The biggest issue with using wired earphones and headphones is tangled cables. They can be very annoying, especially when you have to first untangle your earphones before you can use them. But this isn’t the only issue. Tangles on your cables will eventually lead to long-term damage.
You may think that the answer is pretty simple. Just ditch your wired earphones and buy a wireless pair. After all, they do not have wires that tangle and break over time. This is a quick fix, but we believe this is not the proper solution.
As we have stated in our previous article, wired earphones and headphones simply sound better than wireless earbuds. And if you want to have the best sound quality, then there is simply no escaping wires.
If you want to improve your quality of life, then you must learn how to be properly organized, and you must learn how to better take care of your earbuds. And the best way to learn those skills is by reading our article. Keep on scrolling to know some of the best ways to prevent tangles and long-term damage to your earphones.
Why do Cables Always Get Tangled?
Before we tackle the ways on how to prevent tangles from our earphones/headphone cables, let us first quickly learn why this happens. The cables of our earphones/headphones get tangled every time we put them in our bags or our pockets.
Most people just throw their earbuds in their bags or pockets after use. This will, of course, result in tangled cables that are very difficult to untangle.
However, this problem still occurs even to people who organize their things properly. The factors to why cables get tangled when we keep them are the shape, length, and thickness of the cable and the Y-split of the left and right channel.
The longer the cable, the higher the chances of it getting all tangled up and more difficult to untangle. Of course, even with poor-quality cables, you must still learn how to properly store them in order to lessen the chances of having tangles.
Braided Cables and Flat Cables
Given how the type of material and the design used on the cable greatly influences its tendency to be tangled, it is important to learn what cable types are most resistant to tangles. Braided cables and flat cables are easier to manage and are stronger compared to the regular rubber cables that earbuds come with.
Braided cables are found on higher-end IEMs and can also be purchased separately for IEMs and headphones with removable cables. Headphones and earbuds with non-removable cables can still be modified via a recabling service.
Besides the durability of the braided cables, another advantage of owning one is they help in lessening the chance of getting knotted. Braided cables are thicker and stiffer compared to regular cable cords that are used in most earbuds.
The stiffness of the cable helps in lessening the probability of the cables getting tangled. Flat cables, on the other hand, lessen the chance of tangles due to their shape.
Proper Cable Management Techniques
There are a few ways on how to manage your cables and prevent them from getting tangled. The best way of preventing your cables from getting tangled is by fixing them properly and keeping them away from your other stuff. It is much more difficult to untangle your earbuds when they get knotted on your other belongings like your pens or pencil.
Additionally, we highly suggest picking up a case for your earphones. This protects both your earphones and your other belongings if they do ever bump into each other inside your bag. We’ll discuss the different cases that are available later in this article.
In terms of cable management techniques, you can use the “over-under” method of rolling your cables. This method is basically making big coils using your cords. This does not only prevent tangles but as well as the small folding marks on your cables.
In this method, first, get the end of your cable and make a big coil. Then with the other hand facing backward, slide through the cable and form another coil by twisting your palm back inwards. Continue the process until all the cable is wrapped.
An additional way to prevent it from uncoiling is by using a thin wire ( like the one in the photo) for wrapping it. You can also use the cable itself and wrap it around the coiled part.
Accessories to Prevent Tangles
Aside from properly handling your cable, there are also accessories that can help in organizing your headphone cables. The common accessory that most people use is the cases. There are different kinds of cases that you can purchase in stores.
However, hard cases are often quite expensive. They are a good investment but are certainly not for everyone. For a more budget and lightweight solution, we highly recommend going for small pouch cases. These do not offer the best protection but are a lot better than just throwing your earbuds or IEMs inside your pockets.
More premium IEMs such as the KBEar Believe, Thieaudio Legacy 3, and Audiosense DT200 offer a case right out of the box. You can even purchase a case from these brands if you like the aesthetics of their cases. And for those who carry lots of things but do not want a separate bag or case for each accessory, you can also check out cases with multiple compartments for your everyday carry needs.
Aside from cases, there are also accessories for organizing your cables. These include fastening cable ties, silicone cable twist ties, and leather earbuds holders. These are some of the cheapest options to have for your earbuds and headphones.
There is also a tangle-free earbuds/earphone cable storage system, where you can wrap the cable around its spindle. Some of the phone cases sold online have this kind of storage attached to their back. However, we do not recommend using this system for higher-end IEMs.
Stephen is a musician, cinematographer, and headphone enthusiast who is passionate about reviewing audio equipment. He has been playing guitar for at least a decade, which introduced him to professional recording equipment such as headphones and in-ear monitors. With the help of reviews and online content, he was able to learn the ins and outs of the hobby. His goal is to give back to the community by providing quality content to help others enjoy the beautiful (and expensive) world of audio.
Favorite Headphones: Sennheiser HD660s