Wireless match made for the skies

The RHA Wireless Flight Adapter turns the audio from an in-flight entertainment system into Bluetooth signals that can be received by up to two paired wireless headphones.
The RHA Wireless Flight Adapter turns the audio from an in-flight entertainment system into Bluetooth signals that can be received by up to two paired wireless headphones.

Wireless headphones are convenient, but useless when you get on an airplane as the in-flight entertainment system (IES) of most aircraft requires a wired connection. This is where the RHA Wireless Flight Adapter comes in.

The gadget connects to the 3.5mm jack or double 3.5mm socket of the IES and turns the audio from the system into Bluetooth signals that can be received by up to two paired wireless headphones.

You can also use it on the Nintendo Switch portable gaming console or any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The RHA Wireless Flight Adapter looks like a slimmed-down Apple AirPods case. It is finished in black and weighs a mere 23g.

On the adapter's front is a tiny LED light that indicates power and Bluetooth connectivity. On its rear are two 3.5mm connectors that can be flipped up to connect to a device.

The connector with a single-dot marking denotes its use for single 3.5mm-jack devices, while the other with a double-dot marking is for use with dual-jack devices like the IES.

  • FOR

    • Easy pairing process

    • Long battery life

    • No connection drops or lags

  • AGAINST

    • A tad expensive

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $98

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 5.0

    RANGE: 10m

    WEIGHT: 23g

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

It is important to note that the connector with the double-dot marking will not work if it is plugged into a single-jack device.

There is a power button on one side of the adapter and a USB-C charging port on the other side.

Pairing is a cinch. Set your Bluetooth headphones in pairing mode and place it close to the adapter.

Next, with the adapter switched off, press the adapter's power button for three seconds to start the pairing process. You will see the LED light turn blue for three seconds when the pairing is successful.

The next time you power up the adapter, the headphones will be automatically connected.

The Wireless Flight Adapter has a battery life of 16 hours, according to its maker.

I used it with a pair of Bose 700 headphones during a recent 16-hour flight on a work trip and it lasted the entire flight without a hitch.

There were also no audio distortions or dropped connections to report. It was liberating to be able to use my own pair of Bluetooth headphones to watch in-flight movies.

I also tried the adapter with my Nintendo Switch and it worked perfectly.

The only downer is its price tag. At $98, it is a tad expensive for a Bluetooth adapter.

The RHA Wireless Flight Adapter might be a niche product, but it is an invaluable accessory to have for frequent flyers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2019, with the headline 'Wireless match made for the skies'. Print Edition | Subscribe