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Right at Home: Sound ideas for untangling the earbuds storage problem

Anyone who's wrestled with tangled earbuds knows how hard it can be to keep the little devils from becoming a scrambled bunch of knots, no matter where or how you store them.

Here's the latest in cord technology designed to solve this messy problem:

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PRODUCT IDEAS

Zipbuds' Juiced 2.0 and Pro Mike models have an actual zipper between the cords; the glow-in-the-dark green version would be easy to dig out of the dark recesses of a bag. The Slide model employs a tiny zipper attachment like the ones on re-sealable plastic containers. (www.zipbuds.com )

From Beats by Dre, urBeats have a flat, bright-red cable that resists tangling and is easy to see. (www.beatsbydre.com )

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STORAGE IDEAS

If you're not in the market for new earbuds but are just looking for a way to store them smoothly, there are lots of options.

The Sinch is a little rubber band that slips over a phone's cord port. Wrap the cords around the phone and secure with the built-in magnet. (www.thesinch.com )

The Spyder Byte is a black, plastic, spider-shaped clip that attaches to the cords to clasp and secure them. (www.fredandfriends.com )

The Nest is a pliable silicone case with an inner spool to hold earbuds. Pull one of the earbuds to release them from the spool when needed. (www.digitalinnovations.com )

For kids or those after a bit of whimsy in their tech accessories, Storenvy has a silicone 3-D rabbit that offers storage in its rear and room for a phone up front. It comes in a slew of hues. (www.storenvy.com )

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DIY

Look online for ideas on repurposing tape dispensers, thread spools, badge clips, credit cards, small snack boxes, travel-size swab holders, gum dispensers, bandage holders and contact lens cases into earbud storage.

Crafty types might tackle the bunny, butterfly or bear holder shown on www.easyfreshideas.com ; it's made from just felt, Velcro and thread.

Cord tacos — discs that folds in half, with a simple closure — work for any tech cords, including earbuds. You can devise your own out of scraps of material, or find distinctive leather ones online.

Knitters can create a menagerie of cute earbud holders, including turtles, fish, frogs and mice. Tiny pouches secured with small buttons or snaps can be made quickly. Harry Potter fans might like a crocheted Golden Snitch; find Lissan Loi's pattern on her Etsy.com site, Asian Freckles.

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TECHNIQUE

However you decide to store your earbuds, you might first want to explore whether there are ways to coil them so they won't get tangled. YouTube's got a half-dozen or more helpful folk who think they've got it figured out, and are willing to share.

Kim Cook, The Associated Press

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