Bluetooth In-Flight Entertainment Is a Game Changer

Bluetooth In-Flight Entertainment Is a Game Changer

On U.S. United flight 694 from Denver, Colorado to Cleveland, Ohio this Wednesday, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my complimentary seatback in-flight entertainment offered integrated bluetooth connectivity. Oh sweet, now I can watch a film without using the terrible free cans on a string the airline calls earbuds. I popped my Sony WF-1000XM4s into connectivity mode, clicked the connect button, and I was flying high in Hollywood heaven.

I consider myself something of a cinephile, typically averaging about 150 movies watched per year. I like an in-flight movie. The screen is tiny, but it’s only a foot in front of my face. The seats are uncomfortable, but so are most movie theaters. The sound quality isn’t perfect, but it’s still a movie. Writers, actors, producers; artists, all of them. They’ve created entertainment for the enjoyment of all, and by golly I’m going to enjoy it. I am entertained. I am distracted from the crying babies, conversations, wind noise, turbulence, I am enthralled.

Ever since Tim Apple’s iTelephone dropped the aux jack, I’ve been traveling sans cords. It’s been a blessing and a curse, because wireless earbuds now offer excellent noise-cancelling technology, and if there’s one thing I need on an airplane, it’s noise-cancelling technology.

Jaap Haartsen laid the foundation for what would become Bluetooth technology back in 1994, and the first Bluetooth device was released in 1999. We’ve had a long 29 years to get to this point. Apparently some planes have had Bluetooth integrated with their video screens since 2021, but this was the first time I experienced it, and it was truly great.

I think I’ve experienced every kind of in-flight entertainment offering possible. I especially dislike when the plane doesn’t have a screen and they give you movies to watch on the app over wifi. The plane I flew on to Denver on still used the really old style screens that you have to slide a credit card to select a movie, and the controls are on the armrest. No thank you. I hope that as more planes age out, they are replaced by new planes with Bluetooth. Massive improvement, 4/5 stars.

Oh, I watched the new animated Spider-Man. It was pretty okay. A little long.

Photo: Bradley Brownell/Jalopnik

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.