How to Stop Headphones from Twisting and Tangling

by Alex.   Last Updated On April 26th, 2022.
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You might still be using wired a pair of durable headphones or earbuds whenever you are commuting, working out, or doing anything besides working on a desk. If so, you might also be familiar with the headphone cables twisting and tangling with each other whenever they are stowed away inside your pockets or your bag.

It is annoying having to untangle them all the time. No matter how carefully I place them inside my pockets, “life finds a way” and locks them together in a heated embrace.

So, what can you do to minimize this and keep your cables free?

The most obvious thing is to go fully wireless, but if not, you can always wrap the cables around your phone. Sometimes, wrapping the cable around your phone is not that productive because you can’t use the touchscreen properly.

Therefore, in the following sections, we are going to talk about how you can prevent this by following some:

  • Quick Fixes to wrap up your headphone cables
  • Advanced fixes to keep your headphones tangle-free

So, with that being said, let’s get into it.

Table of Contents

How to prevent your headphones from twisting and tangling?

Vibrant orange wired headphones on the wooden bench

Untangling headphone cables every time you need to take them out to listen to music or answer a call is very annoying. However, some people are perfectly fine with having messed-up cables as long as it was long enough to reach the headphone jack but this can also damage your headphone jack.

But not me, my OCD would kick in, and I would want to go there and help them untangle the cable myself. Fortunately, I could control myself from doing so.

Instead of worrying about how others could live their life carefree without worrying about their tangled headphone cables, I sought out to figure out how I prevent my headphone cables from tangling up in the first place.

So in this section, I’m going to list out several techniques that you can adopt to help you prevent headphone/earbud cables from tangling up. Some are quick fixes and some are more elaborate ones, whatever the case may be, they all solve the same issue.

If you want to know more about the differences between earbuds and headphones click here.

Let’s get into these techniques right away.

Quick Fixes

Here are some quick fixes that you can do with just your headphones/earbuds. They are the minimalistic approach and therefore, do not require additional objects such as cases or elaborate stands.

Wrap your earbuds around your phone: As I mentioned in the introduction, the fastest way to store your earbuds without them cluttering up together is to wrap your earbud cables around your phone. It’s really simple and you don’t have to learn fancy knots to do it. Just grab the cable from the earbud end and start wrapping it around the phone. After wrapping, you can use the headphone jack end of the cable and tuck it under the loop so that it stays on tightly.

Unfortunately, when you wrap your cables around your phone, it can be difficult to use the phone, and you’ll always have to take out the cable before you can use the phone. Just take out the headphone jack first and unwrap the cable.

You can also quickly untie the cable by sliding the cable away from the phone until it has no support to hold on to. However, make sure that the cable is not too tight before doing so, otherwise, you might damage the cable.

If you want to know about the differences between earbuds and In-Ear Monitors, click here.

Wrap your headphones around a pen or long object: If you keep working at your desk or keep your earbud cables inside your purse/pencil box you can grab a long object like a pencil/pen or hairbrush and wrap the cable around it, just like you do with the phone. It’s a great alternative, especially if you want to keep your phone free of cables.

Double Fold and Knot: This is another easy method that does not require any special components. All you have to do is

  1. Take both ends of the cable and stretch it out.
  2. After that, or fold them in the middle to bring the headphone jack and the earbuds close together. (also, you can grab the two ends and bring them together to “double” the cable)
  3. Now, repeat the same process, one more time, so that the cable is folded again and the length is now half of what it was during the second step.
  4. Now, create a simple knot by looping one end over the other.

This method is very easy. However, try not to overtighten the knot as this can damage the cables, especially if you have weaker cables and a volume rocker caught in between.

The 8 cable coiling method: This is a bit more tricky, but it looks cool and doesn’t take up as much space as the simple double fold and knot.

  1. First, take the earbud end of the cable and pinch it between your thumb and index finger.
  2. Extend your middle and ring finger and wrap the cable around these three fingers (be careful not to stress the volume rocker) until you are left with 5-10 inches of the cable.
  3. Slowly take out the middle and ring fingers from the loop and wrap the remaining 5-10 inches around the previous loop. (so that the cable takes the shape of an 8) Tightly wrap this new loop so that it won’t come loose.
  4. Finally, tuck the headphone jack under the loop. (so that everything is tightly packed)

This method is very effective and looks cool. However, it takes some time, and your friends can start to get jealous.

Advanced Fixes

If you don’t like the simple fixes shown above, and you want to include some special gadget or device to help you keep your headphone cables neat and tangle-free, then in this section, I’ll show you how.

Using a rubber band: Starting with some of the most common items you can find: a rubber band. You can easily use a rubber band to hold your cables in place. All you have to do is to fold or coil your headphones using one of the methods listed above (or just wrap the cable around your four fingers) and tie them up with a rubber band. However, make sure not to lose the rubber band when you untie them.

Using a binder clip: If rubber bands are not your thing, and you are looking for something more solid (that’s less likely to be lost,) a binder clip is your best bet.

  1. Thread the headphone jack through the binder clip and pull it until your reach the drivers.
  2. After that, wrap the cable around the binder and tuck your headphone jack under the loop.

For some, this may not be ideal. However, it’s nice to have alternatives to a floppy rubber band.

Velcro Strips: Now, here’s something a little more convenient. So if you manage to find/buy a small velcro strip (most often, you can find these on USB cables and laptop chargers) you can use it as a rubber band replacement. Just loop the cable as you normally would, and then tie it off with one of these velcro straps/self-adhesive fabric tape.

You can also use one of those small pieces of wire that are often used to bundle up new headphone wires, USB cables, etc.

Old Credit Card: This one looks a bit weird, especially if you start carrying it around in your pocket. However, it’s great for showcasing your wired earbuds.

  1. First, take out an old credit card or similar piece of thin plastic.
  2. (Optional) Cut out the sides of the card so that it looks like an hourglass.
  3. Create a small cut that runs down from the top (about an inch) and punch a hole where it ends (so you can prop the drivers inside the hole by dragging the cable through the small cut.
  4. Do this for both of the drivers and one for the headphone jack. (at the bottom)
  5. Now, thread the earbuds into the two holes in the top and wrap the cables around the middle of the card. (where the hourglass shape is)
  6. Finally, put the headphone jack into the hole in the bottom to tighten things up.

Now, you can pretend it’s 2007 and wonder if Bluetooth headphones are going to be a good idea.

Separate Case: Here’s the more obvious solution, carry your headphones/earbuds in a special case. That way, you won’t have them twisting and tangling around. Most modern premium headphones and TWS earbuds already come with a carrying case, and you won’t lose them easily. However, if you do not have one for your existing headphones/earbuds we recommend you buy one as it is safer and more reliable to store your headphones/earbuds inside a case.

If you want to know more about the differences between wired, wireless, and TWS earbuds, click here.

So, we’ve come a long way and discovered a lot of different methods on how to prevent headphone cables from twisting and tangling. To summarize everything we’ve learned so far:

There are many methods to prevent headphone/earbud cables from twisting and tangling. The best method is to use a case, but if you want a more minimalistic and fast approach you can also coil the cables and tie them up together with the cable itself. However, make sure that you don’t stress out the cables too much, especially around the volume rocker.


Although the headphone jack is slowly disappearing from many modern smartphones and tablets, some users still prefer wired headphones. Many of these users will face a situation where the headphone cable gets tangled up whenever it is not stored correctly. Therefore, the best method to prevent this is to go fully wireless. Unfortunately, everybody won’t do so, and instead, they will have to use a case or follow the numerous practices out there, such as folding/coiling the headphone cable in a tangle-free manner.