I recently got my hands on an interesting device, the Replug. The design of the Replug is meant to work much like a MagSafe connector does – give it a pull, and it pops out safely. But this is a headphone adapter. If you’ve ever had your computer yanked to the floor by a tangled headphone cable, or had a jack or port damaged by abuse, you can see the wisdom of this product.
How it works
The peanut-shaped design has a small bit of rubber in the center, which can easily flex in many angles and directions, allowing for easy movement. The real trick comes when you put significant stress on the plug – at the point where the metal plug is attached to the rubber body – this snaps apart, and safely breaks away.
Unlike the MagSafe, which is obviously magnetic, you’ll notice the Replug uses a mechanical design. It’s hard to describe, other than to say a series of prongs on the metallic plug snap into matching rings (in the green part). It has more resistance to overcome than the MagSafe in order to remove it (their web site states “1.5 pounds of lateral pressure”). I personally think the MagSafe is too loose and easy to detach at times, so it’s probably a good balance for most situations. I would have liked to have seen a magnetic design of replug, but I can understand how the magnet could pose harm to other nearby devices.
The problem I had was not with how it breaks away (that’s not an issue), but with how to reattach it. When I “fiddled” with it, it was fun to break apart, but I irritated my fingers (and my patience) trying to push it back together again. If anyone who has a Replug can give me a tip on how to do this quickly and easily, I’d be grateful.
All in all
I’d say if you’re a clumsy type, and want to make sure you don’t have an accident involving the headphone port, it’s a useful device. It’s also incredibly useful to people with pre-3G iPhones, as there is a version of the Replug which can make a great adapter. If you’re interested in an extension cord with the same trick, they have some 6-foot long ones available sometime before the end of this month.
Replug sells them retail, as well as through their online store. It will set you back about $18.