AirFly from Twelve South is a Bluetooth transmitter to allow wireless headphones to connect to wired 3.5mm jack. A popular use case is during flight so that we can sleep without the annoyance of cable still connected. I used AirFly last year before COVID-19 pandemic and just happened to stumble upon it when I reorganise my study room.
There are many reasons to love AirFly. It’s small and lightweight. It allows us to connect our favourite Bluetooth headphones to any device with 3.5mm audio port, not just limited to airplane cabin. It recharges via USB and one full charge could theoretically survive up to 8 hours. In my real-world usage, I got around 6.5 hours of use, which is not bad.
The unit itself has a single button to perform different actions. We press and hold 5 seconds for on/off. We press and hold 10 seconds to enter Bluetooth pairing mode, indicated by LED flashing amber and white. When pairing is successful, the LED will turn solid white. Low battery is indicated by amber LED flashing 3 times. Charging is indicated by solid amber LED. All these sound easy, but if we only use this device occasionally, these LED indicators are not the most intuitive to remember.
Bluetooth connection is quite stable, I didn’t experience any disconnection during hours of music listening. Most of the time it remember the last device it connected to without any problem, but I had a few times when I had to re-pair.
When I write this review, a newer model named AirFly Pro has been released, promising double battery life (16 hours), USB-C charging (instead of microUSB in the regular model), can connect to 2 pairs of headphones, and can function as receiver. I don’t see any use case worth justifying an upgrade for now, hence I will keep using my (classic) AirFly transmitter for the foreseeable future.