Earphone with Retractable Cord?

Hi all,

for some time, I have been looking for the ideal earphone for lightweight SOTA operations. My requirements are as follows:

  1. Needs to have an angular (90 degrees) jack, so that it can remain connected to my MTR GoBox when the lid is closed.
  2. Should be in-ear “canal” style, i.e. those that you stick into your ear canal.
  3. As small as possible.
  4. Yet somewhat durable, no 1-dollar toy that will break in a minute.
  5. Retractable cord (these tiny automatic things that roll up the cord when not in use). But please small :wink:

The best I found is the following Japanese brand:

It is available via Amazon in many countries.

Does anybody know alternatives?

mni tnx es vy 73 de Martin, DK3IT

Here is a link to the item on Amazon:


These don’t retract, but they have the other features you want. I have an earlier pair of Ultimate Ears in-ear phones. They are very good. You might use a SOTAbeams mini-winder for the cord. I use that for my Apple ear buds. Or just coil up the cord and stuff it in. I’ve never thought about wanting a retractable cord.


Martin, several years ago on ebay I bought ten for twenty bux of cheap ones, none have ever failed. - fred kt5x

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Mine arrived from Japan today. It is really good quality, albeit not suited for very rough conditions - the wires are e.g. pretty thin.

After a few weeks of usage, here is a bit of feedback:

These earphones are nice and super-light, and the retractable cord is in general a nice feature. There are two problems, though:

  1. Since the winder has some weight, it easily pulls out the earpieces from your ears. There is a clip for attaching the winder to your shirt, but this makes the winder a bit clumsy.

  2. The earpieces to not shield noise from the surrounding very well, e.g. strong winds or people talking on the summit.

While I will keep them in my TinySOTA box as the default ones, I will use another type when the weather is unpleasant or the activation stressful.

73 de Martin, DK3IT

Hi Martin,
I suggest you go into you local KiK, Rewe or “1 Euro store”. I have bought more expensive earphones who are supposed to be a). more comfortable, b). give a better sound and c). look good. I can tell you for use on a summit and for quick packing up, they’re not worth the extra money. the €1 or €1.50 ones from your local cheapo store are just as good and buy two or three in case you stand on them, forget them, lose them or whatever.

Simple is good, simple and cheap is better!

73 Ed.

Hi Ed,

Hmm. I follow a different path :wink: Even in the outdoors, good and beautifully designed gear increases satisfaction.

BTW, the ones I am now using the most are these:


They sit well in your ears and attenuate noise and wind.

73 de Martin, DK3IT

I bought some Koss earphones after a recommendation on the KD1JV ATS group. I have found these earphones to be superb! Really glad that I bought them, they’re worth every penny! I use them only for SOTA with my MTRS.

73, Colin

Hi Colin,
how firm do they sit in your ears? My main problem with similar earphones was that they slip out to easily when I move around.

73 de Martin, DK3IT

I’ve not had a problem with that. These are quite snug because they expand after insertion, you have to roll them between your fingers, like earplugs, first.

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Got ten earbuds with very light retractor for two dollars each from China several years ago. Found on eBay. Bought ten in a package expecting them to break. None ever have. - Fred KT5X (aka WS0TA)


here they are for a dollar nineteen :wink: - fred

Hi Colin,

after a few months of usage I can say that the KOSS earphones are really great - they cancel noise very well (almost at the level of active noise cancellation ones) and they sit firmly yet comfortably in the ear.

73 de Martin, DK3IT

simple cheap cord winders: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Silicone-Rubber-Mini-Dog-Bone-Earphone-Cord-Cable-Winder-Wrap-Portable-New/232695203047