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Man wearing bluetooth headphones scrolling through the menu of a seatback screen in an airplane
Brastock Images | Adobe Stock

How to Watch in-Flight Entertainment With Your Wireless Headphones

Wired headphones seem like ancient technology these days, so why do airline entertainment systems still require you to plug-in headphones in order to watch? It’s bad enough trying to watch a movie designed for a big screen on a tiny seatback TV, let alone having to listen to it on flimsy headphones handed out by the airline. Or worse, you only packed wireless headphones and have to pay $5 to buy a pair onboard if you want any entertainment.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to this problem—a Bluetooth audio transmitter. This tiny gadget plugs into the headphone jack on most planes and then connects to your wireless headphones to play audio from the in-flight entertainment system. All you have to do is plug the transmitter into the headphone jack (usually found on your armrest or at the bottom of the TV screen) and pair your Bluetooth headphones.

The Best Bluetooth Audio Transmitters for Flying

Eppfun Bluetooth Audio Transmitter

Two angles of the eppfun bluetooth wireless transmitter

Most modern airplanes use single-prong, 3.5 mm audio jacks but some aircraft still have the old two-prong style plugs. 

The Eppfun is one of the few transmitters that will work on both styles—it has two prongs, one of which can be folded down to use in single prong jacks. 

Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth Transmitter

Two colors, white and black, of the Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth Transmitter

Concerned about using an off-brand product with your headphones? You can buy a transmitter directly through Apple. Designed for AirPods or Beats wireless, the AirFlys can pair with two sets of headphones so you can watch a movie with your seatmate. 

The AirFlys can also be used with a car’s AUX IN to allow you to wirelessly connect to speakers that don’t have Bluetooth built-in. 

1 Mii Bluetooth Audio Transmitter and Receiver

Two views of the 1 Mii Bluetooth Audio Transmitter

The transmitter from 1 Mii is one of the easiest to use, thanks to a simple on/off switch that automatically enters pairing mode, so you can just plug it in and start watching. This product functions as a 2-in-1, plug it into your device and use it as a Bluetooth transmitter or plug it into your wired speakers/devices to instantly give them Bluetooth connectivity.

The 1 Mii also has a longer battery life (15 hours) than some other comparably priced models.

All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.

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