When it comes to Apple's earbuds, I have a love-hate relationship with them. They provide decent enough sound that I don't feel like I'm listening through a tin can. I've also found a new appreciation for them, since upgrading my iPhone to a white 4S model.
I have a bad habit of leaving my earbuds in clothing pockets: jeans, jackets, pullovers, shirts, shorts, cargo pants - you get the idea. After going through the dryer once, the heat they're subjected to crinkles the wire enough that my wife affectionately names them "ramen-phones" (although, surprisingly, they're incredibly resilient going through the washer). At $30 a pop, the novelty of having ramen-phones was quickly overshadowed by my consistently empty wallet.
Enter Wrapster. Invented by Matthew Fleming and available through the folks at Quirky, Wrapster is the solution to my earbud nightmare. No longer do I shove my earbuds in a pocket or pouch in my pants or in my messenger back, just to find them in a tangled mess when I go to use them. With the Wrapster, I tuck the part that goes into my ear into the slots and wrap the cable around the rubbery middle stem. It keeps my earbuds - and my sanity - intact. If you're the kind to want to watch video or movie on your iPhone, Wrapster also doubles as a stand for your 4/4S in landscape, so you can consume your content hands-free. However, there are a few caveats I should mention:
- It does not work with the iPhone 3G/3GS or the iPod touch (any generation) because of those devices curved back and lack of thickness to fill the stand properly.
- It works pretty well for the iPhone 4/4S, however, don't expect this to be a hand-free alternative for using FaceTime in landscape mode. The stand does not allow the iPhone to sit at the proper arc to make this a decent alternative.
- Wrapster can, however, be used as a brace to steady the iPhone for video and still shots.
The best part about the Wrapster is that it's only $6.99. At that price, you could get a few different sets for the home, office, and gym (provided you have multiple sets of earbuds).
Quirky, the company behind this and other "I can't believe I didn't think of this myself" products is a community-based initiative which offers inventors who don't have the time or financial backing to pursue the manufacture of their items the opportunity to see their inventions come to fruition. The best part is that even if you're not particularly creative, you can still participate in the process. All you have to do is sign up for an account on Quirky.com and you can offer up your input from everything to the naming of a product to helping decide how much it should be sold for. If you want to help promote an existing product, you can even generate a referral link to the product page so you can earn a small monetary 'thank you' for driving a sale their way. (Disclaimer: The link Wrapster in the previous paragraph is one such referral link.)