Tangled Headphones

It’s a mystery that still baffles us to this day; tangled headphones – How do headphones manage to tangle themselves up when they are left to their own devices? Whether you leave them in your pocket, your bag or in the top drawer of your bedside cabinet, these little devils will always find a way to make your day just that little bit more stressful.

But how does it happen? How do tangled headphones form, when you leave them alone for a while? More importantly, how can we stop it from happening?

Fortunately, science has come to our aid once again, with a clear explanation as to how tangled headphones come about. We have also scoured the internet to find the best solutions to prevent your headphones from tangling ever again.

What Causes Tangled Headphones?

Tangled Earbuds

Without getting too technical and scientific, there are two main factors that will determine whether a pair of headphones will tangle, and how long it will take for them to do so. These factors are “Time under agitation” and the “critical string length”.

In layman’s terms, the longer the piece of “string”, and the more they are “agitated”, the more likely they are to form a knot. Researchers found this out by adding different sized pieces of string to a box and shook the box for different lengths of time. They did this over 3000 times, to find the relationship between the size of the string, the time it’s under agitation and the speed at which the knots formed.

So, when we are talking about tangled headphones, the two contributing factors that cause them to form knots is how long they are, and how much they rustle about in your pocket, bag or wherever you keep them.

With that knowledge in mind, let’s discuss a few ways in which you can prevent the dreaded tangled headphones from ever happening again.

How To Prevent Tangled Headphones? 

tangled headphones

Now that we know what causes tangled headphones, we can use our imagination to try and conjure up some methods to keeping them slack and ready to use at all times. In all honesty, the second factor that leads to tangled headphones (agitation time) is something that is pretty much out of our control. Unless you have the ability to lay your headphones down on a flat surface while they are not in use, the chances are, they are going to be agitated while in your pocket or bag. This is inevitable.

With that being said, the length of the string is definitely something we have control over. The best way to prevent tangled headphones is to shorten the length of the headphones cable, while removing as much slack and space as possible.

1. Use a Hair Clip

There are a number of ways you can achieve this. First of all, you can coil up the headphones by spiraling them up together into a small, compact circle. To prevent the coil from unwinding, simply use a hair clip, a piece of tape, a rubber band or anything else you can find to prevent the headphone coil from unwinding.

2. Headphones with a built-in Clipping Mechanism or add-on

Another similar method for preventing tangled headphones is to purchase headphones that are equipped with clips. A lot of modern headphones will have some sort of clipping mechanism attached to them.  If not you can purchase cheap add-ons from all over.  Usually, you can clip them to your collar, or the inside of your jacket. To prevent your headphones from tangling, simply fold them in half and clip the left cable and the right cable together.

Both of these methods will work extremely well for preventing tangled headphones. But if you are like us (lazy, for lack of a better word) and you haven’t got the patience to tie your headphones together.  It is too tedious every time you take them off.  So there is one last solution for you, and it’s stupidly simple…

3. Wireless headphones!

Wireless Earbuds

If you are a serious audiophile who hates the dreaded tangled headphones conundrum, think wireless.  A pair of wireless headphones will make your life considerably less stressful. Sure, they may cost a little bit more than regular headphones, but it’s a small price to pay.   Never having to deal with those pesky knots ever again may be worth it the additional cost.  Until, they go missing, and then you have yourself a brand new first world problem.

4. Tangle-free Headphones

Last but not least are the tangle-free earbuds.  If clips just aren’t cutting it and wireless just isn’t an option for you due to price or chance you will lose them you can try these.  These tangle-free headphones my look a little odd but they will get the job done.  Bye, bye tangled headphones and hello stress-free life!



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