What’s the worst thing that can happen to a pair of headphones you’re using with a mobile device? Well, duh, it’s to have the wires connected between each of the earbuds get tangled. Besides being a pain in the behind to untangle (and always to have to do at the most inopportune time), there’s the real chance you’ll pull too hard and end up breaking the speaker off of the wire. Or bending it to the point where it accomplishes the same thing. What’s needed is two things: 1) a pair of headphones to use with a mobile device that doesn’t get tangled, and 2) a reasonable cost for these headphones so you’re not putting yourself out. Both gets accomplished with the cord cruncher.
Now on first glance it looks like your headphones are encased inside a rubber sleeve — sort of like Gumby being flattened by a steam roller and then rolled around it. But that’s part of cord cruncher’s charm. What it does is keep the wires together so they’re not tangle-able, if such a word exists (it does now). And by extending the wires out when you need them, you’re able to quickly stick those speakers in your ears so you can listen to what you want to, already.
The drill is as follows — pull the wires out of the cord cruncher’s sleeve, insert into the holes on each side of your head and then stick the mini-jack in the audio output socket. Of course if you just do it helter-skelter, you’re going to break something.
Guess that’s why an instruction cord is included: the plastic laminated info shows you what NOT to do on one side and what TO do on the other. To break it down simply, you hold the plastic headpiece that is at each end of the cord cruncher firmly. Then you extend the cord cruncher horizontally so that the wires are going to have no trouble moving laterally. You then pull at the speaker heads and the wires easily eject themselves. Use the card and you’ll not make any mistakes.
When it comes time to putting those headphones away, you reverse the process, sort of. You hold both ends as before and horizontally as before. Only this time, you pull back on the mini-jack end to retract the wires back into the sleeve. This takes about 12 seconds, give or take and then you’re done. Put the cord cruncher in your pocket or what-not and don’t worry about the cords one bit.
I should probably mention that the speakers the cord cruncher has are not chopped liver — actually they’re audio drivers, not food at all, in case you’re the literal sort. If you’re the audiophile-sort, no info is given so you have to wing it by listening. I can say that for the spoken word, the cord cruncher does a fine job of conveying the audio. Turning to popular music, I found them about as respectable as others in its price range –perhaps a bit weaker on the bass when compared to some other earbud-derived headphones. But I also found if you change out the ear flanges for the larger ones included, the air space now created improves on this. In general they’re fine for on-the-go portable casual use, which is what they’re created for (and priced for) anyway.
Bottom line: For $25 you get a near-fool proof way to keep your headphones from being tangled, because the cord cruncher is all over that. That’s the whole idea behind them after all.
- Adjusts from 16-inches to 3-1/2 feet
- Comes in 4 different colors
- No audio control tab
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.