A few years ago I set out on the long and ongoing quest for the holy grail, not the fountain of life no… simply a good quality pair of earphones that have one longer lead to be hung over the back of your neck.

This style is great for keeping the cable out of your general work area, and away from your jacket zip and so on.. It also means that you can remove one earphone to listen to a conversation if need be and simply let it hang from your neck rather than at your feet or from your other ear.

Usually, a simple google search would end this journey, finding a range of headphones, watching some reviews and buying a model that matches the brief. Not this time. It turns out that this style is fairly non-existent…

Googling is made easier once you learn the various terms that are used for this type of cable. Such as a J-Cord, Asymmetrical or Sony’s terminology OFC Litz cord neck-chain… I am sure there are more, but as I said my search still continues.

Most of the product photos are taken showing the earbuds and sometimes the plug (which is usually always a standard 3.5mm trs) but very really the point in the cable where it connects together showing the type of cord that it is.

Work arounds
I have come back to this set up quite often. Using any pair of earphones using a cable extension, such as some models of the “Sony MDR-EX85LP” and replacing the cable with the “Griffin Smarttalk”, Which is a headphone extension cable with a good quality mic, good quality cable and paired with some earphones with a short length cable (either coming with a removable extension cable or designed for a Bluetooth receiver) It makes a pretty great over the neck, with mic and answer call button solution.

I will be adding photos and more models soon and a little more information on the best places to find them and which ones have been discontinued.

Sony MDR-EX32LP – Look Pretty cheap.
Sony MDR-EX51 – Look Pretty cheap.
Sony MDR-EX71 – Look Pretty cheap.
Sony MDR-EX083LP

SONY XBA 2 Dual Balanced Armature Full Range + Woofer
SONY XBA 3 Triple Balanced Armature Full Range + Woofer + Tweeter
SONY XBA 4 Quad Balanced Armature Full Range + Woofer + Tweeter + Super Woofer

Sennheiser CX300
Sennheiser CX300-II
Sennheiser IE6 in-ears

RHA’s MA450i

Skullcandy Asyms


Litz wire is a type of cable used in electronics to carry alternating current. The wire is designed to reduce the skin effect and proximity effect losses in conductors used at frequencies up to about 1 MHz.

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