D-Tangle Headphone Reel REVIEW
Have you ever prepared to go for a workout, only to find your knotted earbuds nearly unusable? I do not know how the earbuds knot and tangle so easily, but it is a rather ubiquitous nuisance. D-tangle, a company out of Cyprus, has attempted to answer the following paradox: “If headphones always tangle and shoelaces always untie, why don’t we make shoelaces out of headphones and vice-versa?” While walking around CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, I was able to meet with the team from D-Tangle, to hold their device and to see their solution to the earbud conundrum.
The device is a 1 13/16″ tall by 1 7/16″ wide by 7/8″ thick plastic case with a detachable lapel clip. The D-Tangle device is monochromatically available in red, blue, red, black, white or yellow, with the logo hidden along the bottom right. I personally feel that the logo should be a contrasting color, such as black or white, as this would allow people to know the brand. Otherwise, the product seems somewhat bland, without any other colors. The website does offer options for other companies to customize the cover of the device. The alligator clip is rather strong and will allow you to clip the product to your lapel, to your belt or to your bag. The clip is strong and affixes quite securely. Flipping the device over, you will notice a black removable panel. Simply push the panel upwards and set it aside.
The device comes shipped with a long wire, wound inside of the drum. The internal mechanism is a spring based, coil, system that will wind your cable when you depress the side button. It is supposed to work with most Bluetooth headsets with a range of about 1200mm (standard). The D-Tangle website details methods to enhance/weaken the strength of coiling. This will allow you to utilize the device for longer or shorter cables or to speed up the coiling process. The first step, after removal of the back, is to find the midpoint of your earphones. To test the device, I chose to utilize the apple earbuds. The reason, anyone with an iPhone likely has a pair of these lying around. There is a top and bottom to the device and it is important that the jack faces towards the more narrow bottom.
You may be tempted to put the Y-shaped piece into the middle of the drum, but that is a mistake. Find the mid point and place it into the middle of the drum, feed the top half towards the upper section of the wheel and the lower half towards the bottom of the wheel. Replace the thin black backing panel and then depress the side button. The cable should wind until only the ear pieces and the 3.5mm jack hub remains visible. You can utilize the alligator clip to hold the D-Tangle to your shirt like a lapel microphone. When you need the earbuds, simply grasp the ear pieces and the 3.5mm jack and pull slowly outward. This will uncoil the cable in a ratcheting manner and allow you the length of cable you need. When done, depress the button again and recoil the cable.
This device is a rather ingenious way to carry your earbuds without them becoming tangled. I have tested a few other cord management systems and I am really pleased with this devices mechanism and the ease of access to the cable. With the abolition of the 3.5mm jack in the iPhone 7 and 7 plus and the trend towards wireless devices such as the AirPods or Rowkin Bit, I thought of other uses for this device. Even though the power cables are less likely to tangle than earbuds, I found that the D-Tangle worked well with my USB-A to Lightning cable as well. If you are looking for a method to enhance the access to your earbuds, look no further for this device works very well. I rate the device at 5/5.