A new Kickstarter project named Magzet is promising to do for headphones what Apple's MagSafe connector did for power cables. The two-part audio connector works with any standard 3.5mm jack to magnetically attach your headphones to your laptop, MP3 player, or smartphone. One half of the Magzet (the MagJack) fits over the jack on your headphones while the other (the MagKap) plugs directly into the audio port on your devices. These then snap together with magnets, meaning that any sudden movement disconnects the two halves, rather than sending your pricey gadgets crashing to the floor.
The magzet also reduces wear and tear on audio jacks
The product's creators — Jon Hallsten and Jeff Russell — envision customers buying a set of MagJacks to plug into all their electronics. A single set of earphones or headphones can then be equipped with a MagKap, letting people switch quickly and easily between devices. This also reduces wear and tear on gadgets — your audio jacks are less likely to break if you're not plugging and unplugging headphones everyday.
Hallsten and Russell say they've also solved the tricky problem of devices diverting audio to non-existent headphones. The pair say that thanks to some patent pending technology, when the MagJack is plugged in both Android and iOS smartphones simply act as if it's not there. The two also claim that the audio quality is "superb" when using the Magzet.
The two parts of the Magzet connect magnetically.
The Magzet is not the first product to try and introduce this mechanism to headphones, but it does seem to be one of the most viable to date. A slick concept named Pogo showcased the same idea back in 2013 but never got to market because of patents held by other manufacturers. Another firm, Replug, offered the same benefits with an elastomer adapter back in 2012, but apparently went out of business. Other companies, like Skunk Juice, sell their own magnetically-attaching earbuds and headphones, but as standalone products, rather than adapters that fit to any device.
Magzet's creators are trying to raise $294,000, promising that if this goal is met, the final device will ship before the end of 2015 and will be smaller than the current prototypes. For $20, backers will get a single two-part adapter, while pricier pledges secure multiple MagJacks and MagKaps. Although the Magzet isn't cheap enough to be an impulse buy, anyone who's accidentally smashed a new phone or laptop because of an unyielding cable will know that sometimes it pays to be safe rather than sorry.