise container...

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noisywan (author)2015-08-11

Here is an easier way without using any extra wires; fold the cable like you see in the pic above leaving 10 cm cable free on the jack end. Then wrap that 10 cm cable around the folded cable and push the 3.5 jack between the wrapped and folded cable. Done.

author
lc03hamilton (author)noisywan2015-08-14

Noisy wan, I have been using your method for several years. It works and is easy. And looks sorta cool.

author
birdsloper (author)2015-08-13

I'm going to try this as it makes sense and i an wrapping up and storing my headphones daily before work. No matter how careful i do so, it's always a mess after my shift. I think ppl are not understanding the significance of folding vs wrapping before putting in a pocket with constant friction and movement. Like i said, it makes sense, I'll put it into use n see how it works

author
telorand made it! (author)2015-08-13

This method works well for keeping things tangle-free, though I prefer the Twist-Counter-Twist method of wrapping my cables, as it helps prevent kinking. Nice instructable!

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author
Nails Artiste (author)2015-08-12

Nice idea. Although, I tend to use this idea -

Wrap the earphones into a neat, tidy circle and then clip it together so it won't tangle again. (Using a clip)

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definingsound (author)2015-08-10

Can we move this from "instructables.com" to "bloodyobvious.com"?

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pnosko (author)definingsound2015-08-10

A tad negative, but I'm sorry-- I have to agree. And wrapping earphones does not make them "never tangle."

author
ptkrf (author)pnosko2015-08-10

Try it out yourself and post the same comment again if you aren't satisfied with results. I haven't had a problem with tangled headphones since I started using this method. But what I am saying may be just author's excuses so you will have to try it out yourself to be sure :)

author
morningsdaughter (author)2015-08-10

Great idea! I feel, however, that you should attach the wire tie prior to folding. it would make attaching the tie easier with the cable less likely to unfold while doing so. I think it also would help readers understand that the wire stays put when the headphones are in use.

author
ptkrf (author)morningsdaughter2015-08-10

It is easiest to fold headphones first and attach wire later as you can't miss optimal spot for attaching wire to the cable.

I will make it clear in this 'ible that wire stays on as soon as I get to a proper computer. Mobile devices and instructables website don't mix well...

author
Jim_Knowles (author)2015-08-10

ptkrf
– This is an excellent instructable – simple, easy to follow, and can save time
and frustration.

This is a great method of storing any length of wire, cable
or rope. I use this method with 100 foot long, heavy duty extension cord, with
one small change. I fold the cable in half, bringing the two ends together.
Then I fold that, bringing the center of the cable near, *but not all the way*,
to the two ends. I leave the two ends about a foot or two beyond the bundle. I
continue to fold in half until I get a bundle the size I like. The bundle can
now be fastened with Velcro strip, tied with a string or light rope, or by
leaving the bundle long enough, tie the bundle itself with an overhand knot. To
use the cable, simply untie it, hold the two ends in one hand and toss the
bundle away from you with the other hand and you’re ready to go. It’s very easy
to do and no tangles, ever.

Srinivasulu Bhattaram - Thank you, I like 'Found Object
Engineering'. I believe I'll occasionally use it in place of 'use what ya got',
as in ‘we can’t buy that fancy stuff, so use what ya got!’.

Respectfully,

Jim Knowles

author
JenZ2 (author)2015-08-09

What kind of tea are you drinking that comes with twist ties?

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ptkrf (author)JenZ22015-08-10

I buy tea and teabags separately.

author
boocat (author)2015-08-09

I have been leaving a segment of Velcro wire tender curled around itself down by the jack. When I am done listening, I wrap the wire around my fingers and uncurl the end of the Velcro, poke the bundle of wire in. It cinches shut and works great. Same idea, I just happened to have little Velcro straps all over the place.

author
mrwild8 (author)2015-08-09

Or buy one of these(follow link) wasn't sure at first, but after using a time or two - they ROCK! never tangle and when you pull them out, they are ready to go!

http://www.digitalinnovations.com/products/the-nes...

author
ptkrf (author)mrwild82015-08-09

Judging from how it looks, I can be certain that works perfectly. My main problem with it is it's size. It is unnecessarily big while method described in this instructable packs your earphones in close to optimum size. Just try it yourself and you might end up putting your Nest holder asside.

author
mrwild8 (author)ptkrf2015-08-09

Totally Agree. I keep the headset with mic in the Nest int he car for when I need it while driving makes it easy to get out and easy to find.

author
Laral (author)2015-08-09

A faster (IMO) tangle-resistant way to wrap the cord is using Ashley's knot 3085 in The Ashley Book of Knots. You wind it on your thumb and pinky so it goes very quickly. I double up the cord making the plug even with the earbuds so it requires only a few turns. I just use a piece of self-sticking velcro but this wire idea is good because you can't lose or misplace it. I will try that.

Hand hank.jpg
author
bhattarams (author)2015-08-09

This item should not be phoo-phooed as it is so simple and uses virtually no special materials of any kind.

What is to be appreciated is the concept and its ease of implementation..
I am tempted to call this kind of thinking (and working) as 'Found Object Engineering'

I have all my appreciation for this item.

It's surprising (and sad) to note that only one person made a comment, a different point altogether.

Srinivasulu Bhattaram.

author
ptkrf (author)bhattarams2015-08-09

athe story behind this jnstructable is that my friend found this website and bagan sending me various headphone storage links. I then looked theough what instructables had to offer myself and found out noone recommended technique I was using for years and worked flawlessly. I just wanted to share it. I do however believe instructables should have special sub section for "tips and tricks" like this instructable and part them from "actual instructables"

author
emehollin (author)2015-08-09

At least for larger cable USB, Cat 5, guitar, etc.mi use special strips of Velcro. I bought a roll of them a few years ago. You simply tear off a strip from the roll (they are pre-cut to tear off. One end has a small hole that allows you to loop the strip around the cable for long term attachment. Then you fold, like in this instruct able, or loop the cable and wrap the Velcro strip around itself.

I like this instructable, too.

author
ptkrf (author)emehollin2015-08-09

Those velcro streeps really would work as great alternative to the wire but wire is easier to attach to cable to prevent loosing it while you are using headphones. For storing cables however, velcro strips may actually be a better choice.

author
DrEvel1 (author)emehollin2015-08-09

For smaller wire accumulations (like these headphones) I've found that you can simply cut the Velcro strip in half - no need to have the entire 4" or so length involved. The cut-off end then can be used to wrap another wire. It won't have the same ability to be permanently affixed to the wire, but it's still useful in lots of cases.

author
jsfinley (author)2015-08-09

Good idea, but I've been using the 3.5mm jack end to tie my headphones up for years. After folding them like you have, the jack is pushed into one of the loops, and it'll stay there until you need to open them up.

author
dave367 (author)2015-08-09

Back when I was I the trades and needed long extension cords in and out of the truck, I was taught to daisy chain cables. This shortens a cable's stored length by about 2/3; is often done "doubled" for very long cords (100' cord doubled, then chained will be less than 15' when stowed. See: https://www.instructables.com/id/Daisy-chain-an-ext...

The best thing about daisy chaining is that it's free--no bits to clip/wind/pop or buy. Just you and the cord. Zen. Second best is that the chained cord is nearly bulletproof--you can let it kick around the bottom of your bag or glove box forever--then neatly unchain it without snarls in a few seconds--every time.

author
SonaliS3 (author)2015-08-09

Or get a small binder clip!

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tjk1939 (author)2015-08-09

You might just as well use the twist ties off a loaf of bread.

author
trepisky (author)2015-08-09

I use this for my entire life. Never had a tangled cable...

author
rrmola (author)2015-08-09

Excellent! I`ve tried and expend some 30 seconds to do it. Simplicity and efficiency - something difficult to obtain - but that`s all we need.

author
bamab1 (author)2015-08-09

Great tip!

author
Wellsey1 (author)2015-08-08

This is a minature version of the way we store cables at the performing arts center in town!

author
lgjexpress (author)2015-08-07

Did it! ;)

author
GaryS26 (author)2015-08-06

Much too time-consuming when both wrapping and unwrapping the cable. Gadgets you can buy to do this simply secure the earbuds to the plug. As long as that is done, it doesn't matter what happens with the cable. But they were way overpriced at $10. If you can use a band or a soft clip to simply secure the plug to the earbuds, you're good to go.

author
ptkrf (author)GaryS262015-08-07

I am not sure what you are takking about. This method is everithing but time consuming. Once you attach wire ro right part, you only have to fold the cable and wrap wir's ends around it. You shouldn't remove wire entirely when unwraping headphones.This is the cheapest, smallest and very fast if not the fastest way to securely wrap earphones for storage in your pockets, trust me.

author
ECB1 (author)2015-08-06

That is genius!! Will try immediately!

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LindaR9 (author)2015-08-03

Awesome, simple, must do!

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Twizzle1 (author)2015-08-01

I think it boils down to the actual words used. Hack sounds like a modern term and more readily taken on by the people who would be using this technology, whereas 'tip' sounds old fashioned and weak. Just the thoughts which crossed my mind. >(*.*)<

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tonybest (author)2015-08-01

damn good point

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darus67 (author)2015-07-30

Brilliant!
I like this so much better than all the other headphone keepers because it's not a separate thing to lose.

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ptkrf (author)darus672015-07-31

Exactly!

author
geekrex (author)2015-07-31

Great Instructable. I will use it

author
judith.stuart.5 (author)geekrex2015-07-31

me too

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Hermione01 (author)2015-07-30

great technique. Thanks for the tip d

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Bio: An engineer by trade, an artist by heart. Here to share my knowledge, ideas and methods.
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