Elevation Lab is an industrial design firm based in Portland, OR, that can’t decide whether its name includes a space or not. It makes the kinds of products that we wish were included with the gear we purchased. From iPad and Apple Watch docks, to magnetic chargers — the company offers a portfolio of useful accessories for many of the everyday electronic gadgets in our lives.
The Anchor (which is a better name than “Upside-Down Rubber T”) is a hanger for two sets of headphones. Made from silicone rubber molded over a steel core, it is designed to be stuck to the underside of a desk using the included 3M adhesive pad. Elevation Lab loves to mention it is the same adhesive used by GoPro. As if most audio engineers — we who avoid sunlight for years at a time — know what a GoPro is. Remember the Tape Op Conference when we all went to Goth Night at the local bar? We were all paler than the regulars — and they were in makeup. Good times.
Halo effect aside, I had problems with the adhesive’s holding power at first. Sticking to the underside of my Sterling Modular workstation [Tape Op #72] shouldn’t be a problem, but my Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones [#63, #113] (which, for the record, weigh 284 g, not including the cable) hit the deck twice on day one. Boo! As I was cursing out Elevation Lab to myself, I got a timely check-in email from the company (who had no idea I was reviewing the product). Their email gives nice tips for removing the adhesive down the line — funny, because I just want the thing to stay in place. I replied to their message, telling them about my problem, but I have yet to hear back. Like most of my life problems, this was most likely user error, so I devised my own solution.
First, make sure your location is clean, dry, and free of any oils or surface treatments. (Steal some alcohol from the tape-machine cleaning supplies, if you must.) Second, find a way to really press The Anchor against the surface, hold it there, and count to ten. (If you can’t count that high, or if you forget your place easily, count to four, four times.) Also, choose a location where you won’t be slamming your knee into the thing day-in-day-out.
I really like knowing where my headphones are, while keeping them off the floor and not tangled on top of a rack, half hanging on my chair, tossed in a drawer, or in “where are those headphones?” land. The Anchor is one of those devices that makes life easier for very little investment. I’m probably getting more of these hangers for engineer friends; it’s a thoughtful little gift. ($11; www.elevationlab.com)