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May 16, 2018

AirFly connects wireless headphones to wired-only devices

by John_A

Plenty of wireless headphones include a cable to plug into audio gear that doesn’t support wireless, but if you’re using headphones like the Apple AirPods, you’re out of luck when it comes to anything that doesn’t support Bluetooth. There are gadgets that let you use your wired headphones with Bluetooth devices, but what about the other way around? That’s exactly what Twelve South’s AirFly is meant to do.

The AirFly is a compact gadget that features a 3.5mm jack for plugging in to the gear of your choice and a USB port for recharging. Just pair your headphones with the AirFly, and you’re free to use your wireless headphones with anything that features a headphone jack, from the in-flight entertainment on an airplane to your vintage stereo. The AirFly offers up to eight hours of battery life, so while it won’t last through the longest of flights without a recharge, it will last long enough for most use cases.

This isn’t the only device of its kind that we’ve seen. There are plenty of Bluetooth transmitters available that are meant to let you use your wireless headphones with wired-only audio gear but many, like Astell & Kern’s AK XB10, are meant to be used with higher-end gear. These can be nice, but they don’t offer the same compact and easily portable package as the AirFly, and they’re also on the pricey side.

While the AirFly can be used with most Bluetooth headphones and any gear with a 3.5mm headphone jack, Twelve South clearly has a few specific use cases in mind for the product. Fitness clubs and flights are frequently referred to as when you’d want to use the AirFly, and Apple’s AirPods are shown prominently on the product page. If you’re familiar with AirPods, you’ll know they generally prefer to be paired with an iPhone or iPad, so the AirFly product page features a video showing you how to pair your AirPods.

The AirFly is available now for $40 direct via Twelve South. If you’re having trouble getting your AirPods to pair, take a look at our guide showing how to fix the most common AirPods problems.

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