Dear Lifehacker, I will be travelling overseas in the next few months, and I was wondering if my Sennheiser RS160 wireless headphones can be used on the flight. I can't seem to see any official information prohibiting their use. So can I use my headphones? Or will they have to wait for me back home? Thanks, Listening Intently
Headphones picture from Shutterstock
You should be fine. We haven't yet reached the point where you can use electronic devices during take-off and landing for flights exiting Australia, so you won't be able to deploy your headphones until after you've reached cruising altitude and the seatbelt sign is off. However, after that point you'll be fine to use the headphones until you begin descending. (At that point, airlines ban any headsets other than their own, as you might not hear safety information otherwise.)
In the past, you might have encountered the odd airline which argued against the usage of any sort of wireless transmission on board, but that's unlikely to be an issue now. With domestic airlines using in-flight Wi-Fi to share entertainment and many US airlines offering onboard internet access, it's become clear that small devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or their own transmission system won't mess with onboard communication systems.
I've seen plenty of people using wireless headphones (and Bluetooth keyboards) on flights, so enjoy the music. Just make sure your playback device is charged, and that you have a USB charging cable to hand if your airline offers one. Enjoy the trip!
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