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Retailers are selling $60 cords for Apple’s wireless Airpods

Move along. No absurd design problem to see here.

Retailers are selling $60 cords for Apple’s wireless Airpods
[Illustration: FC]

Back in the year 2016, we had no problems. Well, okay, that’s not true. We had some problems. But our headphones weren’t one of them. That’s because headphones featured a universal design that was based upon a simple 3.5 mm jack that had been around for over a century. Then Apple killed the standard audio jack in iPhones and introduced its $159 wireless Airpods.

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Tapper on Nordstrom [Screenshot: Nordstrom]
Wireless earbuds seem great, of course, until one falls out of your ear and down a sewer grate. Single Airpod Syndrome is a very real consequence of the new, untethered world of audio. That’s why Apple actually offers single Airpod replacements. That’s also why one company called Tapper introduced a solution of its own: Airpod cords.

First spotted by Boingboing, the $60 strap wraps around your neck and connects to your Airpods via magnets. That means if one falls out of your ear, it’s anchored to your body—like a rope climber is anchored to a mountain, or, you know, a normal, wired pair of earbuds were once anchored to your phone. What more is there to say here? We’re talking about a $60 product that adds wires to a product designed to remove wires from your life. The most hilarious twist is that Tapper’s cord actually has 4/5 stars on Nordstrom right now! Even if half those reviews are ironic, and the other half are planted, that’s still pretty impressive for a few inches of cordage. And a pretty sad commentary on the state of headphones, three years after Apple destroyed a perfectly good universal standard.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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