This small Bluetooth dongle is now my important journey and highway journey companion

AirFly Pro on table next to earbuds in a case and a Pixel phone.

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Flights are boring, longer ones much more so. Since I’ve choosy ears that despise practically each earbud form or dimension, I’ve typically struggled with the default in-plane leisure choices. For the previous few years, I’ve resorted to downloading some podcasts and playlists and listening to them with my very own tried-and-tested snug Bluetooth buds. It is a minimalistic setup, however it works for me and permits me to skip cramming a pill or laptop computer within the small house in entrance of me.

Glancing at my husband subsequent to me, although, I nonetheless envied how he might merely seize any plane-provided earbud or headset and use it with the in-flight leisure system. On our four-hour journeys again residence to Lebanon, he can catch two films, whereas I struggled to move the time after the second or third hour.

Audio can solely go thus far to distract me on a multi-hour flight. Motion pictures are higher time-wasters.

Then, as I used to be getting ready for my transatlantic flight to Toronto final month, I spotted I wanted an answer to assist these seven-plus hours move. In my seek for options, I got here throughout the AirFly Professional, and now that I’ve used it on a number of flights, I’ve to say it is simply the best and most versatile little journey gadget.

Airfly Pro plugged into the passenger console of an Air France plane with Google Pixel Buds Pro and Air France headphones

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Most airplanes these days have a 3.5mm headset output and airways offer you a pair of low cost, single-use earbuds to plug in. Some older planes may need the two-prong output (although it has been a number of years since I personally got here throughout these ), whereas newer ones would possibly supply pre-plugged headphones.

The AirFly Professional solely works when there is a 3.5mm jack. It plugs immediately into the in-flight leisure system and allows you to transmit audio to your individual Bluetooth headphones or buds. One button turns it on and places it in pairing mode, and all it’s a must to do is be certain your headset is in pairing mode too for them to search out one another and join.

I plugged it into the audio output of the aircraft and loved a film alone Bluetooth buds.

I examined it with each my Google Pixel Buds Professional different Nothing Ear 1, and it labored like a attraction. In a number of seconds, I used to be watching a film on the headrest show in entrance of me with out sacrificing my ears’ consolation. And with out carrying Air France’s terrible-sounding on-ear headphones, which have been on numerous heads earlier than mine. (I later took one other flight the place they supplied these single-use buds and prevented these too — much less e-waste, extra snug ears, a win-win for all.)

AirFly Pro dongle, focus on the USB-C port

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The very best half is that the Pixel Buds Professional can join to 2 units on the identical time, so I might simply swap from watching a film on the aircraft’s show (with the AirFly Professional) to listening to some music or catching a video on my cellphone , with out taking my buds out, urgent any button, or plugging/unplugging something. This is not a Buds Professional-only function, although — search for headphones or buds that provide “Multipoint” performance and you’ll have a equally seamless expertise.

Past planes, this will add Bluetooth output to older TVs and recreation consoles, iPods, and gymnasium tools.

Again to the dongle, now. It will possibly accomplish that way more. I am specializing in the journey expertise, however you possibly can mainly use this to show something with a 3.5mm headset output right into a wi-fi machine. Fitness center tools, an iPod Nano or Basic, an older TV or recreation console; the checklist goes on.

There’s additionally a splitter performance that permits you to route the audio to 2 Bluetooth headsets on the identical time, so you can watch the identical factor with a pal, sibling, or companion in a public place and nonetheless benefit from the isolation of your individual particular person headphones/ Buds.

AirFly Pro dongle, focus on the Bluetooth transmit TX and receive RX toggle

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

However there’s one other aspect to the equation too. See that small TX-RX toggle on the aspect of the AirFly Professional? Transfer it to the RX place to fully change how the dongle works.

Now it is a Bluetooth receiver. Plug it into the auxiliary enter jack of any automobile or speaker and it’ll catch and play any audio from an emitting machine like your cellphone, pill, or laptop. So versatile.

One flick and it transforms right into a Bluetooth receiver for any automobile or speaker. Good for highway journeys.

Throughout my Canadian journey, I used the dongle in receiver mode in our rental vehicles to play my favourite tunes. Once more, one button press let me pair it to my Pixel 6 Professional. I did not have to determine the Bluetooth pairing course of of every automobile, I simply paired as soon as with the dongle and plugged it into the vehicles. I sort of remorse not having tried an answer like this with my previous Subaru XV. That automobile had essentially the most fickle Bluetooth connection and didn’t see my cellphone 4 occasions out of 5; a Bluetooth receiver like this may have let me bypass that fully.

Regardless of its tiny dimension, the AirFly Professional’s battery lasts about 16 hours. It dealt with a seven-hour flight, a number of hours of driving, then virtually lasted via the identical seven-hour flight again. And when it was empty, I simply charged it over USB-C and it was able to go.

Should you do not care concerning the receiver function, it can save you a couple of bucks by choosing a extra primary AirFly model. These are the choices supplied now:

  • The AirFly ($34.99) is only a Bluetooth transmitter and may solely pair with one set of headphones at a time.
  • The AirFly Duo ($44.99) provides the choice to pair and hear on two Bluetooth headsets concurrently.
  • The AirFly Professional ($54.99) does all the above and acts as a receiver too.
  • A discontinued AirFly USB-C (nonetheless offered by third-party distributors for $60 or above) was mainly the identical because the Duo however with a USB-C plug as an alternative of the three.5mm jack.

The Professional makes essentially the most sense for my utilization, however I want it got here with a USB-C converter within the field to let me apply it to my Android telephones and iPad too.

AirFly Pro top down next to earbuds in a case.

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

It is extremely handy to have my setup able to go on any flight and in any automobile.

Was the AirFly Professional important in any of the conditions the place I attempted it? No, in fact not. However it was extremely handy to get on a flight or in a automobile and know I had my very own setup able to go. And it is so tiny and moveable too. That is why it has rightly earned a everlasting spot in my journey bag.

AirFly Pro

AirFly Professional

Nice on airplanes • Works in vehicles • USB-C charging

A flexible dongle that permits you to use your individual Bluetooth headset on planes and extra

The AirFly Professional is a dual-mode Bluetooth dongle. In Transmit mode, it could actually share audio from any machine (together with planes) to a pair of Bluetooth buds or headphones. In Obtain mode, it may be plugged right into a automobile or audio system to obtain audio from a cellphone or pill. It fees over USB-C and lasts 16 hours on a cost.

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