Retractable headphones are helpful if you are tired of the cord getting tangled up every time you want to use this listening device. Before you buy a pair of retractable headphones, though, you should decide whether to get the kind of that fit into your ears or are placed over them. You also are advised to consider portability, because not all headphones are equally small. In addition, you likely will want to consider extra features, such as the ability to cancel out noise, replace worn out parts, or have your retractable headphones match your electronics.
One of the main decisions to make is whether you want the kind of headphones that cover your ears, fit inside them or clip on. The kind of headphones that wrap around your head and feature soft cups that press against the ears are usually considered comfortable for long-term use. These are not the best choice if you often wear hats or glasses, though, in which case you may prefer earbuds that are either small enough to stay in your ears by themselves or can clip onto the backs of the ears to stay put. These are often the best kind to use while working out, as long as you do not plan to wear them long enough for your ears to become sore. Therefore, it is often helpful to consider your comfort and how you plan to use the retractable headphones.
You also may want to consider whether portability is important to you. If so, you will probably want to select earbuds, which are small, though not all are created equal. The retractable kind of earbuds tends to be a bit larger than standard earbuds, because they come attached to a case that prevents the cord from becoming tangled. Thus, while you cannot expect retractable earbuds to be as small as those that do not retract, you can look for the product with the smallest cord case.
Other features of retractable headphones also may be important, such as the ability to block out loud sounds around you with a noise-cancelling feature. Headphones that can do this are often a bit more expensive than the standard kind, but they may be worth it if you need some peace and quiet. Another detail to think about is how you want the headphones to look, because you can often choose from many colors, allowing you to show some personality or match your headphones to the electronic devices with which you use them. Finally, you may want to look for retractable headphones that come with replaceable parts, such as ear padding or earbud gels, because this can keep you from having to throw away the entire device when a small part wears out.