Can You Use Wireless Bluetooth Headphones On a Plane?

When planning for a flight, there are several items to pack, but headphones are a useful and often convenient traveling accessory on long-haul journeys.

They keep you entertained and divert your mind from the flight fear. Not to mention, they can shield you from the ambient noises and allow you to get much needed rest. Wireless Bluetooth headphones have become popular in the recent past, but one question about them still often stands. Can you use wireless Bluetooth headphones on a plane?

This question has a lot of discussion going around it, and this article will break everything down for you. It is a timely read and will help you plan your trip well.

Are There Rules That Guide Against the Use of Bluetooth Headphones

This is a question that most travelers ask while checking in at the airport. Most of them have no idea about the existence of any rules against Bluetooth headphones. The answer to this question is yes. The use of Bluetooth headphones was banned in 2017, and it was made official stating that no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi should be used in a plane.

This ban also included other devices. However, the application of these rules depends on the choice of airline and the flight distance. Most airlines allow the use of Bluetooth headphones except for a few in the UK. They understand that there are minimal Bluetooth interferences, and that’s why they allow it. This is why you need to inquire with your airline before booking the ticket.

Can you use wireless bluetooth headphones on a plane
From TechRadar

Reasons Why You Should Not Use Your Bluetooth Headphones on A plane

Crew Announcements

This is one of the reasons why headphones are discouraged on a plane. They hinder you from hearing crew announcements, all of which are critical in your flight. This is risky if there is an emergency because you won’t hear any instructions from the crew.

Obstruction of Evacuation Missions

Have you ever been on a plane and an emergency occurred? It is a rushing scene as the crew works on evacuating everyone. This might not be easy with headphones cables since they might obstruct you or the crew. However, with the Bluetooth headphones, it’s not an issue.

Plane Communication and Navigation Interference

One of the main reasons the use of Bluetooth headphones on planes is discouraged is because they can interrupt the systems of communication and navigation on the aircraft. They receive or send data using short radio transmitters or Wi-Fi. However, the degree of interference can’t be established since the devices have different power. It is, therefore, the reason why most airplanes discourage these devices while on a flight.

Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, this doesn’t apply to all airlines, and here is the position of the most famous airlines on the matter:

Southwest Airlines

This is a popular airline, and it’s generous enough to the passengers. They allow the use of WIFI and Bluetooth. However, they don’t take the global rule lightly, and therefore you are expected to put all your devices on flight mode.

JetBlue Airline

They allow you to use your headphones but without activating any cellular service during the whole flight.

Delta Airline

You will have an opportunity to watch movies and listen to music on this famous airline. The airline offers WIFI services to the passengers but with one condition that they must switch their devices to airplane mode.

Air Canada

For you to use your Bluetooth headphones in Air Canada, you must remove the battery. Also, you will have to wait until the plane flies to a 10,000 feet height. They also have WIFI services, and your headphones are limited to only the WIFI services.

Qantas premium economy class on Boeing 787 Dreamliner revealed


There is the availability of WiFi services; you are permitted to use your headphones on any of their flights.


This is one of the strictest airlines when it comes to the use of headphones. They don’t have any WiFi service, nor are you allowed to connect the headphones to any device. Also, all devices must be in flight mode until you alight.

British Airways

Although they have WIFI, British Airways don’t permit the use of Bluetooth Headphones.


You can’t travel on this airline without putting your devices on flight mode. However, you can enjoy their WIFI services.


This airline is different from the others because it allows you to use your Bluetooth headphones. This means that you won’t miss your favorite episode because your device will be on from when you take off to when you reach your destination.

You must have noted that all the popular airlines have no issues with the use of Bluetooth headphones. Nevertheless, they want their passengers to switch off their devices to airplane mode during the flight.

Do Airport Authorities Seize Bluetooth Headphones?

Headphones are an investment, not to mention their loyalty in keeping you relaxed and entertained. However, most travelers fear that the security team at the airport might seize their headphones. This is not true because they will give it back to you once you get to your destination.

Are Bluetooth Headphones Usable with The In-Flight Entertainment?

Some attachment comes with using your headphones instead of the ones provided on the plane. Some airlines will give you in-flight entertainment services, and you get to watch your best comedy acts on the screen in front. Unfortunately, most entertainment systems are outdated and do not allow pairing. However, if your headphones are wired there are adapter’s such as from Posdou which can be used in conjunction with in-flight entertainment systems.

The battery life of your Bluetooth headphones is a factor that you should consider as you plan for your flight. Will it last for the time you will be flying and allow you to listen to your favorite jazz? It would be best if you had a pair of Bluetooth headphones with a long battery life, and don’t forget the charging cable since you will need it if the battery goes down.

From United Airlines

How to Use Bluetooth Headphones on Plane

Now that your device has to be on flight mode in most airplanes, you must be wondering how you will use your headphones on the plane. This is more so because your phone might not connect to bluetooth while in that mode. If that is the case, you should try a second connection by turning off your cellular network.

This method applies only to Androids, and the case might be different from Apple devices. They don’t work on airplane modes, but the problem was fixed with the innovation of Apple Air pods. However, if you would like to use an inflight entertainment unit, ensure your device is well charged since the device consumes lots of your device power.

What Is the Position of Various Airline Regulators in Regards to Bluetooth Headphones?

Airlines regulators are in different regions and operate differently. This means that you to know need the flight rules in case you are going international. For instance, you will be allowed to use your Bluetooth headphones when traveling to some countries, but you are expected to switch them off once you are near your destination. You, therefore, need to know what is expected of you. Here are the different positions of various airline regulators in various parts of the world.

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA)

This airline regulator has an uncompromising stand on the use of bluetooth headphones. However, not all of them are against headphones. Also, they have no Bluetooth devices specifications and the backrests with the airline that you choose. So, if your destination is Canada, ensure you check the airline’s rules you will be using.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The FAA is an airline regulator that controls the whole of the American airspace. The regulator made some changes in 2013 in regards to the use of electrical devices on the plane. The changes incorporated wireless Bluetooth headphones and other wireless devices when taking off, during the flight and when landing. However, this is strictly applicable to devices that use Bluetooth while in flight mode.

On the contrary, some airlines don’t allow the use of headphones completely, and therefore if you are requested to remove them, it would be best to comply with the crew. It is for such instances that you should carry a backup or maybe wireless headphones.

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

This is a major airplane regulator because it governs up to 82% of air traffic. IATA has not made clear its position on the use of bluetooth headphones. Nevertheless, it prohibits usage during the take-offs and landing time, and therefore you should not use the headphones during the mentioned times.

What Are the Available Options of Bluetooth Headphones?

Bluetooth headphones are best used when driving or taking an evening walk. This is because of some of the reasons mentioned above relating to your health and safety. I am sure you are wondering what next if you aren’t going to use your headphones on your way to the Bahamas. There are better options to use if the airline you frequently use prohibits the devices. Below are some of the alternatives:

Air Tube Headphones

These headphones are the safest to use. They are radiation-free because they don’t risk your health. Also, the speakers are far from the head and against the ear, thus making them less risky. Also, the makers of these headphones ensured that the electric signal is changed into an acoustic tone right from the source.

Wired Headphones

These are traditional headphones that you have to plug into your radio or mobile phone when using. Once it is connected, a conversion of the sound signal takes place to an electrical signal which is then transferred to the ear through the cables.

Which Is the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones to Use When Flying?

Are you the kind that sleeps on planes some few minutes into the sky? Then noise canceling wireless Bluetooth headphones will soothe you into a deep sleep until you alight. However, choosing the best noise-canceling device might be a little bit confusing, more so if it’s your first time.

There are many types of these headphones with differing prices, features, and benefits. After reading all the above information, we understand that you must be wondering which is the best bluetooth headphone to invest in. That’s why we have made it easy for you by reviewing the best headphones you can use when flying. They boast high efficiency and are lenient to your ears.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Headphones

These headphones have dominated the market for a long time, even after the coming of Sony. They are classic and will make a statement for you as you board the plane. The headphones feature the inbuilt support of Alexa and a noise-canceling unit, and you can control them either with a voice or a button.

Their comfort and lightweight are one reason why you should have them. In addition, these headphones are suitable for traveling because you can fold them and put them in their case. However, you can’t connect them to the inbuilt flight entertainment system, and the battery life is unreliable.

2. Sony WH1000XM3 Bluetooth Headphones

These are some of the most trending headphones, although they are highly-priced. They boast the latest features, and you will feel confident using them. The intelligence of these devices is top notch thanks to the Inbuilt-Sony chip, without which there will be no sound. The chips are designed to outdo the noise from the conversations and announcements, making them the best Bluetooth headphones to use on the plane.

Another outstanding feature of these headphones is the inbuilt touch support. Unlike most headphones, you don’t have to remove these. Instead, you touch the support panel, and they will be silent.

How to Choose the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphone for Airplane Use

Choosing a good set of wireless headphones depends on several factors. When buying them, you should consider your taste and needs. Your choice should also boast some sophistication and features that will blend with most of the airlines that you frequently use.

Choosing a headphone might not be easy, especially with new brands coming up now and then. However, below is a guide that will help you pick the best wireless Bluetooth for flights.

Active Noise Cancellation

This is the number one factor that you ought to consider. Active noise cancellation is a critical feature because it’s the one that blocks noise. Headphones are manufactured differently, with some featuring a limited noise cancellation while others boast a complete cover-up meaning they will block any noise you don’t need. A headset with this feature is the best, and you should purchase it.

Battery Life

An excellent wireless Bluetooth headphone should have long battery life. You don’t want to buy a pair that will go off some few minutes into the skies. A reliable headphone in terms of battery life should serve you at least for 12 hours. Nonetheless, some go up to 24 hours, and with proper market research, you will make an informed decision.


The range of your choice of Bluetooth also matters. What distance can your device connect to the music source? Knowing the coverage is essential because you don’t want a set that demands you always be close to the source to enjoy the music. A good headphone should cover a wide range and still give you a clear sound.


Most people go for quality and assume the comfort factor. Several factors will help you know how comfortable a pair of headphones is. For instance, the shape of the earpad should be fitting to your ears naturally. You also need to consider the size of the ear cup since these are the features that make headphones comfortable or uncomfortable.


How much are you willing to spend on a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones? This is a question that should guide you. As mentioned earlier, Bluetooth varies in price. There are cheaper and expensive ones depending on the quality and manufacturer. Nevertheless, if you want luxurious headphones, you will have to spend more.


Whether you should use wireless Bluetooth headphones on a plane or not remains a great controversy. Different airlines have got different rules that govern them. Some will offer WIFI services to their passengers while others do not. Also, some allow the use of Bluetooth headphones, and others don’t. Their reasons are different and mostly rotate around safety and health factors. It is therefore essential to inquire from your preferred airline before booking your flight.

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