Twelve South Debuts New 'AirFly' Wireless Transmitter for Using AirPods With In-Flight Entertainment Systems

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 15, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Twelve South today announced the launch of the AirFly, a new adapter accessory that's designed to let you use your AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones in situations where only wired headphone jacks are available, such as on an airplane or at the gym.

    When you fly, in-flight entertainment systems often require you to plug wired headphones into the headphone jack to hear sound, preventing you from using AirPods or Bluetooth headphones. The AirFly connects to these kinds of systems, allowing you to listen wirelessly using your AirPods.


    AirFly is a small Bluetooth device that's about the size of the AirPods themselves. You connect them to the AirPods over Bluetooth and then use a small cable to plug the AirFly into any headphone jack that requires a physical connection.


    This is a bit of a niche product because this likely isn't a situation most people run into on a daily basis, but for long-haul flights where in-flight entertainment is essential, the AirFly is a useful little addition to your carry-on. It's also handy for workout equipment at the gym that requires a physical connection to listen to the gym's entertainment offerings, or in a car that doesn't have native Bluetooth support.


    As previously mentioned, the AirFly is similar in size to the AirPods, and it comes with a travel pouch, so it's easy to take with you. Along with the pouch, a 3.5mm to 3.5mm stereo audio cable is included, plus there's a micro-USB to USB-A cable for charging the AirFly.


    The AirFly has a built-in battery that will last for approximately eight hours, and it can charge from any USB port.

    You can purchase the AirFly from Twelve South's website or from for $39.99.

    Article Link: Twelve South Debuts New 'AirFly' Wireless Transmitter for Using AirPods With In-Flight Entertainment Systems
  2. Precursor macrumors 6502a


    Sep 29, 2015
    That is AWESOME!
    So this can be used with any system that doesn't have bluetooth too!
  3. lars666 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    A normal bluetooth transmitter, branded as "AirFly", to sell it for four times the price ... nice!
  4. GizmoDVD macrumors 68000

    Oct 11, 2008
    Couldn’t this be used with anything that does not have Bluetooth?
  5. wacky4alanis macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    What are the delays like on these kinds of things? Will the audio and video be noticeably out of sync?
  6. Agneev macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2017
    1 Infinite ∞
  7. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    I bought a cheapo Bluetooth transmitter from eBay for the same purpose. Cost about £10. Unfortunately it didn't work very well with the AirPods so although I think this is overpriced I'm happy to pay a premium for something that has clearly been designed with AirPods in mind.
  8. csurfr macrumors 68000

    Dec 7, 2016
    Seattle, WA
  9. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Planes still have those jacks? I haven’t seen one on a United flight in years. It’s all on your own personal device now.
    --- Post Merged, May 15, 2018 ---
    I knew it looked familiar.
  10. Muttznuttz macrumors member


    May 21, 2014
    Bought this on Amazon ages ago...

    Does a bloody good job. Use it on my old iPod and it connects to anything, sounds good.

    Fairly bad. Up to a second, I've found. No good for watching film / TV
  11. windywalks macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2004
    I can't imagine using my AirPods on a flight - the sound insulation is non-existent and the volume levels necessary to hear anything are both offending to passengers and border on permanent hearing damage.
    ANC cans all the way on a plane.
  12. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    Seems to me like the in-flight-focused name is missing the mark. There are plenty of other uses for a bluetooth transmitter than on an airplane. Most airlines seem to be recommending BYOD instead of using their system; and that seems to be what most people are doing, anyway. The airlines would love nothing more than to completely remove those systems from their planes (and they will likely continue to do so). Lower aircraft weight equals more fuel efficiency; and that saves the airlines a substantial amount of money.
  13. roar08 macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2008
    I've flown LA <-> London twice (once in premium, once in economy - there's a measurable noise difference) using both my AirPods and my Sony MDR-1000X. Overall, sure, the cans win for comfort and sound, but I was still able to use the AirPods for hours. They don't need to be loud to produce good quality sound.
  14. scottcampbell macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2017
    I've only had bad experiences with BT transmitters. Most recently in an attempt to use my AirPods for Nintendo Switch, which only has a 3.5mm headphone jack. I ended up with lag, noise, and low volume.
  15. SlaunchaMan macrumors newbie


    Nov 2, 2007
    Detroit, MI
    I would avoid suggesting that people use AirPods in the car. You need to be able to hear while you're driving!
  16. windywalks macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2004
    Then you are probably one of those people who get a perfect fit from the AirPods.
    They only fit so-so in my ears and don't fall out too easily, but I could never use them on a plane. They're still better than the EarPods - those would fall out non stop.
  17. stygs macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2017
    Two things:

    If this is marketed specific to flight, it needs to come with one of those dual-pin adapters that many aircraft use.

    If this is for “long haul flights where IFE is essential” then 8-hours isn’t nearly long enough.
  18. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    This does not deserve an article.

    I first thought it was just an unoriginal product selling for an outrageous price, but as others have pointed out it’s simply a rebranded existing product, or more accurately a branded existing product.
  19. sandman42 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    Ditto this. I love my AirPods, but I find them nearly useless on airplanes due to the lack of isolation. Have to turn them way up, then, with the background, it’s all just noise stew. Still this product (or the other cheaper versions) would have some usefulness outside of the airplane.
  20. iHamish macrumors newbie


    Jun 30, 2007
    The Beautiful California Central Coast
    We were just on a long-haul Swiss Air flight and normally we use our Sennheiser noise canceling headphones which come with a couple of adapters (including a dual-pin adapter). Apparently Swiss uses a non-standard dual-pin adapter, so we were unable to use our own headphones. I'm guessing there are a number of different plugs now in use, so any product is going to have to include more than a single adapter to be useful to me.
  21. Mac 128, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018

    Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    Yup. I've been using these for years on long flights, and paid half the price. However, big difference -- I use them with BT headphones with compatible AptX for low latency. I also use these with my TV at home. Without an AptX compatible device, these devices are useless with video.

    And what do you want to bet that for twice the price, this doesn't even use a Lightning connector to charge, which means it has to be charged with a non-Apple charging cable as well. So much for designed for Apple!

    AirPods, nor any of Apple's technology utilizes AptX low latency technology, so these are useless for staying in sync with video, unless the video device is synchronized with the BT output (apple's solution). So people using these with their AirPods and airline AV systems are going to be disappointed.
  22. aaronhead14 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2009
    But most airplanes still have that dumb dual 3.5mm port, the one where there's a separate plug for the right and left ears. So... this device is pretty much pointless.
  23. Mac 128, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018

    Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    That doesn't make the device useless. You just need the same two prong adapter people have been using for years to plug in their own headphones.

    Heck, the complimentary headphones they gave me on my Quantas flight came with a removable adapter -- which I removed and kept for just such a situation.
  24. Iconoclysm, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018

    Iconoclysm macrumors 68020


    May 13, 2010
    Washington, DC
    Do you really know if it's a "normal" bluetooth transmitter at four times the price? Same build quality, same battery size, same connection options?
    --- Post Merged, May 15, 2018 ---
    Isn't Apple's solution the AAC codec for Bluetooth? And if this device actually leverages that, wouldn't that be what makes it "designed for Apple"?
    --- Post Merged, May 15, 2018 ---
    And right there, shows it uses the AAC codec over bluetooth - exactly what airpods use. Also priced in the same range.

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