Review: Tunewear TuneClip Cable Winder for Earphones and Headphones
Compatible: iPod headphones
Pros: Simple plastic spool for winding earphone cords, includes rear clip and detachable ball-bearing chain for attachment to clothes and other items.
Cons: Clip isn’t removable; wearable spool isn’t as attractive or practical as competing option that is smaller, equally useful, and half as expensive.
In all honesty, we could take or leave most of the cord management accessories we’ve seen: the idea of accessories for accessories has never really appealed that much to us. But Sumajin’s SmartWrap (iLounge rating: B) was a notably good exception to this rule, and two somewhat similar accessories we’ve looked at are also worthy of brief mentions. Here, we look at Tunewear’s TuneClip ($9.95), and separately look at BlueLounge’s cableyoyo (decapitalization theirs) in another review.
The TuneClip is a small clear hard plastic spool with a small matching clip on its rear; and though we have two in our photographs, you get only one per package. Each includes a small, detachable ball bearing-based chain so, as Tunewear explains, you can attach TuneClip to a key ring or cell phone strap.
As far as the iPod is concerned, the idea is that you wrap your earphone cord around the spool, attach the spool to your shirt, and walk around with the spool wherever you go. One of two holes on the back half of the spool locks your headphone cable in place, and the other can be used - perhaps - with thicker, non-headphone cables, and left on a table or other flat surface. We say perhaps because the permanent clip design makes it sort of unlikely that you’d actually use it for such a purpose. Tunewear also notes that you can optionally attach its PopTunes stickers to the front face of TuneClip if you desire.
Tunewear’s first use of the TuneClip was actually on a series of Japan-only iPod clothes we’ve previously previewed, where clips were permanently mounted off to the right hand sides of the wearers’ necks. As Tunewear’s decision not to sell these clothes in the United States suggests, Japanese and Western fashion sensibilities are a bit different from one another, and attached clothes aside, it’s really hard to picture anyone here wanting to wear the TuneClip anywhere on a shirt, let alone up high. At best, the TuneClip might be attached to the top of a pants pocket when you’re walking, but even then it seems like a bit of an unnecessary attachment given that the SmartWrap achieves the same end far less conspicuously.
Overall, TuneClip does an acceptable job of what it’s supposed to do - you can wind a cord around it. But it’s not the most practical option we’ve seen, by far. True, it’s more compact than Audio Outfitters’ EarPod, but also doesn’t protect your earbuds, and as cord managers go it is less universally practical than just using a SmartWrap, and twice as expensive. We’d sooner go with either alternative product; TuneClip isn’t bad, but even by cord management standards, it’s not great, either.