11 Tips to Stop Headphone Wires from Twisting and Tangling


Woman untangling headphone wires

Finding your headphones in a heap of tangling mess can be a source of great annoyance and frustration. Twisted headphone wires are not only difficult and time-consuming to untangle but may also get damaged over time if it happens repeatedly. In this article, we will discuss how to stop your headphone and earphone wires from getting tangled or twisted.

Headphone wires may get twisted due to everyday use and frequent adjustment of their position. Simply keeping them on a desk or storage bag without folding them properly can cause them to curl, twist, get kinked. The kinks and small twists don’t correct themselves unless you manually adjust them. 

Over time, due to the constant twisting and tension build-up due to the kinks, the flimsy plastic wire shielding may get damaged and torn, ultimately exposing the copper wires inside. If left unprotected, the copper wires can develop micro-fractures which can affect sound quality and make the headphone defective.

It is possible to prevent your headphone and earphone wires from twisting or getting tangled once you learn how to coil them properly and store them in an appropriate manner. Here are a few ways to achieve what you want:

1. Store your headphones in a case or a carry bag

Headphone case

Storing your headphones in a large bag doesn’t secure them into place properly. As a result, the headphone wires often get twisted or tangled throughout the day. This can even impact the overall lifespan of the product. Another common mistake people do is to store their earphones inside their pockets which can put more stress on the wires.

The best way to store your headphones and earphones is to use the dedicated headphone case or carry bag that comes with it. Dedicated headphone cases contain slots that are designed to properly secure the headphone into place to prevent the twisting of cables and protect them from external damage. 

Storing your earphones inside a headphone carry bag is also a good idea since those limit the movement of the headphone wires. Just be sure to coil or fold them properly before storing them in the bag.

2. Follow the ‘over-under’ cable coiling method

Inexperienced users often try to coil the headphone wires by following the coil of the cable since it looks neat. However, it’s an incorrect way to coil the cables since each coil leaves a twist. This is easier to see once you unfurl the cable. Instead, you should follow the ‘over-under’ cable coiling methods. Here are the steps:

  • Hold the cable in your left hand and make sure it faces towards you.
  • Slide your hand down the cable and make the first coil.
  • Next, place your hand on your chest and make sure your thumb is pointing downwards. Then, grab the cable and make the second coil by bringing the cable back up into your left hand by creating a twist.
  • After that, you just have to alternate between the regular coil and the twisted coil. Make sure the loops remain the same size. You would notice that when you unfurl the cable, the regular and twisted coils cancel each other out.

3. Follow the ‘8’ cable coiling method

  • Hold the earbuds between your thumb and three of your fingers.
  • Next, wrap the cable around your three fingers until you are left with about 3-5 inches of wire.
  • After that, remove two of your fingers from inside the wrapped portion but be sure to keep the index finger inside to make the wrapped section easier to hold.
  • Finally, loop the remaining section of the wire around the wrapped section and tuck the end of the cord into the wrapped portion to secure it tightly.

4. Follow the double fold and knot method

  • Take the entire length of the headphone and then double it.
  • Fold the headphone again and then carefully stretch them out. 
  • Next, take one end and pull it over and under the other end to create a simple loop.

5. Use a rubber band

  • Follow any of the headphone folding or coiling methods listed above.
  • Then, loop a rubber band around the wrapped headphone to secure them properly.

6. Wrap your headphones around an object a long object like a pencil

  • Find a long object such as a pencil, candle holder, or even a hairbrush. Whatever you can keep at your desk and find easily.
  • Next, wrap the headphone wire around the long object to prevent it from tangling when you are not using it.
  • Finally, tuck the headphone jack into the final loop to properly secure it in place and make it easy to remove the loop later.

7. Use velcro or self-adhesive fabric tape

  • Fold the headphone or coil it using any of the methods listed above.
  • Take a small strip of velcro or self-adhesive fabric tape and wrap it around the coiled headphone to secure it into place.

8. Wrap your headphones around your phone

  • Simply wrap your headphones around your smartphone and then tuck the end of the headphone wire into the final loop to make sure it doesn’t get unwrapped by itself.

9. Use a binder clip to fold your headphones

  • Take a medium-sized binder clip and put the headphone jack all the way through the binder clip. Stop once you reach towards the end of the headphone drivers.
  • Next, wrap the remaining length of the headphone wire around the binder.
  • You may also use the binder clip to adjust the length of the headphone by using it as a clip.

10. Create a headphone holder using an old credit card

  • Take an old credit card, expired top-up card, or even a sturdy cardboard. 
  • Next, create two cuts of about an inch on the top and one at the bottom. 
  • After that, punch three holes at the end of the cuts — one for the headphone jack and two for the speakers.
  • Next, put the two headphone speakers into the two holes you cut and start wrapping the wires around the card. Towards the end, make sure to tuck the headphone jack into the last hole.

11. Use a Paracord to make your headphone tangle-free

Caution: Only follow this process if you are comfortable with cutting your headphone cords and rejoining them later. Any mistake may cause your headphones to become nonfunctional.

  • First, you need to separate the microphone and the cables of the headphone. In order to do that, use a pair of scissors to cut the headphone wire about an inch from the microphone around the bottom and upper portion. Thus, you would be left with the microphone and three separate cables.
  • Next, take the paracord and cut it into three sections by measuring the length of each section of the cut headphone cables. Next, pull out the loose threads from inside the paracords.
  • After that, put the individual headphone wires through the empty paracord shells. Once done, seal the ends with shrinking tubes by heating them carefully with a lighter. Alternatively, you may use strong tape.
  • Next, you need to connect the individual wires of the headphone using electrical tape. Make sure to follow the color codes of the wires to attach the individual wires correctly. Before applying the electrical tape, make sure to burn off the plastic coating. Otherwise, the headphones may not work properly.
  • Check whether the headphones are working and then apply another shrinking tubing. Finally, attach all the headphone cords using hot glue or instant glue.

Conclusion

The tips stated above would help you to stop your headphone wires from getting tangled or twisted. However, if you want solutions to straighten out your headphone wires when they are twisted, tangled, or curled, you may look at the tips below to return them to their natural position:

Steps to straighten headphone cords when they are twisted or curled

This method only works when you are sure that the headphone wires are only twisted or curled and not tangled into loops that you need to detangle manually. Here are the steps.

  • Hang the headphone upside down by holding the audio jack with your fingers. Make sure the headphone does not touch the ground.
  • Give the headphone a slight spin in the opposite direction of the twist and let gravity unwind the cord naturally.
  • After some time, use your index finger and thumb to stop the momentum of the rotation and straighten out the headphone cords.

Steps to straighten headphone cords when they are tangled

  • Spread the headphones on a flat surface and make sure it is unplugged from your smartphone or any other audio source.
  • Locate the headphone audio jack and carefully follow the end of the cord to find the nearest loop. Earphone users also have to locate the individual earbuds.
  • Slowly start the untangling process by pulling the knots apart with your fingers and running the loops in the opposite direction. You may use a pencil or pen to pull on knots that are tighter. 
  • Repeat the process until all the knots are open and the headphone cords are untangled completely.

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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