I’ve rarely met a set of earbuds I couldn’t tangle — badly. Most of those ultra-thin rubber-coated cables are nearly impossible to keep apart. Now, along comes Zipbuds Pro Mic earbuds with a clever solution. The top third of the cable (the part that splits into two cables to accommodate the left and right earbuds) is in the form of a tough but flexible plastic zipper. The usual rubber-coated cables are encased in the zipper’s two parts, but they don’t get to mingle, thanks to the zipper’s big teeth. The cables join up when zipped and separate when unzipped, but simply won’t ensnare each other. The design is cute — but more important — it works. The bottom two-thirds of the cable (the part that stays in one piece) is enclosed in non-slip braided nylon, which is also tangle-resistant. A slim, but easily manipulated in-line noise canceling mic/remote panel near the right earbud lets you play, pause and skip songs, as well as answer and disconnect phone calls with the push of a single button, or sometimes two pushes. A long hold-down of that button activates voice control phoning on phones that have that feature, but you’ll have to hold down the button again to hang up. The comfortable angled earbuds come with ear tips in three sizes for just the right fit. The metal 3.5 mm plug is long enough to work with most cases, which, surprisingly, is not a universal norm. I like the edgy flare of the electric yellow model, but you can go with matte black if you must. The price will please everybody.
Zipbuds Pro Mic earbuds are $39.99 at www.zipbuds.com.