Why Your Earbuds Cable Get Tangled And Knotted?

If you stuff your earbuds in your pocket, bag or anywhere without wrapping the cord in the right way, it is going to be struggled for you when they are back for use, you have to solve tangles and knot for a while. How this could happen? Why do your earbuds cord behave that way, there is a little science behind this.

how to wrap your earbuds
Earbuds were rolled up in the right way

Have a look at some cheap earbuds with rounded and thin cable, which is very easy to get messed.

Tangling cable
Panasonic Ergo Fit 120

Knotting cable
Stock earbuds


This topic is not new, but until 2014 a paper named spontaneous knotting of an agitated string, was submitted to pnas.org by Dorian M. Raymer and Douglas E. Smith, which revealed that there are a number of factors involved in conformation of tangling and knotting of earbub cord. Those factors includes the cord, which is splitted at Y-joint to L and R channel, the length, shape, and size. They exploited the simplified model to predicts cable behavior and possibility of knotting.

In reality, let’s say your earbuds are stored in a carrying case, pocket, bag or even you stuff them in drawer (this doesn’t move anywhere). In the first situation, when the carrying case is carried on, it will shake, stumble and the cable will tend to “mix” together following what forces them to do so.


The complication of earbuds cord tangles relies on how the earbuds are agitated and how long the cord is. The more the carrying case vibrates the more tangles are possible. Longer cable also means there is smaller room for a number of “short cable”.

The cord with larger diameter also reduces the possibility of tangling. But this will add weight to your earbuds.

Flat cords have been proved to significantly reduces, but large cords may cause microphonics and look awkward.

If you don’t have cable free earbuds, How to avoid tangling and knotting?

  • Roll up your earbuds in the right way
  • Store them in Nest case
  • Replace your cable with a flat cable.
  • Or you just get a free tangle earbuds, here are our recommendations.
  1. Sony MDRXB50AP, free tangle cable, sound good with strong bass
  2. Zipbuds JUICED 2.0 Never Tangle Zipper Earbuds, mediocre sound
  3. Bluetooth earbuds




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