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Tech Hacks: 10 ways to keep your earphones untangled and last longer

Image: David Caudery/Tap Magazine via Getty Images

Image: David Caudery/Tap Magazine via Getty Images

Here are a few simple tricks to help you pack them in the right way.

Earphones - that one piece of mobile accessory which is as sensitive as the crucial charger yet people often mistreat it the most. From wrapping it too tightly, thereby reducing its lifespan, to just carelessly throwing it inside a bag only to find it beneath rubble of other stuff and then being mercilessly pulled out when need be. We are all also familiar with the situation when the earphones annoyingly transform into a ball of tangled mess. To make things worse, the more you try to untangle, the more complex the knots get. The resultant frustration sure knows no bounds especially if it occurs at a time when you need to listen to something right away.

To make sure the earphones cords stay untangled and are always discoverable inside a bag, here are a few simple tricks to help you pack them the right way:

1. Do the 8

Instead of simply rolling like a ball of knitting yarn, earphones need to be loosely wrapped around fingers and woven in a manner that they neither get tangled nor are damaged. To do this, start wrapping the chord over your fingers. Be sure to leave out some length towards the end. Now take the remaining length and wrap it horizontally. Weave the headphone jack at one end of the loop making it look like a bow. To open, simply pull out the jack while holding the earplugs and voila!

2. Make 'em strong

This is one of the easiest way of saving your earphones from getting tangled. For this trick, you would need embroidery threads, a pair of scissors, and some patience. All you got to do is start making knots using the thread over the entire cable length. You could also make them look more personalised by using multi-coloured threads. Just make sure you leave out the microphone. This will not only strengthen the otherwise delicate cable but also make sure that no matter how carelessly you throw it inside your bag, it will remain unharmed and less prone to getting tangled up on its own.

3. Use a binder clip

This is one of the easiest of the wrapping techniques and offer dual functionality. For this, you will only need a medium sized binder clip. Keeping the speakers out, start wrapping the remaining length of the cable around the clip and you are done. You could also use it to reduce the length of the cable by clipping it to your shirt or bag while listening to music or taking calls.

4. Use your phone

If you run out of props to wrap the wild earphones, you could use your phone as the equipment. Simply wind the cable around the phone and just tuck in the jack in one of the coils. This not only will keep the phone and the earphones at one place but also make sure the device doesn’t slip off easily from either your pocket or hands.

5. Cut the credit card

If you have an old credit card, shopping card, or even a cardboard, you could use it as a really handy way of wrapping the earphones. All you got to do is cut the card as shown in the GIF and punch holes on both ends - two for the speakers and one for the headphone jack. Now weave out the speakers and start wrapping the cable around the card and pull out the jack from the other hole.

6. Double fold and knot

Take the entire length of the earphones, double it twice, and tie it. Simplest of all techniques and also the most convenient one to undo as well.

7. Use a self adhesive fabric tape or Velcro

Cut a small strip of the self adhesive fabric tape (or velcro) and wrap it around the neck of the earphone jack. To keep it in place, fix it with a tape and make sure to leave out sufficient length of the fabric tape. Now, whichever way you wrap the cable, you can hold it in place using the fabric tape.

8. Alternate wrapping

This method is similar to the way huge cables or pipes are usually wrapped. You have to wrap the cable around your fingers in alternate loops by lifting and placing it over the fingers with each loop in a different direction. With the remaining length, wrap the bundle of headphones and weave out the ends.

9. Good old rubber/elastic band

Another very simple trick to keep the earphones in place. Follow either of the techniques described in point number 1 or 8 and once done, just slide a rubber/elastic hair band over it or weave through the loops and your earphones will never misbehave.

10. Paracord trick

One of the slightly pro-level ways of wrapping the earphones cable; you would require a pair of scissors, some shrinking tubes, paracord, and a heat source (blow dryer or lighter). First you would need to cut and separate the microphone with the rest of the cables. This will leave you with three different cables and the microphone – one with the headphone jack, and two with the earplugs. Take the paracord and pull out the loose threads from it. Now weave the cables into separate paracords and seal the ends with the shrinking tubes. You could also use a strong tape to keep the loose threads from coming off. Now the next step requires you to reconnect the three pieces and the microphone. Once done, seal it with an electric tape and you are good to go.

You might want to watch this video to understand the process in its entirety.

first published:April 11, 2016, 11:43 IST