Earphones and headsets alike have long been allowed on flights all over the world.

They have always had a hardwired connection, which you would plug into the armrest of the seat you were sitting in.

Then came the age of Bluetooth use and wireless headphones and headsets.

How to Use Bluetooth Earbuds and headphones on planes

Next, was the convenience of Bluetooth earbuds that are even more compact and fit very easily into your carry-on luggage and even your pocket. Ever wondered, how that person next to you on that short haul or long haul flight is able to use their Bluetooth headphones or earbuds to watch in-flight entertainment? Look no further, the answer is right here.

We will tell you how you can be free of wires when you travel to the airport to travel on an airplane thanks to Bluetooth technology. Get rid of those wired earphones and replace them with wireless earphones or airplane earbuds.

Using Bluetooth earbuds and headphones on airplanes is made possible by using a simple little device called a Bluetooth Adapter. A Bluetooth Adapter allows your Bluetooth earbuds and headphones to connect directly to the airplane’s in-flight entertainment service making it possible to use your favorite earbuds or headphones while you travel. 

Using Bluetooth Earbuds and Bluetooth Headphones on Planes

If you have Bluetooth Headsets, earbuds, or headphones, you will need an adapter for air travel, which will allow you to use your Bluetooth earbuds onboard an aircraft. Often, this adapter is called a dongle and is a handy piece of tech.

Pairing a dongle is very similar to pairing a pair of wireless earbuds to your phone or any other device through Bluetooth connectivity. Once you have paired your wireless Bluetooth earbuds to the dongle plugged into the airplane audio jack you can sit back, relax and enjoy your flight with your own headphones.

There are plenty of modern headphones that will give you enough battery power to last an entire flight. Even if you travel on a long-haul flight the earbud charging case will charge them back up reasonably quickly, so you can continue to have quality sound. No more airline headphones with broken wires that drop out or crackle every time you move.

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Do Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds or Headphones Work on Planes?

Why wouldn’t they? They are perfectly fine while flying and where space can be an issue, not having wires getting in the way is just better in every way.

As long as you have your earbuds or headphones set up correctly, you have clear sound from your own listening equipment and no worries about them being cleaned as they are your own and you know where they have been.

in flight entertainment screen

Does Airplane Mode Affect Bluetooth on My Apple iPhone and Other Devices?

Airplane mode can affect Bluetooth, depending on how you have your phone set up. Most mobile devices’ default mode is to turn off all connections when in airplane mode. Nonetheless, if you would like to make Bluetooth mode active, so you can connect your Bluetooth earbuds during a flight, you can.

It is as easy as going into your Bluetooth settings and turning on Bluetooth connectivity mode. Your phone will remain in flight mode, but Bluetooth is now active and will allow you to connect your devices as required.

Bear in mind, though, if you are using wireless Bluetooth headphones with a dongle connected directly to the in-flight entertainment service, you are not going to have to worry about this, as you won’t need to use your phone.

Bluetooth Earbud & Headphone check List for use on Airplanes

  • Bluetooth earbuds with long battery life
  • Or headphones with long battery life
  • Bluetooth adapter of your choice
  • Two-pin adapter if required
  • Enjoy your airplane travel with your earbuds or headphones

Are Bluetooth Earbuds Allowed by Airlines and What are the Rules?

You are allowed to bring any of your devices like wireless Bluetooth headphones or earbuds with you on a flight when you travel, whether they are hardwired or of the portable Bluetooth type. The only restrictions are that you won’t be able to use Bluetooth devices, which is normally for takeoff and landing.

Most airlines’ policy in this day and age is to allow you to use your Bluetooth devices, so you’ll be able to use wireless headphones for the rest of the flight in general.

However, just make sure your phone stays in flight mode as per airline regulations.

When can’t I use Portable Earbuds and Headphones on Airplanes?

Generally speaking, most airlines used to enforce the turning of all Bluetooth devices for landing and takeoff. In saying that, from our own personal experiences, it seems to vary between airlines.

We find that when we fly, most times there are no restrictions on the use of Bluetooth earbuds from when you get on the plane until you arrive at the terminal again at your destination. Although, unless it has changed, there does appear to be legal regulations for takeoff and landing.

Can I use Portable Earbuds or Headphones on Delta Airlines During the Flight?

Devices like Bluetooth earbuds and headphones can be brought on Delta along with Southwest, British Airways, Air Canada, JetBlue, and American Airlines as they seem to be allowed on board without any restrictions and are able to be used while the airplane is in-flight.

These airlines do seem to generally require your Bluetooth earbuds to be turned off when departing and arriving at the airport.

Portable Earbuds and Headphones for In-Flight Entertainment

Bluetooth earbuds along with portable headphones will predominantly work just fine with in-flight entertainment. With some headphones, there can be latency issues, which will make the sound out of sync to the video. As a result, the voices in a movie may be slightly delayed, which can make it quite annoying.

The best tip here, if you find it too annoying, is to get wireless headphones that don’t have this happen by having the latest technology installed.

How do Portable Headphones Work with Airplane Entertainment?

Wireless headphones and earbuds work by connecting through Bluetooth connection to a dongle that acts as the receiver for the earbuds.

This plugs into the in-flight entertainment service jack that is normally located at the end of the armrest of your seat on the plane.

Bluetooth Earbuds and Headphones with Entertainment systems on Planes

Once this connection is achieved through the adapter, your wireless Bluetooth earbuds or headphones will work much the same as a wired pair of headphones, allowing you to enjoy crystal clear uninterrupted sound from your own listening device.

How do I connect Bluetooth Headphones to Airplane TV?

If you want to watch airline TV with Bluetooth headphones or earbuds, this is achieved the same way as connecting to the airplane’s in-flight entertainment service.

Airplane TV is just another part of this, so if you have successfully connected to the in-flight entertainment service, you will also be able to access TV on the plane that you are on.

Can I use Wireless Headphones to Watch Movies while I Travel on an Airplane?

When it comes to wireless headphones for airplane movies, as long as you’re connected to the in-flight entertainment service, you will have access to all the movies you want to watch.

Your wireless headphones and earbuds are going to work just fine, as long as they have good latency, so the delay from the picture to the sound you are hearing is minimal or is not present at all.

Devices Needed to use Bluetooth Earbuds and Headphones on Airplanes

To be able to use your quality sounding Bluetooth earbuds or wireless headphones on an aircraft one of the simplest and best tips is to use a dongle that will broadcast the audio from the airplanes in-flight entertainment service allowing it to be received by devices like your wireless headphones or earbuds.

A simple pairing of your headphones to the dongle is all that’s required and your set. Lay back and enjoy your flight with an awesome sound to pass the time.

Using Bluetooth Airplane Adapters aka A Dongle Adapter on an Aircraft

There are many airplane adapters (dongles) that will work to allow you to connect your wireless Bluetooth earbuds or Bluetooth headphones to the airlines’ in-flight entertainment service among other devices.

Another one of those tips is to find a quality product that is going to do the job well. We have chosen 3 relatively inexpensive dongles, which are small and easy to use to provide you with quality sound when you’re on your next flight.


With Twelve South’s AirFly adapter you’ll be enjoying your own wireless headphones in-flight in no time.

This is a quality brand with 4 different models, one of which can surely meet your requirements.

There is the AirFly Classic model, which is the basic model that gets you around 8 hours of playtime and is perfect for short-haul flights.

However, if you are flying long haul flights, one of the other new models such as the AirFly Duo or AirFly Pro will give you more playtime between charges.

The only thing to make note of and one of the best travel tips to remember is if you decide to purchase one of the AirFly dongles, you will need to also purchase a dual plug adapter, so you can plug this dongle into the planes dual plug in-flight entertainment service.

These adapters are pretty inexpensive and will prevent disappointment when the dual plug is the only option. Another handy little piece  of tech.


Another make of Bluetooth transmitter with Bluetooth 5.0 technology is the Taotronics Bluetooth transmitter. With a massive amount of positive reviews online, this is a trusted product that will work well for connecting your wireless Bluetooth earbuds in-flight.

It holds an ideal amount of battery life for short-haul flights with 10 hours of playtime before a recharge is needed.

If flying long haul, it can be recharged on the go from any USB port, which most airlines have.

In addition, it is possible to charge the transmitter while you’re using it, which would supply you with endless playtime to serve your needs.

This dongle will also require the double pin adapter to be plugged into some airlines with double headphone jacks onboard the plane.


The RHA wireless flight adapter, depending on where you sit when you fly, maybe the best choice of them all. The adapter has a single and dual plug option available which each pin simply opens out and will fold away as required.

RHA wireless flight adapter

With 16 hours of playtime, you’re going to have enough sound to get you through most long haul flights with the exception of a few.

The RHA wireless flight adapter pairing is simple and will get your Bluetooth earbuds for flying connected to the in-flight entertainment service and let you relax while you travel.


The only downfall with this adapter is, it may be easily knocked if somebody needs to get past your seat in a row.

Other than this little problem, the RHA wireless flight adapter is the perfect Bluetooth Adapter for turning your wireless Bluetooth earbuds into airline headphones.

Landing at the Conclusion

Now that you have an understanding of how to use Bluetooth earbuds and headphones on airplanes, you will be able to travel with your favorite Bluetooth headphones and earbuds on your next flight.

With one of those new smart little Bluetooth adapters, you will have quality clear sound with you on the plane, just like when you do whatever else you do with your wireless Bluetooth earbuds.

If you are also looking to purchase some new good quality headphones with the longest possible battery life, here are some quality options below.

Lastly, if you would like to know more about wireless Bluetooth earbuds with long battery life, we have even more of them set out in another article Earbuds with the Longest Battery Life.

These would be perfect wireless Bluetooth earbuds for taking on a plane and have a long battery life which makes them fantastic wireless earbuds to travel with when flying to your next destination.

Landing Planes with Bluetooth earbuds And Headphones

Bluetooth Earbuds for Flights with Long Battery Life

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