Conquer the earbud tangle

Name: CordCruncher Headphones

What it is: Earbuds whose wires are sheathed in a hypoallergenic elastic tube that keeps the wires from tangling.

How they work: Before use, the wires are recessed in the sheath, which is 16 inches from jack to buds. In this state you store them in your backpack, carry-on or whatever. That's when standard earbuds tangle like fishing line. To use the earbuds, simply hold the jack end in one hand, the buds in the other and pull the wires to extend them out of the sheath — as long as 31/2 feet. When done, you hold each end of the sheath and stretch. The wires retreat back into the sheath.

The good: These are perfect for a traveler or commuter. I've always preferred earbuds versus overear varieties on a trip simply because they have so little bulk or weight, but I was bedeviled by tangles. Not only do these conquer that problem, they sound good too. With the vibrant colors (blue, red, white), you can plug the jack into the earbud end and wear the sheath like a bracelet or necklace to keep it handy.

The bad: Don't expect huge sound, but expect good sound. I doubt you'll be disappointed at this price. Also, this is a new product, so there might be a slight delay in delivery. First shipments are expected in May.

Cost: $20 for those who have been taking part in the presale at Those deliveries will be in May. At regular retail online and in stores later in summer, prices will range from $20 to $30.

Available from: in June and major retailers in summer.

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