Untangling A Headphone Problem

Alison Young
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April 04, 2007
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One thing that frustrates me is untangling my iPod headphone cord when I’m all set to go on a run. I feel like I’m wasting so much time fighting with the jumbled mess. A few times I’ve just gone running with a tangled cord as a result of not wanting to deal with it.

Ever since I found the Cordgo at MacWorld, I have no need to deal with this problem anymore.

The Cordgo is such a simple little device, yet a huge sanity saver. Once you have it set up it’s simple to use with one hand. When you first look at it you might wonder how it works and how to take it apart for setup.

It’s actually quite easy. First you push the clip, and it releases the lid as you pull on it. You then loop your cord through the spindle, pop the lid back onto the unit, and rotate it using your thumb in a circular motion to retract the cord.

When you’re ready to release your cord, you pull both ends of the cord evenly and it comes right out. Depending on how long and thick your cord is, the Cordgo can hold an average of six feet. The clip comes in handy to hook onto your sleeve, and your headphones are no longer weighted down to pop out of your ears.

Apparently the tangling frustration is shared.

“I came up with the idea after untangling my headphones for the millionth time,” said Darrel Hade, president of Wing Products and the inventor of the Cordgo. “I also had problems with the cord getting in the way, and the weight of the cord pulling the earbuds from my ears. The experience of listening to music should not have to include the frustration of dealing with headphone cords. While the concept is fairly simple, the design is pretty sophisticated - it took many prototypes to get it right. I think anyone who uses a Cordgo will find it difficult to do without. It takes away the issues of tangled, lost and damaged cords, not to mention cord interference.”

You can find this neat invention at www.cordgo.com. It’s $9.95, with a buy-one-get-one-free special. There’s no limit on the quantity (buy two, and then two are free, and so on and so forth). Unfortunately you can’t find this anywhere in the state yet.


three star

Super Headphones, Compact Size. So now that you have the tangling problem squared away, are you ready for new headphones? I certainly am. I’m tired of using the headphones that came with my iPod. They’re all right, but they always pop out of my ears when I’m running, and the sound quality isn’t the best. Even when I’m not active, I can still hear the majority of the ambient noise around me while using them. I’ll usually use my Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones while I’m traveling, but they’re too big to tote around on a daily basis.

Although these have been out for awhile, I just discovered Ultimate Ears’ line of earphones, in particular the super.fi 5 Pro and the super.fi 5 EB. These earphones go all the way inside your ear to give you professional-grade audio. Low- and high-frequency speakers are builtin each side of the headphones for excellent fidelity, and the tips help seal off external noise.

You can hear a huge difference between the super.fis and regular headphones. I haven’t tested it on an airplane yet, but the super.fi 5 Pro definitely keeps out the background noise. Additionally, once you insert them into your ears, they loop over your ear rather than hanging down. The cord is a little thicker than a normal one, but that’s what makes it sturdy. It could possibly be my next choice to travel with (as opposed to taking the big, hulking Bose with me), but I’ll have to wait for my next plane ride to truly test it.

Exercising with it isn’t bad, but best at the gym while on a machine that doesn’t move too much, such as the elliptical or bicycle. The 5 EB (Extended Bass) has more bass response, so it’s good for listening to rock, but the earbuds are a little bigger. The 5 Pro gives you strong acoustics for all music genres, and the ear-buds fit snugly in your ear. Both come with leather and metal carrying cases for storage.

The super.fi 5 Pro retails for $249.99 (white, cherry red, black and clear) and the 5 EB is a little less for $199.99 (white, black). If you’re really strapped but still want a discriminating earphone, there’s a super.fi 3 Studio for $99.99 (white, black, clear) or metro.fi for $79.99 (black only). You can find these online at www.ultimateears.com or at your nearest CompUSA (www.compusa.com). The difference in the models/pricing reflects in the sound quality.

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