Most iPhone and iPod users love listening to music on their devices, and yet the perennial problem of where to store and what to do with earbuds arises. The Sinch, a collaboration between the legendary frog design and Dune Road Design, is a small accessory that aims to solve this problem by offering an easy way for cord management. The Sinch is essentially a rubber strip with magnets on both ends which ties up your earbuds while still on your iOS device. It’s a sleek design that aims to solve one of iPod/iPhone users’ most vexing problems, yet does it live up to its claims? Read on for the review.
Note: Special thanks to Dune Road/frog for sending a sample for review.
What you see above is the Sinch. It’s designed as a “headphone assistant”, and it’s primary purpose is to “stop chord chaos.” The Sinch comes in a small and elegant packaging, which is also the instruction manual. The packaging is neat looking, and the instruction manual, normally a thing crammed with miniature sized text, is a thing of beauty (words I would never expect myself to use when describing an instruction manual). The descriptions for how to use the Sinch are fairly simple. Attach it to the headphone jack on your earbuds, connect it to your device, lay the Sinch down flat, and wrap. Finally, wrap the end of the Sinch towards the other end and the magnets will attach. Simple? Yes. Effective? Definitely.
The best part of the Sinch, other than what it does, is how slim and light it is. This is extremely useful because most people who listen to music frequently will have a routine in which packing up and unwrapping earbuds should be extremely quick and carrying around an extra device to do this, when portable music players are used for, well, portability, often means making your music player less portable. I carried the Sinch around with me throughout the day and I barely noticed it, except for when I packed up my iPhone.
The Sinch also helps in unpacking your earbuds quicker in that, while most people will stuff their earbuds in their pocket, making a mess that takes a few minutes to unravel, the extra 10 seconds spent wrapping your earbuds in the Sinch will result in an unpack time of mere seconds. When I tested the Sinch, this easy way to maintain my earbuds from not getting tangled made them something that goes with my iPhone whenever I plan on listening to music.
Above is what the Sinch looks like when in use. I tested it with my Jbuds J5 earbuds, and they worked well, and they also worked well with other earbuds (including Apple’s own earbuds). I found the magnetic power of the Sinch to be surprisingly strong – the cable on my J5 earbuds is quite thick and it managed to hold it together securely.
While the Sinch does nothing to protect your earbuds directly, one venue where it does help is that it is easy to slow down cable fraying, as you can add slack when you are tying your earbuds up. Overall, the Sinch delivers a great user experience and solves the problem of earbuds getting tangled up. The Sinch can also be used as a standalone cable tie, though I found less success with this, and is compatible with all cell phones / iPods (that aren’t the Shuffle and the Nano) and even works with the iPad and other tablets. You can purchase the Sinch for $16 at thesinch.com, and the price is the main shortcoming of this gadget. While the solution is very valuable, I would have preferred that the product cost around half of what it is, with a $5 price tag being ideal. Since this does function as a product with a very specific purpose, the $16 price tag is a bit harsh, though if you’re a person who uses their iPod/iPhone frequently for listening to music on the go, this is a great product.