How to Wrap Headphones to Prevent Tangle

by Mike Whitley | Last Updated: March 21, 2017

wrapped headphonesNothing is worse than reaching for your headphones and coming away with a knotted jumble of cables; but with the right techniques, you can save yourself from the hassle of constantly untangling wires.

While there is plenty of information on the web on how to wrap earbuds, it is nearly impossible to find an article specific to how to wrap over-the-ear headphones.

This is unfortunate because over the ear headphones tend to be much more valuable than earbuds, and treating them with care can expand their longevity for years of quality audio.

If you’ve been searching for a way to prevent your headphones from tangling, look no further, because we’ve identified the best techniques to wrap your cables like a pro.

The Don’ts of Headphone Wrapping

Ok, before we get into how to properly wrap your cable, it is important that we cover some of the common mistakes that are simply “don’t” if you don’t want your headphones to break.

Many tutorials online will advise that you wrap your earbuds tightly around your phone or MP3 player for neat and compact storage. And while this snug wrapping method may be eerily satisfying, it is a major no-no if you don’t want your headphone’s internal wires to fray.

Putting too much pressure on your wires by tightly folding and wrapping them, is sure to break your headphone in no time at all, as it will create pressure points that will eventually simply snap your cable.

While this issue is most commonly a pitfall for earbud owners, wrapping your wires too tightly around the base or band of your over-the-ear headphones can impose the same damage.

The Roadie Wrap

The Roadie Wrap is a common wrapping technique for storing larger cables, like extension cords and studio recording cables, but it can also be used on your everyday headphone set as well.

This wrapping style involves creating circular loops with your cable, using an over and under method. Making Music Mag posted this useful video to demonstrate how the technique is useful for strong guitar amp cables.

Steps to get the perfect roadie wrap:

  • Step 1. Start with your headphones in one hand, and the rest of the cables untangled on the floor.
  • Step 2. Take your free hand and grab the cable about 1.5 feet down from your headphones.
  • Step 3. Twist the cable over to create a full circular loop.
  • Step 4. Grab the cable again and create a loop in the opposite direction by twisting your wrist “under” towards your body.
  • Step 5. Repeat 3 and 4, keeping the same circumference throughout until you have looped the entire cord.
  • Step 6. Use a Velcro tie to keep the cords together.

***Note: at the end, make sure the end of the cable is sticking out of the other side from your headphones, as accidentally pulling it through the loop could create a knot.

Though this method may take some practice, it is a great way to prevent your cables from getting tangled, and the large circumference of this cable loop will prevent the internal wires from getting damaged or frayed.

Just Loop It

If the roadie method is a bit too complicated for your liking, you could always opt for the simple looping method instead.

In contrast to the last wrap, this one only has three steps.

  • Step 1. Start with your headphones in one hand and the rest of the cables untangled on the floor.
  • Step 2. Grab the cable about 1.5 feet from your headphones and start creating circular loops until you’ve used the entire cable.
  • Step 3. Secure the cable in place with a Velcro tie.

This method doesn’t involve any change of direction and is much easier to accomplish when you want to store your headphones quickly.

Don’t Get Caught In a Tangle

Tangled headphones are not only a nuisance, they can also damage the internal wiring of your headphones due to awkward kinks that put a strain on your cable. Using the proper storing methods, on the other hand, can significantly increase the lifespan of your headphones, so that you can keep rocking out to your favorite tunes.

While there are many creative, yet ill-advised, headphone wrapping options plaguing the internet, loose methods like the roadie wrap and the simple loop are actually the professional way to store your cables, as they protect your delicate wires.

A quality pair of headphones doesn’t always come cheap, so treating them carefully is well worth the extra step of wrapping your cables properly.

…Then again, if wrapping really isn’t your thing, you could always invest in wireless headphones and never have to worry about tangled wires again.