Top 5 in-flight Bluetooth adapters for Summer 2023

man wearing beige long sleeves shirt listening to music

Let’s face it: the headphones they pass out on flights are awful. They’re tinny, annoying, and cheap and, in the end, you’re probably doing plenty to hurt the environment by taking them and inevitably throwing them away. But as more and more headphones depend on Bluetooth instead of good, old-fashioned wires. The solution? Connecting your headphones to a Bluetooth adapter and then plugging the adapter right into your in-seat entertainment system and we have Top 5 in-flight Bluetooth adapters for summer 2023.

Remember: buying these at the airport often means overpaying so preparation is key.

Watch the video version of this post below:

Why should you spend money on a good adapter? Here are some things to consider.

Why do you need a Bluetooth adapter for the plane?

There are several reasons why someone might want a wireless Bluetooth adapter to listen to in-seat audio on a plane:

  1. Convenience: A wireless Bluetooth adapter allows you to connect your personal headphones or earphones to the airplane’s in-flight entertainment system without needing any physical cables. This eliminates the hassle of untangling wires or being limited by the length of the cable.
  2. Comfort: The in-flight headphones provided by airlines are often of average quality and may not fit comfortably for everyone. By using your own Bluetooth headphones, you can enjoy better audio quality and a more comfortable listening experience, especially during long flights.
  3. Hygiene: Sharing headphones with other passengers can raise concerns about hygiene, especially given the recent focus on maintaining cleanliness and reducing the spread of germs. By using your own wireless Bluetooth adapter and headphones, you can eliminate this concern and have a more personalized and hygienic audio experience.
  4. Audio Quality: Bluetooth technology has improved significantly over the years, and many wireless headphones now offer high-quality audio with minimal latency. By using a wireless Bluetooth adapter, you can take advantage of the improved sound quality provided by your own headphones, enhancing your overall entertainment experience.
  5. Flexibility: With a wireless Bluetooth adapter, you’re not limited to using the in-flight entertainment system. You can also connect to your own personal devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops, and enjoy your preferred movies, music, or podcasts during the flight without disturbing other passengers.

It’s worth noting that not all airlines provide in-flight entertainment systems with Bluetooth connectivity, so it’s important to check beforehand if your chosen airline supports this feature. Additionally, be sure to comply with any regulations or guidelines set by the airline regarding the use of personal electronic devices during the flight.

Top five in-flight Bluetooth devices

Best for Frequent Flyers
Twelve-South AirFly Duo – $44.99 – Amazon Link

This little device is super light and has straightforward controls. You plug it in, turn it on, and it starts to transmit to your AirPods or noise-canceling headphones. At $44 this is a little bit more expensive than others on this list and well worth the investment, even as a doodad you throw into your bag and carry with you just in case. The best thing? You can connect two headphones to the Duo, allowing you and a friend or loved one to share the same screen. The AirFly Duo has twenty hours of battery life.

Great Battery Life
Anker Soundsync A3352 Bluetooth 
– $32 – Amazon Link

Another low-cost wireless solution, the A3352 has excellent battery life and sound quality and features a removable adapter that lets you also hook this device up to multiple devices. This model won’t exactly hang from the back of your seat, however, since there is no cable. But Anker makes great, low-cost devices and this one is a solid choice.

A Real Bargain
Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter 3-in-1 – $12.99 – Amazon Link

This little guy is only $12 but has a few interesting features including a USB-transmitter feature that allows you to stream from a computer without Bluetooth. It’s not a great device – it maxes out at 10 hours of battery life – but if you’re looking for something super cheap.

Audiophile’s Choice
Sennheiser BT T100 – $79 – Amazon Link

The BT T100 is a typical Sennheiser product – well-built with lots of great features. This device lets you connect either a standard audio cable or an optical cable, a feature that will be helpful if you want to use the device at home as well. Obviously, you’re paying a lot more for the name on the box but in this case, it might be worth it for audiophiles.

Great Feature-to-Price Ratio

1Mii Bluetooth 5.3 Transmitter Receiver – $26.69 – Amazon Link

This clever little adapter supports both transmitting and receiving, which means you can output audio from a wired device like your seatback screen or you can transmit to this from a Bluetooth device and listen to the audio on wired headphones. This feature alone could make it a great choice for mixed-use situations – you can use it on the plane to listen to your AirPods Pro or you can put on a set of headphones in the gym to listen on the treadmill without getting tangled in wires.

And that’s a look at the Top 5 in-flight Bluetooth adapters for Summer 2023.

John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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