This little Bluetooth dongle is now my essential travel and road trip companion.

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

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

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Flights are boring, longer ones even more so. since I have picky ears that disdain almost all shapes or sizes of headphones, I have often had problems with the default in-flight entertainment options. For the past few years, I’ve resorted to downloading a few podcasts and playlists and listening to them on my own comfortable, tried-and-true Bluetooth headphones. It’s a minimalist setup, but it works for me and allows me to skip cluttering a Tablet or laptop in the small space in front of me.

However, looking at my husband next to me, I still envisioned how he could just grab any plane-provided earphone or headphone and use it with the inflight entertainment system. On our four-hour drives back to Lebanon, he gets to watch two movies, while I struggle to pass the time after the second or third hour.

The audio can only go so far as to distract me on a multi-hour flight. Movies are better for wasting time.

Then, as I was preparing for my transatlantic flight to Toronto last month, I realized I needed a solution to help get me through those seven-plus hours. In my search for solutions, I found the AirFly Pro, and now that I’ve used it on a few flights, I have to say it’s easily the most stylish and versatile little travel device.

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

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Most planes these days have a 3.5mm headphone jack and airlines provide you with a cheap, single-use pair of headphones to plug into. Some older planes may have the two-pronged output (although it’s been a few years since I personally encountered them), while newer ones may offer pre-connected headphones.

The AirFly Pro only works when there is a 3.5mm jack. Connects directly to the in-flight entertainment system and allows you to stream audio to your own Bluetooth headphones or buds. One button turns it on and puts it into pairing mode, and all you have to do is make sure your headphones are also in pairing mode for them to find each other and connect.

I plugged it into the plane’s audio jack and enjoyed a movie on my own Bluetooth headphones.

I tried it with my two Google Pixel Buds Pro Y nothing heard 1, and it worked like a charm. Within seconds, I was watching a movie on the headrest screen in front of me without sacrificing the comfort of my ears. And without using terrible-sounding Air France in-ear headphones, which have been on countless heads before mine. (I later took another flight where they provided those single-use buds and avoided them too: less e-waste, more comfortable ears, a win-win situation.)

AirFly Pro dongle, focus on USB-C port

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The best part is that the Pixel Buds Pro can connect to two devices at the same time, so I could easily switch from watching a movie on the airplane screen (with AirFly Pro) to listening to music or watching a video on my phone, without take off my headphones, press any buttons, or plug/unplug anything. However, this isn’t a feature exclusive to the Buds Pro – look for earbuds or buds that offer “Multipoint” functionality and you’ll be able to have an equally seamless experience.

Beyond airplanes, this can add Bluetooth output to older TVs and game consoles, iPods, and gym equipment.

Let’s get back to the dongle, now. You can do much more. I’m focusing on the travel experience, but basically you can use this to turn anything with a 3.5mm headphone jack into a wireless device. Gym equipment, an iPod Nano or Classic, an old TV or game console; the list goes on.

There’s also a splitter feature that allows you to route audio to two Bluetooth headphones at the same time, so you can watch the same thing with a friend, sibling, or significant other in a public place and still enjoy the isolation of your own individual headphones. . buds

AirFly Pro dongle, focus on Bluetooth transmission TX and receive RX switch

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

But there is also another side of the equation. See that little TX-RX toggle on the side of the AirFly Pro? Move it to the RX position to completely change how the dongle works.

It is now a Bluetooth receiver. Plug it into the auxiliary input jack on any car or speaker and it will pick up and play any audio from a sending device like your phone, tablet or computer. So versatile.

One touch and it transforms into a Bluetooth receiver for any car or speaker. Perfect for road trips.

During my trip to Canada, I used the dongle in receiver mode in our rental cars to play my favorite songs. Again, press a button, let me pair it with my Pixel 6 Pro. I didn’t have to figure out each car’s Bluetooth pairing process, I just paired it once with the dongle and connected it to the cars. I’m sorry I didn’t try a solution like this with my old Subaru XV. That car had the most fickle Bluetooth connection and couldn’t see my phone four times out of five; a Bluetooth receiver like this would have allowed me to bypass that entirely.

Despite its small size, the AirFly Pro’s battery lasts about 16 hours. He drove a seven-hour flight, a few hours of driving, then almost the same seven-hour flight back. And when it was empty, I simply charged it via USB-C and it was good to go.

If you don’t mind the receiver function, you can save a few bucks by choosing a more basic version of AirFly. These are the options it offers now:

  • The air flight ($34.99) is just a Bluetooth transmitter and can only be paired with one pair of headphones at a time.
  • The AirFly duo ($44.99) adds the option to pair and listen on two Bluetooth headsets simultaneously.
  • The AirFly Pro ($54.99) does all of the above and also acts as a receiver.
  • A discontinued AirFly USB-C (still sold by third-party vendors for $60 or more) was basically the same as the Duo but with a USB-C connector instead of the 3.5mm jack.

The Pro makes more sense for my use, but I wish it came with a USB-C converter in the box to allow me to use it on my Android phones and iPad as well.

AirFly Pro top down next to headphones in a case.

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

It’s incredibly convenient to have my setup ready to go on any flight and in any car.

Was the AirFly Pro a must-have in any of the situations I tested it in? Of course not. But it was incredibly convenient to get on a plane or a car and know I had my own setup ready to go. And it’s so small and portable too. That’s why it has rightfully earned a permanent spot in my travel bag.

AirFly® Pro

AirFly® Pro

Great on planes • Works in cars • USB-C charging

A versatile dongle that lets you use your own Bluetooth headset on planes and more

The AirFly Pro is a dual mode Bluetooth dongle. In streaming mode, you can share audio from any device (including airplanes) to a pair of Bluetooth buttons or headphones. In receive mode, it can be connected to a car or speakers to receive audio from a phone or tablet. It charges via USB-C and lasts 16 hours on a charge.

About the author


Leave a Comment