Company: Power Support
Model: Power Support Cord Gatherer
Compatible: All iPods
Power Support Cord Gatherer
Pros: A fairly easy to use cord manager that compacts your headphone cord down to a shorter length, holding it inside a slinky-like clear coil.
Cons: Twice the price of other good cord management options we’ve previously reviewed.
Power Support rarely dives into the “novelty” market, so we were confused when we first saw Cord Gatherer ($10), a clear, thin Slinky-like tube sold as a cord management tool for the iPod. Each unit ships with a string inside, so we puzzled for a few minutes trying to figure out what the use was for the string or the Slinky - it didn’t help that our only instructions were in Japanese.
Once we looked at the English-language instructions on Power Support’s American web site, Cord Gatherer made sense. You fold your iPod’s headphone cord over itself three times, feed it through the core of the Slinky, and then attach two hooks onto the cord’s and Cord Gatherer’s ends. Done properly, the Gatherer holds your iPod’s cabling at any short length you prefer, then adjusts to different lengths simply by releasing the hooks and reducing the amount of cord the Gatherer holds inside. Our photos are sharpened to show how the cord fits inside.
There are several advantages to this design: Cord Gatherer is clear, simple, and adds little fashion risk or bulk while managing your headphone cords. We’ve actually used it for a few weeks now and liked both how it looks and works. But at $10, it’s twice the price of Sumajin’s perfectly good SmartWrap (iLounge rating: B), which for $5 does the same thing as Cord Gatherer, and has similar advantages - plus the disadvantage of offering no protection for the iPod’s earbuds, like Audio Outfitters’ earPod (iLounge rating: B).
Pricing is therefore the major culprit for our limited recommendation here. If you’re looking for a cord management solution and SmartWrap doesn’t do, consider earPod and Cord Gatherer as alternatives.