Archived Post

Hands-on with Twelve South AirFly Pro

One of my favorite products of last year was the AirFly from Twelve South, a diminutive wireless transmitter that made it possible to use your AirPods or similar headphones with non-wireless sources like exercise machines or inflight entertainment systems. Today, Twelve South announced that a new generation device, AirFly Pro (US$54.99) is available through the company and at Apple retail stores.

Perhaps the biggest differences between the AirFly “Classic” from 2018 and the Pro are its ability to connect two wireless headphones simultaneously and a new RX (Receive Mode) that adds the ability to send audio from an iPhone or iPad to a car or speaker with an AUX-IN jack. This short and colorful video shows just how AirFly Pro can help share tunes wherever you may be:

Having used the AirFly Classic for over a year, I can vouch for how useful it is when traveling. AirFly Pro is a step up in capability, so let’s take a look.


AirFly Pro remains about as tiny as its predecessor at 57 x 25.5 x 11 mm (2.24 x 1 x 0.43 inches) and weighs just 15.6 grams (0.55 ounce). As usual, Twelve South does a top-notch job of packaging this product, including a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, a travel pouch, and even a printed owner’s guide. One touch I love is the key ring attachment that snaps over the 3.5mm headphone jack, so you can always have AirFly Pro with you.

I like the single power button on the AirFly Pro more than its counterpart on the Classic. This is an oblong, thumb-sized button that blends in with the white exterior of the AirFly Pro, with a tiny status LED just above it. One end has the 3.5mm headphone jack, the other the USB-C port for charging. On one side is a reset button for bringing the device back to factory defaults, as well as a TX/RX mode switch.


Charging the AirFly Pro was simple – I just grabbed the included USB-A to USB-C cable, plugged it into both the AirFly Pro and one of my Mac’s USB ports, and waited two hours until it was fully charged. That full charge is good for 16 hours of uninterrupted use, so you should be good on all but the longest international flights.

To power on the AirFly Pro, you hold down the power button for four seconds, after which the device LED flashes amber and white to indicate that it’s in pairing mode. To pair with AirPods, you place them inside their charging case, then press and hold the button on the charging case until the LED flashes white. The two devices pair, and the light on the charging case turns green while the AirFly Pro LED turns white, then goes off after 10 seconds.

For all other headphones — and even my Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids — a similar process is followed. Put the AirFly Pro in pairing mode, put your headphones/earbuds into pairing mode, and let ‘em talk.

The next step? Most of the time you’ll be using AirFly Pro in TX (transmit) mode, so you just plug the 3.5mm headphone plug into whatever audio jack you want to get sound from, and let ‘er rip. As mentioned before, you can pair with two pairs of headphones, making it easy to share sound from a movie between two people.

Twelve South made me aware of an issue with the latest Apple firmware for AirPods 2nd Generation (version #2A364) and AirPods Pro (version #2B584). This bug causes AirPods to play at a lower volume when connected to non-Apple devices like AirFly Pro and non-Apple smartphones. The company recommends setting output volume to the highest level as a workaround until Apple fixes the issue in a future firmware update.


Twelve South took a good product (AirFly Classic) and made it better with the addition of RX mode, better battery life, and — in my opinion — an improved design. For anyone who wants to wirelessly listen to music from devices that would normally require a set of wired headphones, or for those who would like to beam music from their Apple devices to AUX-IN jacks, the AirFly Pro is the best solution.

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!