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So far I have ruined the headphone jack of one iPhone and one iPod with the the trauma from the frequent yanking of the heavy cable of my Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones:

Cable from Sennheiser HD280 Pro

I think the damage mostly happens when I keep the iPhone or iPod in my pocket and walk around. Not only will my leg push the plug, but the heavy cord will also yank it slightly with every step. Because the plug is much larger than that of Apple's ear bugs, it becomes a larger lever, gradually loosening the jack.

Apart from getting lighter headphones, how can I prevent it from happening again? The best idea I have come up with is to use a six-inch extension cable with a right-angle plug; this should at least reduce the leverage.

6 inch 3.5mm Male Right Angle to 3.5mm Female Gold Stereo Audio Cable, Nylon Reinforced, Premium Quality Cable

Will this be sufficient to prevent damage? Does anyone have better ideas?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The short nub of the L shaped jack should work nicely to avoid a large lever sticking out of your headphone jack.

I actually prefer a different approach to this problem of leverage - a flexible and much shorter adapter that bends like a tree in the wind rather than breaking as a rigid lever must do.

The Monster iCablelink adapter is high quality and very inexpensive on the internet.

iCablelink from Monster

As you can see there are only the two stereo pins on this adapter so you will lose any microphone (and likely any button control) so you will want to select an adapter to pass those pins through if you need microphone functionality.

various iPod pin layouts

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Thanks, I bought the iCableLink, and it is a perfect solution. The iCableLink can either hang out of my pocket or make a U-turn back into the pocket (where I stuff a but more of the headphone cord). –  Vebjorn Ljosa Oct 15 '12 at 16:31

The extension idea is a good solution, just make sure you come up with a way to support the heavy cable, that does not involving the weight of the cable being distributed through any of the connection jacks. Tying the two cables together using a loose square knot may also be helpful to avoid the cable from being unplugged from the extension cord.

Support the weight of the cable using something other than a iDevice.

  • One way to do this would be to wrap, or tie an end of the heavy cable around a pole or similar thing that is attached to something secure, and from that run the extension cable to your iPhone or iPod.

  • Run the cable under a heavy textbook or other similar (paper weight like object), then the the extension to the iPhone, etc.

  • In the Mobile Case running the end of the headphones through a belt loop could help as well as constraining any excess cable slack so that you only have just enough to go from the pocket to your head. Lastly placing the cable under a shirt or jacket should reduce snag ups substantially too.

Note: Below pictured is a desk based example of a secure pole that you could tie a cable end around. Placing the headphone cable or the linked extension cable around the black pipe just above the chrome base plate attached to the desk would provide a secure foundation.

pole - Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Arm

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Yes, these are good ideas for a desk setup. I think I have caused most of the damage while walking, with the iDevice in my pocket and the cord yanking it at every step. I suppose I could superglue the extension cord to the side of the iPod. –  Vebjorn Ljosa Sep 17 '12 at 17:34
    
I have found both the suggested jack you posted in the question and the monster cable extender for the original iPhone to be of great use in mitigating the damage to headphone jacks when you can't prevent hard bumps from pocket and backpack use. –  bmike Sep 17 '12 at 17:37

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