On the airplane they have a stereo 3.5mm audio output which normally is where you connect your headphones. Problem is I switched to Apple AirPods a while ago and they’re wireless. What’s the best way to connect my AirPods to a physical jack, and how do I do it?

I’m hoping there’s a way to leverage the iPhone as the bridge between the physical connection and the wireless one rather than needing a new device:

  1. 3.5mm stereo female (audio source)
  2. 3.5mm stereo male to male cable
  3. 3.5mm stereo female (microphone slot) to 3.5mm TRRS male cable
  4. 3.5mm TRRS female to Lightning male adapter
  5. iPhone
  6. AirPods (audio destination)

A few assumptions/unknowns here:

  1. I included the conversion to TRRS since that seems to be the only way to convert the audio output into audio input to the iPhone.
  2. Once the audio input comes in to the phone, I’d need a way to replay it on the AirPods. I’m not sure how to do that.
  3. At the same time, I’d need to make sure whatever audio the AirPods microphones pick up is ignored in this replay mechanism.

Is all of this possible, and if so, how?

  • 1
    Even if the rest is possible [& I doubt it] the first thing you're going to need is an external stereo audio interface for the phone. They only have a mono mic input. I'd just take your old wired headset with you.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 8, 2022 at 12:52
  • Incidentally, do they still show movies on planes? I don't fly nearly as much as I used to, but the last few flights i've taken, the plane was basically full of people working or watching movies on lappies & iPads.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 8, 2022 at 12:55
  • Planes often have screens in the seat back in front of you. You can select from a limited menu of shows/movies. I find the selections insipid and just not worth watching. So I listen to podcasts, music and the occasional show saved from a streaming service. Most carriers do offer complimentary earphones, but your best bet is to bring your own wired earphones. An iPhone is not designed to be the middleman in any kind of scenario like that you can imagine. In this case the best solution is simplest: wired earphones. Jan 8, 2022 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


You are very much overthinking this, it is an already solved problem.

Use a stereo-to-bluetooth adapter, don't try to leverage the phone.

One such is https://www.amazon.com/Twelve-South-Transmitter-Headphones-Airplanes/dp/B07Z13G1P5

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