Bluetooth Headphones On A Plane

Can you use wireless Bluetooth headphones on a plane?

When planning a trip, you’ll probably have more pressing concerns when you land — such as finding places to eat and sightseeing. However, on the way there, you might well find yourself asking: “Can you use Bluetooth headphones on a plane?”.

While you’ll find some amazing movies on in-flight entertainment systems, you might also become bored after a while. And if you’re only flying for a couple of hours, your flight might not even have movies or TV programs that you can watch.

With many modern devices removing their headphone jacks, Bluetooth connectivity is always going to be a key consideration point when shopping for Bluetooth headphones.

And since many of us like to listen to music and podcasts in our everyday lives, wondering about the use of Bluetooth devices on a plane is natural.

If you’re not sure about whether you can use your Bluetooth earphones on a plane, you’re in the right place. Today, you’ll learn more about whether it’s possible to use Bluetooth headsets on your next flight — and you’ll also find out whether different airlines have different rules that you’ll need to keep in mind.

Moreover, you’ll learn more about whether you need to consider the sound quality and if your headphones are allowed on all stages of the flight.

Does that sound interesting? Great. Let’s look at whether you can move away from built-in entertainment systems on international airlines and domestic flights alike.

Can I use Bluetooth headphones in airplane mode?

Bluetooth headphones often work when you put your mobile device in airplane mode. However, you might — if you haven’t previously activated Bluetooth in airplane mode — notice that your device disconnects if you had paired your headphones while you allowed cellular data.

With this in mind, it’s worth first switching on airplane mode. After doing that, ensure that Bluetooth technology is switched on for your device. Then, after turning your wireless Bluetooth headphones on, you should be able to connect them without any issues.

​Naturally, you will only be able to listen to audio that’s available offline if you use your Bluetooth headphones in airplane mode without a Wi-Fi connection.

Bluetooth Headphones On A Plane

Can I use my Bluetooth headphones on long flights?

The answer to “Can you use Bluetooth headphones on a plane?” used to be quite different not so long ago, but the good news is that you can now use short-range Bluetooth devices on many long-haul flights.

When it comes to air travel, many airlines let you use small electronic devices while you’re traveling. The only caveat is that you must switch off your cellular data, as this can interfere with important flight functions.

Generally speaking, you can use wireless earbuds while your plane is in the air; this is similar to taking your seatbelt on and off. However, you cannot use your devices during all phases of flight. You’ll often need to switch off your portable electronic devices during take-off and landing.

You shouldn’t have any problems knowing when to turn off your wireless devices, as the flight crew will typically make announcements when you’re getting ready to land — along with when you’re going to take off.

Some flights have Wi-Fi connectivity, but even when using your own headphones while connected to Wi-Fi services, you should still ensure that you’ve turned off cellular data. ​

Can you connect Bluetooth headphones on a plane?

​Your Bluetooth signal should still work when you’re in the air, and you should have few—if any—problems connecting Bluetooth headphones on a plane. The important thing to think about, however, is that Bluetooth usage will probably be quite high on your flight.

As a result, your signal might get interrupted by others using their own wireless headphones. Generally speaking, though, the issue should stabilize itself before too long — and for the rest of the flight, you should be all good to go.

If you keep having issues with your Bluetooth earbuds on a plane, you can always try using wired headphones instead. You’ll need to purchase an adapter for your headphone jack, but there shouldn’t be any further challenges.

Some Bluetooth headsets come with a cord that you can use as part of the package.

If you keep having problems with your earbuds, you can always check out our guide on how to increase Bluetooth range.

What kind of headphones work on airplanes?

The easy way to ensure that you can use your earbuds on a plane is by getting wired headphones, as these will always work unless there’s an issue with the cord. But generally speaking, most modern short-range Bluetooth accessories should work on a plane — and that includes your headphones.

It’s a good idea to check your device before traveling to ensure that you can use it on flights. Some devices will have varying sound qualities, and noise-canceling headphones might sound a little different when you’re in the air.

When can’t you use Bluetooth headphones on a plane?

Most major airlines will let you use headphones with a Bluetooth connection once you’re in the air, including many major American airlines.

Air Canada also lets airplane passengers use Bluetooth headphones when flying on its services. That goes for when you’re flying within Canada, but it’s also applicable when you’re on an international flight.

Regardless of the airline, however, you typically aren’t allowed to use your headphones during take-off or landing. If you’re in doubt, you can always ask the flight crew.

Bluetooth Headphones On A Plane

Tips for using Bluetooth headphones on a flight

Now that you know more about the basics of using Bluetooth earphones on a flight, we’ll provide some tips to help you get the best possible listening experience on your next trip.

Don’t use your headphones during take-off and landing

As we’ve already mentioned in this article, you should not use your Bluetooth headphones during take-off or landing. Doing so can cause interference with your plane’s systems.

It’s also a good idea to listen out for the safety announcements and take your headphones out of your ears during this time, especially if you’ve never flown before — or if you’re not a frequent flyer.

Adjust your sound settings to get an optimal hearing experience

When you’re in the air, the listening experience is often different compared to when you’re on the ground. In many cases, your audio will sound quieter.

This is often because of the pressure in your ears, and you might notice issues with your headphones — such as crackling — are also exasperated while you’re flying.

Of course, you should make sure that you don’t do anything that would cause long-term hearing difficulties. But at the same time, you can adjust several settings to ensure that your headphones provide the optimal in-flight hearing experience.

Consider adjusting volumes, bass levels, and so on. What you can change will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Make sure that your batteries are fully-charged

If you’ve ever flown before, you might notice that your headphone batteries can sometimes drain more quickly in the air than they would on the ground. When going on a long-haul flight, the last thing you probably want is to be unable to listen to your music or podcasts all of a sudden.

There isn’t much that you can do to mitigate this issue, but one smart idea is to ensure that you have fully charged your batteries before embarking on your trip.

You can also ensure that your charging case has enough juice for long-term trips. Depending on who you fly with, some popular airlines have USB ports that let you recharge your device when flying.

For the most part, these are currently USB-A — though that may change seeing as USB-C ports are becoming more popular, and in 2024, this format will become mandatory for several devices within the EU.

Take a headphone cord if you have one

While you’ll still want to listen to your music or audio with a wireless device, it’s worth taking a headphone cord in case you need it. Many over-the-head devices will have these included in the set when you purchase them, though you often won’t get one if you use in-ear headphones instead.

Check your airline’s rules regarding Bluetooth headphones

As we mentioned earlier, each airline has different rules when it comes to determining whether you can use Bluetooth headphones on their flights or not. You’re often allowed to do so, but you should still check the rules if you’re using a new airline for the first time.

You should be able to find more information on the official website. If not, you can contact their customer support team instead.

Make sure you download your playlists in advance!

While many flights now have Wi-Fi connections, these aren’t always reliable. On top of that, you might need to pay money to access your network. The best way to ensure that you can listen to your audio on a flight is by downloading playlists, albums, shows, and everything else that you want to listen to.

Using Bluetooth headphones on a plane

Can you use Bluetooth headphones on a plane? In short, yes — it’s very much possible to do so on most modern airlines. However, you’ll need to do so in airplane mode — and you’re also not typically allowed to use your devices during take-off or landing.

When listening to music, podcasts, or audio from TV shows on a plane, the sound quality is often different when done through wireless headphones. With this in mind, you should ensure that you optimize your device’s sound quality settings to ensure that everything works as it should for you.

In some cases, you might have to endure your Bluetooth continuing to turn off. But when that happens, fear not as we’ve got a complete guide that can help you out.

Unwired for Sound: Set your audio free.