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Can You Use Wireless Headphones on a Plane?


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One of the most common questions that travelers nowadays ask is whether they can use wireless headphones on a plane. Can you use wireless headphones on a plane? Can you use bluetooth headphones on airplane?

The short answer is yes, but there are a few things that you need to know before you pack your favorite headphones for your next flight. In this blog post, we will explore the ins and outs of using wireless headphones on a plane and help you understand what you need to do to ensure a smooth travel experience.


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Wireless headphones
Wireless headphones

1. Can You Use Wireless Headphones on a Plane?

Yes, you can use wireless headphones on a plane.

The same applies to all uses of wireless headphones.

Whether you’re watching a movie on your tablet, listening to an audiobook on your phone, or catching up on work on your laptop you can enjoy these activities with your wireless headphones.

Can you use wireless headphones on a plane? Yes, you can use wireless headphones on a plane.

However, when it comes to connecting your headphones to the airplane’s in-flight entertainment system, there’s an extra step involved. Most in-flight systems require wired connections, so you will need to bring along an adapter or a compatible cable.

Read more: How to Connect Airpods to Airplane TV?

1.1 Can You Wear Airpods on a Plane?

Yes, you can wear AirPods on a plane.

Airlines generally allow Bluetooth headphones, including Airpods, once the plane has reached its cruising altitude and the crew gives the go-ahead to use electronic devices (if not for the whole flight).

Twelve South Transmitter
Twelve South AirFly Pro

2. How to Connect Bluetooth Headphones to Airplane TV?

Connecting bluetooth headphones to an airplane’s in-flight entertainment system is totally doable, even though it may initially seem daunting. There are two popular methods – one with and one without an adapter.

2.1 Wired Connection to Airplane TV (You Will Need a Cable)

The traditional method and often the most straightforward.

The process involves using a headphone jack that typically fits a standard 3.5mm audio cable. Make sure to bring an extra pair of headphones with a compatible plug, or if you want to use the same wireless headphones, a cable that “converts them” into wired ones.

Remember, not all airplanes provide headphones, and the ones they do offer may not provide the sound quality you desire.

2.2 Wireless Connection to Airplane TV (You Will Need an Adapter)

There is one most likely scenario – you will need an adapter.

Unless the airplane TV supports bluetooth technology. Many don’t.

If it doesn’t, you’ll need a bluetooth transmitter, which plugs into the headphone jack of the entertainment system and sends a wireless signal to your headphones. See our guide on how to connect AirPods to an airplane TV. You can use the same adapter for AirPods or any other Bluetooth earphones or headphones – the technology is the same.

Twelve South Transmitter
Twelve South AirFly Pro

3. Know the Airline’s Rules

The rules regarding the use of wireless headphones on a plane can vary from one airline to another. Not greatly, though – most (if not all) airlines allow use of all kind of bluetooth headphones and earphones.

Some airlines may require you to turn off all electronic devices during takeoff and landing, while others allow the use of certain devices during those times.

Make sure to follow the rules to avoid any issues.

4. Invest in Noise-Canceling Headphones

Using wireless headphones on a plane can be a great way to block out the noise of the engines and surrounding passengers. However, if you want an even better experience, consider investing in noise-canceling headphones.

These gadgets use advanced technology to cancel out external sounds, which makes for a more peaceful and enjoyable flight. They can be a bit pricey, but the investment is worth it if you travel frequently.

4.1 Pros and Cons of Noise-Canceling Headphones for Travel

Pros

  1. Improved audio experience. Noise-canceling headphones provide a superior audio experience by removing background noise. This results in a clearer and more immersive audio experience. You simply hear the music so much better than with regular headphones.
  2. Reduced stress. By eliminating unwanted noise, these headphones can help reduce stress levels, especially during long-haul flights.
  3. Better concentration. They can also improve concentration, making them ideal for watching movies, listening to music or audiobooks, or working on your laptop during a flight.

Cons

  1. Cost. Noise-canceling headphones tend to be more expensive than regular headphones. This could be a deterrent for budget-conscious travelers.
  2. Battery life. All of wireless headphones rely on battery power to function. The thing about noise cancelling headphones is that they spend this power quicker, so you either need more expensive and better headphones with better battery life, or you’ll have to charge them more often.
  3. Sound quality. While noise-canceling headphones are excellent at eliminating background noise, some people find that this can sometimes affect the sound quality, particularly the bass. You’ll have to try them out yourselves, to see if you like the sound or not.

5. Bring a Backup Plan

Wireless headphones can run out of power unexpectedly, and the last thing you want is to be stuck on a long flight with no way to listen to your favorite music, audiobook or watch a movie.

To avoid this, make sure to have a backup plan, such as wired headphones or a power bank to charge your headphones. Or, at least a cable to connect them to a power source and charge.

Read more: The Art of Comfortable Flying – Accessories and Tips for Better Air Travel

6. Be Considerate of Other Passengers When Using Wireless Headphones on a Plane

Using wireless headphones on a plane is a great way to enjoy your own entertainment without disturbing others around you.

However, it is important to be considerate of other passengers. Keep the volume at a reasonable level, and avoid using your headphones during meal times or other times when people may want to interact with you.

Inside an airplane

Wireless Headphones on a Plane: FAQ

1. Are There Any Restrictions on Using Wireless Headphones During Takeoff and Landing?

The restrictions on using wireless headphones during takeoff and landing can vary depending on the airline. Some airlines may require you to turn off electronic devices during these times, so it’s best to check your airline’s policy.

2. How Can I Use Wireless Headphones with an In-Flight Entertainment System?

There are two most popular options: cable or adapter.

You can use wireless headphones with an in-flight entertainment system either by connecting them with a wired connection (you may have the cable already) or by using a bluetooth transmitter/adapter, if the system doesn’t support a direct bluetooth connection.

3. What Should I Do If My Wireless Headphones Run Out of Power?

If your wireless headphones run out of power during a flight, you should have a backup plan. This could include bringing wired headphones or earbuds, or ensuring you have a way to charge your wireless headphones (at least a cable that you can connect to airplane USB socket).

To have a fully charged power bank and a cable is the best backup plan.

4. Are Noise-Canceling Headphones Worth It for Air Travel?

Noise-canceling headphones can significantly improve your flight experience by reducing ambient noise, which can be particularly beneficial during long-haul flights. For me, personally, that’s a big “yes, I’ll take a pair”.

5. What Should I Do If My Wireless Headphones Are Not Compatible with the In-Flight Entertainment System?

If your wireless headphones are not compatible with the in-flight entertainment system, you may need to use the airline’s headphones or bring your own wired headphones that are compatible with the airplane entertainment system.

6. Can I Use My Wireless Headphones During Meal Times?

While you can technically use your wireless headphones during meal times, it might be considerate to remove them during these times when flight attendants or other passengers may need to interact with you.

Or, just be aware of this fact, and pay more attention to that.

In conclusion, using wireless headphones on a plane can be a convenient and very enjoyable experience. So next time you’re packing for your flight, make sure to consider bringing your favorite wireless headphones along, if you aren’t doing that already (most likely you are, right?).

Featured photo by Garrett Morrow

About the author:

Co-founder and Chief Editor at Connecting Flights Guide

Kaspars is a digital nomad and travel blogger who’s been traveling the world extensively since 2013. Since 2017, Kaspars has been writing about the less-known aspects of air travel, things like air passenger rights laws and regulations. He’s really good at simplifying complex concepts and making them easily understandable. Kaspars favorite airlines are Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines.

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This article may contain compensated links. Learn more in our disclaimer.



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