Hey there travel enthusiasts and welcome to my post where I will check out my three best Bluetooth headphone dongles for flying wire free this year. If you’ve ever flown before, you’re probably familiar with the flimsy, uncomfortable headphones that airlines provide which leads many of us to venture aboard with our own headphones in tow.

Bluetooth Headphone Dongles for Flying - header

However, as more and more manufacturers make their headphones with wireless Bluetooth technology, compatibility with airline entertainment systems can become an issue. Fortunately, Bluetooth dongles allow you to connect your Bluetooth headphones to your seat’s entertainment system, giving you the freedom to enjoy your audio content without disturbing other passengers.

So for those of you looking to use your wireless headphones with airline entertainment systems, I have had a look around and come up with three good dongle options below. Let’s check them out…

My Three Recommended Bluetooth Headphone Dongles for Flying

I will review these in more detail below however, if you want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience: 

03/14/2024 12:49 am GMT Lasso Brag

What are Bluetooth headphones for flying?

In simple terms, Bluetooth headphone dongles for flying are small electronic devices that enable you to connect your wireless Bluetooth headphones or earbuds to the in-flight entertainment system on an airplane. These dongles act as a bridge between the seat’s audio jack and your Bluetooth headphones, allowing you to enjoy your preferred audio content without using the less that adequate headphones provided by the airline.

Also often called wireless audio transmitters or receivers, they are typically small and portable, making them easy to carry with you on your travels. Most have a 3.5mm audio jack on one end to connect to the airplane’s entertainment system and a Bluetooth receiver on the other end to connect to your headphones.

Check out my: Bose QuietComfort Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphone Review

Bluetooth Headphone Dongles for Flying - headphones around neck

What Should You Be Looking For?

The following factors should be considered as you look around for a good Bluetooth dongle to meet your flying needs.

  1. Compatibility
  2. Battery life
  3. Range
  4. Audio quality
  5. Ease of connection
  6. Additions

Check out these: Best earbuds for air travel

Compatibility

Some Bluetooth headphone dongles only work with certain headphone models or brands. Therefore, it’s important to check the compatibility list of the dongle and make sure it is compatible with your wireless headphones. For example, if your headphones support Bluetooth 5.0, but the dongle only supports Bluetooth 4.2, you may experience compatibility issues.

Secondly, you need to consider the type of audio jack on the airplane’s entertainment system. Different airlines may use different types of audio jacks, so it’s important to ensure that the dongle you choose is compatible with the type of jack provided by the airline.

Most dongles come with a 3.5mm audio jack, which is the standard size used in most airplanes. However, some airplanes may have a different type of jack, such as a 2.5mm or dual-pronged jack. In this case, you may need to purchase a dongle with an adapter to ensure compatibility.

Airplane Headphone Adapter
$11.99

Airplane Headphone Adapter

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03/13/2024 06:41 pm GMT

Battery life

When comparing different Bluetooth headphone dongles, it’s important to look for the device’s battery life, which is typically measured in hours. This feature is particularly important if you plan to use the dongle for long flights or extended periods without access to a power source.

The battery life of a dongle can vary significantly depending on the model and manufacturer and some may have a battery life of only a few hours, while others can last for up to 15 hours or more. It’s important to choose a dongle with a battery life that matches your needs.

How long it takes to charge the battery is a factor you can take note of, too. Some dongles may take several hours to charge, while others may have a quick charge feature that allows you to charge the battery in a shorter amount of time.

Range

The range is a key feature to consider when purchasing a Bluetooth headphone dongle for flying as well. This refers to the maximum distance between the dongle and the headphones within which they can communicate wirelessly. In most cases this really won’t matter too much as you are sitting in an airline seat with the screen right in front of you however a longer range is especially important if you plan to move around the airplane while using your headphones.

For example, if you need to use the restroom or want to stretch your legs, you don’t want to lose the connection to your audio source. Additionally, a longer range can be helpful if you need to stow your carry-on luggage in an overhead compartment but still want to listen to your music or movie.

Audio quality

Whenever you place and extra level of functionality between your headphones and the sound source, there is always the chance of some degradation in quality. To assess the audio quality of a dongle, you can check the specifications provided by the manufacturer or read reviews from other users. Some factors that may affect the audio quality of the dongle include the frequency response, dynamic range, and signal-to-noise ratio.

It’s also important to take into account the type of headphones that you plan to use with the dongle as well. Different headphones may have different audio characteristics that can impact the overall sound quality when used via Bluetooth as well.

Bluetooth Headphone Dongles for Flying - inflight entertainment

Ease of connection

This probably goes without saying, however the best devices are those that are user-friendly and easy to operate so you can quickly connect your headphones to your audio source and start enjoying your music or movie.

If you evaluate the ease of use of a dongle, you can check the device’s user manual or watch instructional videos provided by the manufacturer. You can also read reviews from other users to get an idea of how easy or difficult the dongle is to pair.

For example, some devices may have a one-touch pairing button that allows you to quickly connect your headphones without going through a complicated setup process. Other dongles may have voice prompts that guide you through the pairing process, making it easier to follow along as well.

Additions

Other potential additions include:

  1. Noise cancellation: This is a feature that uses advanced technology to cancel out background noise, such as the sound of airplane engines, allowing you to enjoy your audio content without distraction. Look for a Bluetooth headphone dongle with noise-canceling capabilities to enhance your in-flight experience.
  2. LEDs: Some Bluetooth headphone dongles have LED lights that indicate various statuses such as when it’s paired, charging or in use. This can be helpful for quick reference and monitoring.
  3. Multipoint connectivity: This feature allows you to connect your dongle to multiple devices at the same time, such as your phone and laptop. This makes it easy to switch between devices without having to disconnect and reconnect every time.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. BlitzMax Bluetooth 5.2 Transmitter Receiver

My first options here is a 2-in-1 Bluetooth adapter that combines Bluetooth audio transmitter and receiver into one device. It comes with a 3.5mm jack, which makes it compatible with a wide range of non-Bluetooth audio sources, such as TV, eBooks, game controllers and of course, airline systems. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: BlitzMax
  • Battery life: 12 hours
  • Range: 32 feet
  • Dimensions: 5.51 x 4.13 x 0.71 inches
  • Weight: 2.89 ounces

Other inclusions:

  • Audio cable
  • Charging cable
  • Pairing with two devices simultaneously

Why have I chosen it?

This Bluetooth transmitter receiver is equipped with the latest Bluetooth 5.2 chipset and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth encoding technology allowing for stable audio and CD quality, providing an authentic HD audio experience. Additionally, the low latency function enables you to watch video while listening to audio without any delay, making it ideal for watching movies, sports and other video content.

You can pair this brand with two Bluetooth receivers simultaneously when used as a transmitter. And when used as a receiver, it can still be paired with two smartphones or tablets – or your smartphone and the airline entertainment system, but the receiver can only receive the audio from one of the two paired devices at a time.


2. MEE audio Connect Air in-Flight Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter Adapter

Next on the list is a Bluetooth audio transmitter adapter that gives you the freedom to stream wireless stereo audio from in-flight entertainment systems and other audio devices with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack to up to two AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones. It is ideal for frequent flyers who want to enjoy their audio entertainment during long flights, as well as for use with other audio devices without built-in Bluetooth connectivity as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: MEE
  • Battery life: 20 hours
  • Range: 20 to 25 feet
  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 0.6 x 1.8 inches
  • Weight: 0.6 ounces

Other inclusions:

  • Multifunction button
  • Battery indicator lights
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty

Why have I chosen it?

The Connect Air is specifically designed for use on airplanes allowing you to easily stream wireless stereo audio from in-flight entertainment systems to up to two AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones.

The Connect Air has a compact and lightweight design that makes it easy to take with you on the go with a built-in battery that provides up to 20 hours of playtime with one pair of headphones connected or 15 hours with two. You can also use it while charging, which is a convenient feature if you need to use it for longer periods as well.

MEE audio Connect Air in-Flight Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter Adapter

MEE audio Connect Air in-Flight Bluetooth Wireless Audio Dongle

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3. Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter/ Receiver

My last option is a bestselling product allowing you to wirelessly transmit audio from any 3.5 mm audio jack to your AirPods, earbuds or wireless headphones. With a battery life of 25+ hours and a 10m/33ft reach, you can enjoy your content without worrying about running out of battery or being too close to the device. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Red Heart
  • Battery life: 25+ hours
  • Range: 30 feet
  • Dimensions: 1.75 x 1.25 x 0.38 inches
  • Weight: 0.564 ounces

Other inclusions:

  • LED indicators
  • Keychain holder
  • Travel pouch

Why have I chosen it?

With a battery life of 25+ hours, the AirFly Pro can cover even the longest flightsa nd if you forget to charge it before takeoff, it can be used while charging with the included cable. The dongle has a reach of 10m/33ft, so you can relax and enjoy your content without being too close to the device. It also allows you to use wired speakers/soundbars, rental cars and boat sound systems to wirelessly receive audio from gaming devices, phones or tablets where Bluetooth is not available as well.

The AirFly Pro uses Bluetooth 5.0 and supports audio codecs such as aptX Low Latency, aptX and SBC audio. It comes with a USB-C charging cable, a travel pouch, a keychain holder, a quick start guide and a manual.

Author note: I have one of these and found it to be excellent in terms or ease of use and quality as well. I have used it on a number of long haul flights and it has never let me down.

Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter/ Receiver
$54.99

Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter/ Receiver


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03/14/2024 12:21 am GMT

Conclusion

There you have it, my three best Bluetooth headphone dongles for flying. And as usual,  please let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun

Paul

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