You’ll waste 3.5 days of your life untangling Apple headphones


EarPods aren't going wireless in 2016.
EarPods aren't going wireless in 2016.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

This one factoid is the greatest reason why Apple needs to kill the headphone: Over the course of your life, you’ll spend a total of 3.5 days untangling headphones.

Edward Aten decided to dive into the math of how much time is wasted in frustration as you endlessly untangle your Apple EarPods. Depending on your listening habits, you may spend up to 32 seconds a day solving the headphone cord puzzle, which adds up ton of wasted seconds over a 38 year span.

Aten calculated the time spent untangling headphones by assuming that he averages four untangles a day: 3 quick untangles at 4 seconds each and one long untangle at 20 seconds.

If you’ve been wear headphones on average of 6 days a week for the past 8 years and plan to blast the beats while you work for the next 30 years, that equals 9,360 wearing days.

The Results:
299,520 seconds untangling headphones.
4,992 minutes.
83.2 hours.

Nearly 3 and a half days (3.4666)!

All this of course assumes Jony Ive won’t kill the headphone jack and wired headphones with the iPhone 7.

  • lcfbill

    In my experience, you will waste 8 days of your life dealing with the problems of pairing, un-pairing, and re-pairing bluetooth headphones.

    • Martin Dobson

      What shitty bluetooth headphones do you have? Only issues I have with mine are if I turn on the headphones and they won’t connect… because I’ve accidentally turned off Bluetooth on my phone. I have two pairs of BT headphones (Jaybird and Outdoor Technology) and neither have given me any grief with pairing.

    • Lance Corvette

      Heck, I can’t get my apple-made iPhone to pair with my apple-made Macbook. Going on like four years now.

      • UZ

        Yes, I have the same problem.

    • @lcfbill Bravo

  • David Malcolm Puranen

    Why on earth is anyone tangling their EarPods? You have the little clippy thing that keeps them from getting tangled. Also when you’re not listening them, just dip the buds into the neck of your shirt. Or if you keep your phone in your breast pocket, look them over your neck. When I used them mine were never tangled.

    That said for the person who complained about pairing and unpairing headphones. You pair them once. (That’s why it’s pairing) Every day I grab my phone and get ready to go, then grab my Sony headphones and hold in a button for a few seconds until I see the little blue light come in. That’s it.

    • Richard Liu

      Three words: women’s fashion dresses.

  • Chris Tot

    So you’re telling me that the main reason to get rid of the headphone jack is based on a calculation for users that use EarPods? Users that are “okay” with how “decent” EarPods sound for their money? Users that would rather have the “convenience” of an expensive pair of wireless headphones than the sound quality of an expensive pair of wired ones?

    Sounds legit.

    • Richard Liu

      People who seeks sound quality will have a headphone amp. Just grab yours at Amazon, they’re not expensive.

      • Chris Tot

        They might also seek noise canceling headphones that already come with a headphone amp built in.

      • Richard Liu

        I’d personally prefer a good pair of noise isolation in-ear headphone, rather than those noise canceling ones. The extra cost of noise canceling counterparts isn’t much helpful for sound quality.

  • lcfbill

    Just happen to find bluetooth pairing to be clunky and non intuitive. I have several bluetooth devices, so it is not just one.
    I am happy to hear the system works great for you in your use scenario but I do not find it that way.

  • Rob Alfonso

    I don’t like bluetooth radio energy around my head, so I still use wired headphones and I want to keep it that way @apple. I also have to say on another note, the material Apple uses on the headphone wires and all of the charging wires also appears to be the same material that cracks and rips in short periods of time, this upsets me that Apple is still using this material after all of the years of complaints from customers and of course they charge so much money for these items to replace them. Apple should use a better material, focus on that before you remove the headphone jack Apple.

  • I have no tangle issues with using non crap earbuds, or if you must use them, that little white box they came packaged in keeps them perfectly tangle free always.