This review covers a product so useful and so intuitively right that it falls squarely in the ‘Why-the-heck-didn’t-I-think-of-that?' category. What is it? It is Pangea Audio’s simple, smart, and sturdy clamp-on headphone hanger—a device that neatly answers that age-old question: Where do I put my headphones when I’m not using them? Now granted, there are lots of solutions on the market, many of which work, but many of which have also proven to be unexpectedly expensive, fraught with subtle design flaws, geared more for artistic good looks than for practical use, or—gulp!—are either complicated, flimsy, or both. Happily, the cost-effective ($12.95) Pangea suffers from none of these problems and is pleased to roll up its figurative sleeves and get on with things.
The Pangea headphone hanger consists of two simple sub-assemblies: a non-marring clamping mechanism and a curved and padded headphone hanger upon which to place your headphones (the concept is that the headband of your headphones will gently and safely rest upon the hanger’s padded and curved support surface). A beefy, screw-on thumbwheel serves to tighten or loosen the clamp. There is some assembly required, but nothing too demanding. The written assembly instructions are pretty minimal, but in the manner of IKEA products worldwide there are pictographic instructions that are relatively easy to follow (even for those of us with, um, ‘ten thumbs’).
The Pangea hanger can clamp either to horizontal or vertical surfaces that range from 1/8-inch to 1-3/8-inch thick, which gives users plenty of placement options. Once you’ve decided upon a surface to which you wish to attach the Pangea hanger, installation can proceed smoothly. The first step is assessing the thickness of the surface to which the headphone hanger will be mounted, and then choosing the mounting hole for the headphone rest that best fits the thickness of the mounting surface (three mounting holes correspond to thin, medium, and thick mounting surfaces, respectively). The next step is to decide how to orient the headphone rest (there are four options per mounting hole, allowing the headphone rest to be positioned at 0, 90, 180, or 270 degrees relative to the main clamp).
The third step, which is the only tricky part of the installation, is latching the lower section of the clamp onto a mounting post that protrudes from the rear side of the headphone rest. This step takes a bit of finessing and a good bit of hand strength to ensure the lower section of the clamp seats properly (when done right, the lower part of the clamp snaps into place with a gentle “click”). Finally, the last step is to install the screw-on thumbwheel, hold the headphone hanger where you to mount it, and then tighten the thumbwheel until the hanger cinches firmly in place. Voila: that’s all there is to it.
Having sufficiently tightened the thumbwheel (there is no need to go all macho and end up splitting the wood of your table), the Pangea Headphone Hanger provided a firm, stable, and pleasantly unobtrusive solution for storing my headphones while keeping them ready to hand. I use four Pangea Headphone Hangers in my system (along with a good number of tabletop headphone stands—all of which cost more and take up more space than the Pangea Headphone Hangers do). The Hangers’ padded surfaces mean my headphone’s headband straps never get unwanted creases or sharp bends, which can be a problem with traditional headphone stands. What is nice, too, is that the Pangea Hangers suspend my headphones just below the top level of my audio rack, meaning the rack’s upper surfaces remain free of clutter, while my headphones remain within easy reach.
There is nothing particularly earth-shaking about the Pangea Headphone Hanger. Instead, it is a simple, sturdy, straightforward, and highly cost-effective accessory that can make life more pleasant for headphonistas on a day-to-day basis. Not bad for just $12.95!
Type: Clamp-on padded headphone hanger
Price: $12.95 US
Pangea Audio Distributing
3427 Kraft Avenue
Grand Rapids, MI 49512 USA
+1 (616) 885-9818