Replug Headphone Adapter Review

replug Replug Headphone Adapter Review

Having players rendered useless due to a broken headphone jack is annoying. As we speak, one of my players is in for repair as the jack got loose and started losing audio on the left channel. The same thing happened with another player last fall when I was working a lot out in the woods and the cable got stuck on every single tree I came across.

There really isn’t that much to do about such a problem once it has happened, but luckily there is something you can do to prevent it. Replug is a range of cables and adapters that are designed to break off naturally if the cable is yanked. I bought their basic adapter to see if it would help save my players. Read on for a review.

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Design

Unlike the MagSafe system some might know from Macbooks, Replug doesn’t use magnets on their products. Instead they use a system where the jack simply snaps into the plastic adapter and connects via spring loaded connectors. In the other end there’s a female jack for connecting your headphones, with a rubber part in the middle to make the whole thing bendable.

As far as the general build quality goes it’s solid and the spring loaded connectors should prevent the connection from going bad even if the failsafe triggers at regular intervals. If anything I expect the rubber middle part of the adapter will fail before anything else as the elasticity that makes it bendable also makes it the thinnest weakest link.

It’s far from as big or clumsy as I though it would be and even on a small player like the clip it’s not that much in the way. That’s a good thing, as one of the places you might easily end up accidentally yanking the cord is at the gym with a small player clipped or strapped to you arm.

Usage

The important part with this thing of course is whether or not it works. It does. It doesn’t break off too easily, but if the accident happens and you get the cable snagged somewhere it will surely snap off leaving the player intact. It’s a bit more stubborn when it comes to pulling straight out, but at the same time that’s not where the real danger lies with cable yanking.

The version I bought is an adapter but they also have extension cords and interconnects that work the same way. The extension cords should work great with IEMs that come with split cables already and you can of course also use the cables with a laptop or something similar.

Conclusion

There’s really not that much to say about this thing other than “it works”. It’s cheap, small and will save your headphone jack if you like me tend to get the headphone cable snagged in something. If you know that this sometimes happen with you, it’s a nice product that might save you from buying a new player, but if you don’t have a problem with snagged cables you’ll survive without.

The products can be ordered from the official site, Amazon or even Ebay if you live outside the US like I do.

22 Comments

reelon on May 15, 2009 4:41 PM

Looks like something that I could use too, because I’m always snagging the cord of my headphones everywhere. Thanks for the review.

dragnandy on May 15, 2009 6:52 PM

usually i would be more worried about the jack and the connections from the headphones rather than the input jack from the player itself. nice product though.

Hillshum on May 15, 2009 8:36 PM

Does it come off too much?

Mike on May 15, 2009 11:16 PM

I know it’s not really expensive, but you still have to figure on $14 or $15 shipped via Amazon.com (although a lower around $9 shipped to the U.S. via eBay); for a nifty little plug … How nice if the technology (of some sort) was built into players instead.Having said that, having earphones plugged into my Clip sometimes has saved the Clip from falling onto the ground. A trade-off.

erik on May 16, 2009 2:26 AM

Why do you say its small when it is not? they could have made much smaller which would definitely be better.

Andreas Ødegård on May 16, 2009 4:15 AM

@erik: They really couldn’t make it any smaller. The whole concept requires a certain amount of leverage to break it off at the right time.

erik on May 16, 2009 4:48 AM

@Andreas: but still, when looking at the replug, it feels like there is a room to make it at least 20% smaller. However, I love the idea, bought one for myself.

copeys on May 16, 2009 9:22 AM

reminds me of the first xbox controllers, with the break in the cable so when you pulled it, no damage was done to the console. Good info, thanks andreas :)

jkj1962 on May 16, 2009 5:06 PM

I wonder if the jack end could be smaller maybe.I’d also like to see an angled version, maybe just a right-angle adapter with the same breakaway plug.Regardless, a great idea.

GusG on May 16, 2009 7:45 PM

Why dont you all just put the headphones cords under yout clothes?!? :S

Michael on May 16, 2009 10:35 PM

It’s called Bluetooth. ;)

Andreas Ødegård on May 17, 2009 3:32 PM

@GusG: I do, but it’s not always enough. Especially at work since my work pants have the main pockets on the ties rather than further up. Theres also the issue of laptops and such where this product is also a nice addition.

Mikkel Rasmussen on May 18, 2009 3:08 PM

Does this save the player or the headphone? I break many headphones by getting the cord stuck somewhere, but you make it sound like it’s the player that has been saved, I do not understand how you can break a player by pulling the headphone cord out?

Andreas Ødegård on May 19, 2009 1:41 AM

@Mikkel Rasmussen: Yanking the headphone cord in any direction but stright up causes pressure to the metal pins that connect to the jack inside the headphone port. If this happens a lot, you mifght end up permanently bending them so they no longer touch the metal part of the jack and so you’ll lose audio in one or both of the channels. Happens a lot, same thing that happened to the player I have thats in being repaired atm. Of course it can save your headphones as well, but thats not as big a problem as you can just solder on a new plug to the headphones and it’s fixed anyways – cant to that with the player

Mikkel Rasmussen on May 19, 2009 3:19 AM

So is there something similar which can help save my headphones?

Steve Witt on May 19, 2009 12:28 PM

I wonder if there’s any sound degradation… Adding a cheap interconnect certainly can’t help sound quality when using a decent pair of headphones.

Andreas Ødegård on May 20, 2009 2:31 AM

@Mikkel Rasmussen: Whis will help with that. My point was simply that headphone jacks breaking is a more seriosu problem since it can’t be as easily fixed.

shelded on June 5, 2009 1:29 AM

I’ve had phone jacks simply wear out so I am afraid to insert/remove too many times. This item would reduce use of the player’s jack because I would unplug at the extended end most of the time. This device is not as cheap as the extender I have, but serves two purposes for me so it is probably worth it.

satori on June 17, 2009 3:33 PM

this seems like such a common problem. why don’t MP3 device manufactures make more durable headphone ports??

oxolodo on June 28, 2009 11:35 PM

I bought this adapter after reading the article and the left channel stopped working at the third usage. (My mp3 player isn’t damaged, it’s the “Replug” that doesn’t fonction well anymore). I don’t know if it was a deffective unit, but I guess I got what I paid for…

Andreas Ødegård on June 29, 2009 12:59 PM

oxolodo: definitely a defective unit. Mine still works perfectly after a lot of beating. The connectors are spring loaded, so it’s really pretty difficult to break it without something being fundamentally wrong with it in the first place

John Six on January 26, 2010 7:26 PM

I use it with my $300 Westones In-Ear-Monitors. Those things are really sealed into my ears, I was more worried about an accident hurting me than my ipod. No accidents yet but seems like it would do its job. I just leave the little plug in all the time and snap on the rubber piece when in use.As far as sound quality… I’m sure a $10 piece of plastic and rubber does not help, but I cant see a difference at all with my fairly high-end senstive IEMs. So unless you’re a super audiophile with $500 monitors I dont think its an issue.IMO this product is still too big. Could be smaller.

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