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Headphone cord protector

Save yourself a few bucks, and some space in the landfills
  [vote for,

I have observed that for every pair of headphones I have ever owned, the weakest part has been the little jack thingy that plugs into the Walk/Discman. The straight jacks are the worst, but even the L-shaped box jacks (dunno what they're called) are prone to bending and snapping. And I have a fairly expensive pair of new headphones that I would like to keep working as long as possible.

The reason this spot wears out is because it is more prone to bending than any part of the headphone wire. Protect it, and your headphones will last a lot longer.

The device I have in mind is a sort of splint that attaches to the base of the jack (where it would enter the musical device) with adhesive, and then extends to about an inch into the greater headphone wire and fixes with an adhesive washer. It's not a hard splint, but a flexible and soft rubber one that is at an angle to help ease the effects of bending of the cord. It would be most effective for headphones with straight-down jacks, like the aforementioned expensive pair.

polartomato, Jun 29 2002


       How exactly does this differ from a molded strain relief?
supercat, Jun 29 2002

       [supercat], I have owned several pairs in all price ranges that have had very poor strain relievers. They have loosened from the cord in the middle and allowed the tiny wires inside to bend and break, thus necessitating the replacement of the entire unit. The protector holds this fairly sensitive area together as it stops it from bending too much.
polartomato, Jun 29 2002

       I guess I'm a bit surprised, since even cheap molded plugs often have effective strain reliefs. Still, I wouldn't see why you'd have to junk the entire set of headphones rather than wiring on a replacement plug. To be sure, hand-wired plugs often don't have as good strain reliefs as the all-in-one molded assemblies, but it should be possible to strain-relief the thing adequately.
supercat, Jun 29 2002

       The most traumatic thing that has happened to me recently has been the death of my headphones, I loved those little things. The worst thing is that I can't find a similar pair anywhere.
kaz, Jun 29 2002

       So is the idea, then, a retrofit kit for cables to improve the strain relief thereon? If so, that sounds like a reasonable concept though there are so many variations in plug outer diameter and length that I don't know how best to make something work well with many different models.
supercat, Jun 30 2002

       I've had this same problem a number of times as well. I think headphone strain relief is usually quite underdesigned.   

       What also often happens to my phones is that I step on the cord and pull a bit too hard on the wires at the earpiece end. What I did to combat it was to loop the wires in an S shape as they protruded from the crystals and then tape them to the sides of the earpieces. Now when I do something silly, the wire simply slides inside the tape a bit.
RayfordSteele, Jun 30 2002

       I have the opposite problem. I want my headphone plug to break before the jack does.   

       What I really need is something that will sever the mechanical connection before either breaks. Don't XBOX controllers have something like that in the cord? That's what I really need. One near the headphones and one near the source.   

       I'm currently resoldering my disassembled PCMCIA sound card and hoping it will work when I'm done.   

       (It works! Phew!...)
omegatron, Mar 09 2006

       Couldn't you just bung a sturdy bit of heat-shrink plastic round the affected area if you're worried?
bs0u0155, Nov 02 2007


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