By: Nick Gambino

When AirPods were first announced by Apple, there was understandably some skepticism whether or not the wireless headphones would be able to live up to the hype generated by its onstage reveal.

A couple of years in and we can honestly say it does. They are durable, comfortable and reliable. All the “-ables” you look for in a tech product. But there is still one issue which is a problem that plagues many Apple products – compatibility.

AirPods are made to work with Apple devices like your iPhone, iPad or iMac. Though with its Bluetooth capability it does work with other non-Apple devices just with less features. But this doesn’t hold true for other non-Bluetooth devices. If there’s no Bluetooth, you simply can’t use them.

Twelve South is looking to solve that with the brand-new AirFly. As the name implies, AirFly is meant to be used on airplanes to allow you to tap into the in-flight entertainment system with your AirPods.

The idea is simple. Plug in the little AirFly into the 3.5mm headphone jack. This establishes a wireless connection that the AirPods can tap into. The little guy that fits in the palm of your hand will last up to 8 hours on a single charge and can be juiced up with a microUSB cable.

Though the AirFly was designed with in-flight entertainment in mind, it can be used with any audio device with a 3.5mm headphone jack. This includes treadmills at the gym, a computer, certain TVs, older iPhones, etc. I’ve tried to plug wired headphones into the treadmill at the gym before and it never ends well. It’s awkward at best and dangerous at worst.

And because compatibility is the name of the game, AirFly works with any Bluetooth headphone, not only AirPods. So if you’re rocking some other wireless headphones, you should be able to use those as well.

“Simplicity” is the byword that has driven technology forward in quantum leaps in the 21st century. It’s products like this that have made our lives just a bit simpler and allows us to embrace tech so avidly. I see us doing away with wired headphones entirely in the next couple of years and Airfly will help us ease into that.

The Airfly sells for only $39.99 on Amazon or directly through their site.


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.