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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.

twelvesouthairfly-800x505.jpg

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.

airflyandairpods-800x475.jpg

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.

airflypluggedin-800x503.jpg

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.

airflygym-800x500.jpg

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 Amazon.com for $39.99.

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

wacky4alanis

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2009
544
70
What are the delays like on these kinds of things? Will the audio and video be noticeably out of sync?
 
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-Ryan-

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2009
1,584
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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.
 
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avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
2,940
3,842
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.
 
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roar08

macrumors 6502
Apr 25, 2008
265
561
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.

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.
 
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scottcampbell

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2017
322
803
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.
 
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windywalks

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2004
497
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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.
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.
 
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stygs

macrumors newbie
Jul 6, 2017
15
169
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.
 
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sandman42

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2003
957
59
Seattle
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.

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.
 
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iHamish

macrumors newbie
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.
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.
 
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Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
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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!


What are the delays like on these kinds of things? Will the audio and video be noticeably out of sync?

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.
 
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aaronhead14

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2009
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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.
 
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Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
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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.

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.
 
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Iconoclysm

macrumors 68020
May 13, 2010
2,499
1,758
Washington, DC
A normal bluetooth transmitter, branded as "AirFly", to sell it for four times the price ... nice!

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?
[doublepost=1526403477][/doublepost]
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.

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"?
[doublepost=1526404943][/doublepost]

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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