Tiny keychain cable charges gadgets and opens bottles, too [Review]

By

The High Six features USB-C, USB-A and Lightning connectors.
The High Six features USB-C, USB-A and Lightning connectors.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

If you want to be a helpful elf after the holidays — always ready to help charge up people’s devices and open their bottled beverages — you can be. Just carry the nifty little Vonmählen High Six 6-in-1 keychain charging cable in your pocket, with or without keys.

The review sample I received didn’t look flawless or work exactly as advertised, but the company said it will address some issues before it commences shipping the High Six in January 2022, as described below.

Cult of Mac first reported on the High Six Kickstarter campaign in our article, “Can your iPhone charger open your beer? This one can.” Having received a sample for review, I can say the little pocket tool comes in handy, though it isn’t (yet) perfect.

Vonmählen High Six

Nobody loves carrying around USB cables all the time — much less a handful of them so you can plug into various ports as needed (USB-C, USB-A, Lightning). Inevitably, you won’t have the one you need and you’ll be lucky not to lose the ones you have.

That’s where the Vonmählen High Six can be a great little helper. Tucked inside a sturdy aluminum oval with a notch cut into it for opening bottles you get a short USB-C to USB-C cable plus USB-A and Lightning/Micro-USB adapters. The bottle opener works perfectly, by the way.

The deconstructed High Six and its parts.
The deconstructed High Six and its parts.
Photo: Vonmählen

The cable assembly folds over and sticks together with little magnets to fit in the aluminum casing. On one end of the cable you have a Lightning cable adapter that pops off to reveal a USB-C connector. On the other end you have a USB-A adapter that does the same.

Handy for charging

Those adapters make it easy to establish connections between gadgets and between chargers and devices.

These days, plenty of gear still comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable for charging — think of keyboards, trackpads and earbud charging cases. Sometimes that’s a hassle, like when you only have a USB-C port handy, as with a new MacBook Pro, for example. You can simply use the High Six cable as a dongle between the gadget that needs charging and the port.

And if all you have access to is a USB-A port, that adapter on the High Six can be a lifesaver.

Some kinks to work out

Not everything about the High Six looked or worked perfectly, however. The faults I noticed tracked with what the company indicated about its review samples. Vonmählen said it has a few kinks to iron out in the final production of units to be shipped to people funding the Kickstarter campaign:

  • Data transmission is not functioning as expected with the Lightning adapter. Indeed, a MacBook connection via the cable to an iPhone 13 Pro provided a charge to the handset, but the computer did not recognize the phone (but it did using another cable). So I couldn’t transfer data. The company said the product will meet its reported specifications before mass production begins.
  • Removing the cable from the casing can scratch the cable because it fits tightly. Indeed, our review sample’s Lightning adapter had rough spots on both sides. The company plans to loosen the fit, it said.
  • The USB-A adapter will be adjusted because its tight fit can cause scratches after normal use. Our version had rough spots on it. It fit pretty snugly, but not too tightly, into a charging port we tried.
  • Small gaps between the adapters and the cable will be minimized. In my sample, the USB-A adapter fit on the cable a little less seamlessly than the Lighting adapter on the other.
  • The final product’s stainless-steel casing will have a less shiny and more matte finish than the review sample. Personally, I liked the gleam of the metal, but a duller finish may look fine, too.
  • The rose gold cable and adapters will match more closely in color than in early versions.
  • The magnets will be less shiny, with no visible glue. I did not spot any glue on or near the magnets in my review sample.
The main components, side by side.
The main components, side by side, with measurements.
Photo: Vonmählen

Improvements over the previous version

The company said the High Six solves some problems that came up with the High Five after long-term use. For example, people would lose the USB-A adapter cap. And the new model includes a modernized USB-C to USB-C cable rather than micro-USB to USB-C. And it’s equipped with power delivery up to 60W, plus data-transfer capability.

As noted above, I had issues with transferring data, but the company said its shipped versions of the product should work properly.

It's handy to plug in for an iPhone charge on the go.
It’s handy to plug in for an iPhone charge on the go.
Photo: Vonmählen

The High Six is also more compact and lighter than its predecessor, weighing in at only 16.5 grams with dimensions of 12 x 16.5 x 61mm.

Use it for an easy connection between MacBook and iPhone.
Use it for an easy connection between MacBook and iPhone. Unfortunately, with our review sample a MacBook Pro failed to recognize an iPhone connected via the cable.
Photo: Vonmählen

Facts at a glance

  • Data and charging cable with fast charging capabilities (up to 60 watts) for your keychain
  • USB-C to USB-C connector
  • Includes additional connectors for USB-A, micro-USB and Lightning
  • Stainless steel case doubles as a bottle opener
  • Data transfer rate of 480 Mbit/s
  • Compact size of 12 x 16.5 x 61 mm
  • Weight: 16.5 grams
  • Available in three colors: black, rose gold and silver
You can go phone to phone with it, too.
You can go phone to phone with it, too.
Photo: Vonmählen

Claimed charging speeds

  • USB-C to USB – C = PD 60W 3A
  • USB-C to Micro USB = 2.4A
  • USB-C to Lightning = 2.4A
  • USB-A to USB – C = PD 60W 3A
  • USB-A to Micro – USB = 2.4A
  • USB-A to Lightning = 2.4A
And let's not forget that crucial piece of technology, the bottle opener. For whatever you're drinking.
And let’s not forget that crucial piece of technology, the bottle opener. For whatever you’re drinking.
Photo: Vonmählen

Pricing and availability

The High Six is available to order on Kickstarter during a 30-day campaign ending on November 25. Prices start at about $24.50, depending on the currency conversion rate. Shipping will take place in January 2022. If all the kinks are worked out by then, it will a worthy purchase.

Vonmählen provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.