Never Tangle Earphone Life Hack

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About: I may be an electrical engineer by trade but that won't stop me from tinkering in the domain of mechanical engineers and artists:P

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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57 Discussions

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crazyeyes4u

1 year ago

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.

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SkUG

3 years ago on Introduction

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

3 years ago

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.

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CadenceSF

3 years ago

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,

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mrsharkit

3 years ago

A Kinder Egg do the job for me...

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mrsharkit

3 years ago

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

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noisywan

3 years ago on Introduction

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.

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lc03hamiltonnoisywan

Reply 3 years ago

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

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birdsloper

3 years ago

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

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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)

Snapshot_20150812.JPG
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pnoskodefiningsound

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

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

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ptkrfpnosko

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

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 :)

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morningsdaughter

3 years ago

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.

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ptkrfmorningsdaughter

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

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...

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Jim_Knowles

3 years ago on Introduction

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

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boocat

3 years ago on Introduction

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.