We’ve recommended plenty of tactics for avoid tangled headphones, ranging from careful wrapping techniques to using binder clips. However, if you’re like me, you don’t always remember to do that properly, and you just want a set of headphones that don’t go nuts when you shove them in a travel bag in a hurry. On the front, the O’Neill Stretch headphones from Philips do a fine job.
The Stretch is one of a series of headphones carrying the O’Neill branding. O’Neill specialise in surf gear, so the big selling point for the range is durability (it’s made from TR55LX, an “ultra-durable and temperature-resistant material”). However, the big attraction for me is the “tangle-free” cord, which is wrapped in cloth like a shoelace. That means it doesn’t tend to tangle up even when you just throw it in a bag — in a week of travelling around with the Stretch, I only encountered one knot, and that took only seconds to undo, rather than the traditional macrame-like approach often seen with conventional headphones.
$149.95$129.95, the Stretch isn’t cheap, and it’s a lot bulkier than a set of earbuds (so it probably wouldn’t qualify for No Luggage Week). However, it does sound great, stays tangle-free and promises to be long-wearing.
Update: Following publication, we got word from Philips that the price of the stretch has been dropped to $129.95. Still not cheap, but $20 isn’t to be sneezed at!