Ever wanted to use your AirPods with the old-gen iPod or MP3 player? Or wanted to connect your new TWS earphones to the in-flight entertainment system in a plane? Or wanted to use your hi-fi wireless headphones to listen to LPs on your vinyl player? Well, chances are that none of those products come with great-quality Bluetooth (or any Bluetooth at all) to support your cutting-edge earphones and headphones… so the folks at Twelve South designed a dongle to save the day. Meet the AirFly Pro, a wireless transmitter that plugs right into the aux-output on your old device and gives it Bluetooth superpowers. Hook it to your car stereo, your old MP3 player or CD player, or any archaic device with a 3.5mm output, and it can suddenly transmit audio via Bluetooth to your earphones. The AirPlay Pro lets you pair as many as two sets of earphones or headphones to one playback device, so you and a buddy can both listen to music together without sharing a single pair of earphones (although there definitely was a romantic charm to doing that back in the day). The AirFly Pro works seamlessly with all the AirPods as well as any Bluetooth-powered earphones or headset, giving you crystal-clear audio without wires. It’s quite odd that Apple didn’t think of this dongle sooner…
Designer: Twelve South
The beauty of the AirFly Pro is really in its ridiculously simple design. It comes with a rounded white design, reminiscent of the AirPod case, with the exception of a small wire emerging from the side, with a 3.5mm jack on the other end. There’s nothing unintuitive about how it looks, and a simple glance should give you enough of an indication that all you need to do is plug the dongle into the aux output on any machine. Once that’s done, switch the AirFly on and pair it with your headphones or earphones and you’ve got yourself a wireless audio setup. The AirFly Pro works with old devices like music players with 3.5mm ports, as well as the in-flight entertainment system found on most planes, and even car stereo systems (at least the older ones).
Twelve South makes three variants of the AirFly – an SE version that only supports pairing with a single set of earphones/headphones, a Duo version that ups the ante by letting you simultaneously pair two sets of earphones/headphones, and the Pro, which adds a surprising new feature – the ability to both transmit as well as receive audio. In the transmit mode, the AirFly Pro turns your playback device into a wireless broadcaster, but switch to receive mode and the AirFly Pro can receive audio, letting you stream music from your phone to your analog speaker system, or to your old car stereo through the aux input. A switch on the side of the AirFly Pro lets you toggle between transmitting and receiving mode, letting you entirely eliminate the need for an aux cable ever again.
The AirFly Pro comes with a built-in battery, which Twelve South says lasts over 25 hours on a full charge and charges via USB-C. The AirFly SE and Duo, subsequently, have a battery life of 20 hours. Don’t worry about needing an extra charging cable if you’re a lightning-cable loyalist, because the AirFly comes with its own USB-C cable in the box. It also comes with a cap and keyring that fits onto the AirFly’s audio jack, letting you carry it around with you on your keychain or a carabiner clip attached to your backpack wherever you go.