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:
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 )
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 )
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.
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