Very seldom does a product come along that completely changes how we travel. There are already such a vast number of products that have elevated how we fly — from ultra-supportive neck pillows to blackout eye masks and even AirTags that help us track our luggage at every step of the journey. the Twelve South AirFly Duo is another game-changer that every frequent — and occasional — traveler should carry with them.
Simply put, with this Bluetooth wireless transmitter, it becomes possible to watch and listen to films, TV shows and more from an in-flight entertainment system via your own wireless headphones. In other words, you can say goodbye to the often-terrible airline-supplied wired headphones and keep your favorite noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones in your ears.
A travel must-have for watching in-flight entertainment with your own headphones
We swear by the small but mighty AirFly Duo. The Bluetooth wireless transmitter is a fantastic packing addition for any traveler who’s keen to use their favorite headphones without sacrificing quality sound. It’s small and lightweight, extremely easy to pair with Bluetooth devices — including non-Apple devices! — and carries 20+ hours of use on a single charge. If you travel often, the AirFly Duo is a sound investment.
Ultimately, the AirFly Duo solves one of the most annoying problems about air travel: the inability to listen to the in-flight entertainment system with your own quality set of headphones or earbuds. AirFly calls itself “the missing link between wireless headphones and wired headphone jacks,” meaning that you can also use AirFly well beyond the airplane, including on treadmills, gaming devices and more. The product works by plugging into the headphone jack of almost any electronic device, connecting to your Bluetooth wireless headphones and, really, that’s it.
It’s the simplicity of the AirFly Duo that we particularly love. Upon receiving the device, you’ll get the AirFly itself — which measures a compact 4.1 inches — a quick start direction booklet and a handy drawstring protective pouch, which can easily fit in a travel bag or even in your pocket. Really, no more is needed, and we appreciate that Twelve South gives you just the essentials without overdoing it.
Pairing the AirFly with your favorite set of wireless headphones couldn’t be easier. After fully charging the device with the included charging cable, we were able to pair our set of AirPods Pro within 30 seconds with the push of a couple of buttons — one on the AirFly and one on the AirPods case. During our testing on a nearly completely full airplane, the airfly had no difficulties producing sound without interfering with other Bluetooth headphones in the small space.
What we particularly loved about the AirFly Duo is the fact that you can share audio with your travel partner. Because the device can be connected to two wireless Bluetooth devices at the same time, you and your travel partner can simultaneously watch the same movie in flight. Say goodbye to starting and pausing a film on your individual screens at the exact same time — the AirFly Duo ensures you stay in sync during your film or TV show.
When we tested the AirFly Duo on our transatlantic flight from London to New York, the device’s battery lasted throughout the entire journey. According to Twelve South, the AirFly Duo can last 20 hours on a single charge. And even if you do need to charge it, we love that you can do so while simultaneously using it via the external plug. So long as there’s a power source nearby — including from a TSA-approved battery pack — you can keep your AirFly going.
Even if you’re not an Apple user, the AirFly is compatible with devices beyond AirPods as well. And, if the Duo doesn’t suit your needs, there are other AirFly options out there. There’s also the AirFly Pro (
$54.99 $46.74 at Amazon)which, in addition to being capable of connecting two sets of headphones, also allows you to put the device into Receive Mode to send audio from your phone to a car or speaker.
There’s plenty to love about the AirFly Duo. From its small and compact size, including the handy drawstring pouch, to the ease in connecting the device to your favorite headphones, it’s a terrific product that travelers should be excited to try out.
There’s so much to love about the AirFly Duo that it was difficult for us to pinpoint any flaws. However, we found it a bit annoying that when turning the AirFly off and then back on again, there was a slight lag in connecting our Bluetooth-equipped wireless headphones. Though after a few seconds, the two devices paired on their own without an issue. If nothing else, you may just have to be patient and not attempt to “over-pair” your AirFly. Let it do its thing—because it really does it well.
If we’re going to be very picky, the AirFly Duo isn’t exactly cheap. At just under $50 per device, it es an investment. That being said, it’s an investment that we believe is worth it — especially if you travel frequently.
Will we be flying without the AirFly Duo again? Probably not. Overall, the ease of the device makes it worth carrying along on every trip. It’s compact enough to store in any travel bag, easy enough to connect with a number of devices and perhaps best of all, you can say goodbye to airline-supplied headphones forever. If you travel frequently — or seldom but have other places to use the transmitter — the airfly devices are an absolute no-brainer.
Find out which credit cards CNN Underscored chose as its best travel credit cards of 2022.