When I lived with a friend of mine a few years ago, we had a little area behind our TV that we affectionately nicknamed “The Fire Hazard.” If you dared to look behind our TV stand, you would discover a sinuous cluster of cables, wires, and power strips criss-crossing every which way, intertwining and tangling until they seemed to form a single serpentine mass; it was like some kind of cyberpunk nightmare. If we ever had the misfortune of having to add or remove a component from this horrific mass, it ended up being a half hour ordeal of painstakingly tracing each cable back to its origin point to determine if it belonged to a little-used device. I don’t even want to talk about dismantling this whole network of cables when it came time for us to move out — the trauma is still too fresh.
Needless to say, cable management has never been my strong suit. In my current apartment, I don’t feel quite as concerned about waking up to find my home theater system engulfed in flames, but things are still a tad messy behind my TV stand. I’ve also developed the bad habit of leaving all my device chargers scattered about my living space with no discernable organization rhyme or reason in order to avoid the inevitable tangled cluster that comes forth whenever I try to store all my chargers in the same place. When I heard Label-the-Cable was sending in some of their cable management accessories to the Newegg offices, I naturally jumped at the opportunity to try them out. After all, I figured if they could get my chaotic cable compulsions under control, then they should be up to any task.
A Complete Cable Management Solution
Label-the-Cable (commonly abbreviated to LTC) is an aptly-named cable management accessory manufacturer from Germany. Their product range is focused on bundling, organizing, and, of course, labeling the wires and cables that can become a tangled plague upon your living space. They sent us five of their best accessories; a breakdown of each can be found below.
LTC’s Mini Tags are a ten-pack of small cable ties that each sport a label so you can mark what components each of your cables belongs to for easier management. The Mini Tags easily attach to your cables with their Velcro straps, and the labels can be easily replaced if you ever want to use them on a different cord. Color-coding makes cable management even easier, and LTC gives you a total of five colors over three kits to work with: black, white, and a yellow, blue, and red combo pack.
If you’re looking to bundle up charging cables or headphones, then the LTC Basic Straps are the perfect solution. Just like the Mini Tags, the Basic Straps come in a variety of colors (tested with the red, blue, and yellow straps, but also available in black), and feature the same durable Velcro for reuse. The difference is primarily in its use case: while the Mini Tags are for mostly for labeling, the Basic Straps are designed to quickly and easily bundle long cables for better management and storage. Each strap features a small eyelet opening, so the straps can be secured by threading their thin Velcro ends around a cable and through the eyelet, thereby bundling cables tighter together and ensuring they don’t come undone when placed into storage.
For a cable management accessory flexible enough to bundle cables of any size or quantity, check out the LTC Roll Straps. These straps come packaged as 1 meter (approximately 3.3 feet) rolls of double-sided Velcro, and are designed to be trimmed down with scissors to suit your desired length. Just like the Mini Tags and Basic Straps, the LTC Roll Straps come in multiple hues, allowing you to color-code your cables for easier management. Each four-pack of Roll Straps includes one red, one blue, one yellow, and one black strap. With so much potential length to work with, the Roll Straps are more than capable of holding together even the most massive cable clusters.
If you, like me, know the pain of cables behind your TV or PC weaving together into knotted chaos, then the LTC Cable Tube should be the perfect tool to ease you woes. Label-the-Cable provided us with a sample of the black 2 meter (approximately 6.6 feet) Cable Tube, but they’re also available in 2 meter white and 25 meter (approximately 82 feet) white configurations. While bundling a big cluster of cables sounds like it could be a pain — and certainly is a pain with some competing cable management products — the LTC Cable Tube uses a self-closing material for easily adding and removing cables at any time, without even having to unplug them. Even better, the tube is durable and can be easily flexed and bent, accommodating even the most serpentine cords. Although packaged as 2 and 25 meter-long tubes, the LTC Cable Tube is designed to be easily cut down to your desired size with any household pair of scissors.
For keeping cords secure and tidy, strap your cables down with the LTC Wall Straps. These straps come in ten-count packs and are available in white (the sample we tested) or black. LTC’s Wall Straps are self-adhesive, so they can attach to most clean surfaces. The Wall Straps’ strong adhesion allows them to hold up to four cables without falling off its attached surface. Cables can be easily added or removed thanks to the straps’ Velcro-fastening holders. If you no longer need the Wall Strap, you don’t need to fear damaging the surface of what it was applied to, as LTC ensures the straps can be removed without leaving any adhesive residue.
Address This Mess
Let me start off this chronicle of my time with Label-the-Cable’s products with a confession: I dreaded the prospect of working on cable management. I anticipated hours of mind numbing drudgery, spelunking behind my TV to trace each cable to its source, trying to get each tag to stay attached, or getting cables to stay inside the tube. To further embarrass myself, I’ll also cop to letting the LTC accessories sit and languish in my apartment for a shameful duration of time before finally heaving a heavy sigh, putting on some music, and setting to work on what I thought was sure to be a tedious afternoon of organization.
Even though I’ve come a long way from my days of harboring a fire hazard behind my television, I have more consoles and media players than I have HDMI inputs on my TV, leaving me with a cluster of loose HDMI cables. This forces me to trace each to its source in the event I ever want to swap devices (yes, I know I need to buy an HDMI selector or receiver). I needed an easy way to mark which cable belonged to which device, and the LTC Mini Tags were the perfect solution. They were easy to attach and never seemed like they were going to fall off, thanks to their durable Velcro fasteners. After labeling the HDMI cables, I had enough Mini Tags left over to label the power cables in my surge protector too. Best of all, this only took a few minutes. It was beginning to look like maybe my cable management anxiety was just a tad overblown.
Now that the cables were labelled (and Label-the-Cable’s brand name/command obeyed), it was time to actually consolidate the cords into tidy and manageable clusters using the LTC Cable Tube. With two meters-worth of tube to work with, I had all I needed to unite all my HDMI cables and all my power cords into two separate tubed clusters. Just as Label-the-Cable claims, the tube was easy to cut with regular household scissors, letting me create the two tubes I would need for my HDMI and power cords. Just as simple was the process of getting all my cables into the tube. The self-closing fabric made it so that I could painlessly put the tube around all my cables without even having to unplug any of them. Within a few minutes, I was able to get all my HDMI cables and power cords bundled up. For one last finishing touch, I used a few of the LTC Wall Straps to secure a couple loose audio cables to my TV stand. Altogether, it took about ten to fifteen minutes to transform my messy spider web of cables into a few neat and elegantly concealed clusters.
With my entertainment center under control, I moved on to sorting and wrapping the assorted chargers and cables scattered about my apartment. First up was my MacBook charger, which — when connected to its extension cable — comes in at a length of about 12 feet. The brick of my MacBook charger has a couple little points that flip up for wrapping the cable around, but in my experience, those don’t do a good enough job of preventing the cord from tangling up when I carry it around in my messenger bag. The LTC Basic Straps, however, were up to the task. The thin end of the strap was easy to thread through its tiny eyelet opening, providing a firm foundation keeping my charging cable tightly wound together. The Basic Strap kept my MacBook charger wrapped together well enough, in fact, that I was able to carry the charger around in my messenger bag without the wrap ever showing a sign of coming undone, letting me easily unpack and plug in without hassle. Happy with how well the Basic Strap performed with my Mac charger, I used them to wrap up all the other stray charging cables and headphones around my room and store them in a box where I could keep them without getting tangled until I was ready to use them. That left the LTC Roll Straps as the only sample I had left to test. While the Basic Straps were able to neatly contain most of my loose cords, I had the perfect use case in mind for the Roll Straps from the beginning.
Back in the day, I worked a job that provided me with a significant discount for cables. Not one to pass up an opportunity for savings, I stocked up on even the most ludicrously long HDMI and Ethernet cords I could get — after all, you never know when you may need a 50 foot HDMI cable. While I’ve never really ended up using those long cables for much of anything (certainly not for any scenario in which an especially long cable was a necessity), I’ve lugged these ridiculous cords with me through multiple moves out of principle. For the past year, I’ve kept them wadded up inside a large duffel bag, which I shoved into a dark corner of my closet so I could keep the Lovecraftian horror of the tangled mass out of my mind. But now things were different; Label-the-Cable had my back in reining these monstrous cables in. With the LTC Roll Straps in hand, I bravely removed the duffel from my closet and set to work on battling the beast. This was by far the most arduous part of my time with Label-the-Cable’s products, but only because it took forever to untangle the unholy mess I had allowed to languish for so long. When I was finally able to unwind each cable, the Roll Straps were able to easily wrap around and tightly secure even the biggest, thickest cord bundles. And just like the LTC Cable Tube, the Roll Straps were easy to cut down to meet my sizing needs.
Wrapping Things Up With Label-the-Cable
Cable management sounded like a tedious affair to me, which is why it eluded me for so long. Needless to say, Label-the-Cable’s products showed me that making your tech setups neat and tidy could be a quick and easy affair (untangling the messes I had wrought notwithstanding). If any common principles unite all LTC accessories, it’s the the ease of application and the durability of each tag, tube, or strap. Now that I know how easy Label-the-Cable makes cable management, I’m officially out of excuses for making a mess.
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Note, all prices and products are accurate at the time of article publication, although some may have changed or are no longer available.