eli5: Why do most airlines still use 2-pin audio jacks for the in-flight entertainment systems on their planes?

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eli5: Why do most airlines still use 2-pin audio jacks for the in-flight entertainment systems on their planes?

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25 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

I would think that in this day and age of cell phones/personal media players why bother go through the cost of updating stuff?

Anonymous 0 Comments

So you dont steal the two-pin headphones. If they have two pins, you’re not even going to think about stealing then because they dont work except for these planes.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They work, they’re simple to set up and use, they’re cheap, and if something goes wrong you can quickly replace the headset.

Let’s say an airline switched to Bluetooth. First, they’d have to upgrade every entertainment console on every plane in their fleet and buy new headsets. That’s expensive. Worse, you’re guaranteed to have problems with the new setup. Bluetooth isn’t as reliable as a wire. There will be incidences where a passenger’s headset doesn’t connect to the console, or does but there’s no audio. The only people to turn to are the flight attendants and they aren’t tech support. 2-pin headsets are easy to use. If something goes wrong they’re either not plugged in or need to be replaced. Both can be easily done by the flight attendants.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’ve been on almost 20 flights the last 5 years and they have all had the standard single 3.5mm jack that’s compatible with most headphones.

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Because that is what they installed when the plane was built. Newer built planes use single 3.5mm jacks.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It is expensive and probably a lot of red tape to update a plane. Smoking hasn’t been allowed on planes for 30 years and yet a lot of them still have ash trays.

Anonymous 0 Comments

it was the standard at some point.

It costs money to replace them.

but now most planes have a 3.5mm jack in the entertainment system

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most people are using their personal devices for entertainment these days. And most of these devices use Bluetooth or USB-C now anyway.

So why go through the expense of updating the old planes and headphones? They chose 2pin early on, so that became the standard.

Most planes have a 30ish year service life. So the older planes now are from the early 90s or so. So you should be starting to see more 3.5mm, as it was pretty well established as a standard for personal music players by then. The walkman had long since used it, for example.

But updating electronics for planes is expensive and time consuming due to regulations. So there will be some lag in terms of newer planes rolling out with it. And you’re probably flying more older planes than newer ones, in general.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The flights I’ve been on in the past years don’t even have those systems and instead they expect you to do everything on your mobile device.