Twelve South AirFly Pro Review: Don’t Buy this… yet

Disclaimer: I bought these using money out of my own pocket, so you can trust every word to be my honest opinion.

6 May update: Apple just released firmware rev. 2D15 today and the volume issue is still not fixed.

Twelve South makes great accessories for your Apple devices. One of their latest products is the AirFly Pro – a bluetooth adapter that acts as both a transmitter and receiver.

The transmitter function allows you to transmit audio from any device with a 3.5mm audio jack to a pair of bluetooth headphones. Like from an in-flight entertainment system or a Nintendo Switch to your AirPods Pro for example.

The receiver function allows you to transmit audio from your Mac or iPhone to any device with 3.5mm line-in jack.

Don’t buy these right now

I bought these with money out of my own pocket, so unlike other “reviews” on other sites that have been sent samples and simply regurgitated the press-releases, I’ll cut to the chase and tell you why you should not buy these – not for the time being at least. 

If you want something to connect your Nintendo Switch to your AirPods Pro, I highly recommend this Gullikit transmitter.

They have a low-volume problem when used with AirPods and AirPods Pro. And it’s a deal-breaker.

Twelve south places this warning in the FAQ section on the bottom of the AirFly Pro’s product page – as if most people would bother to read it. The suggested workaround of raising the volume of whatever device you’re connecting it to to the maximum does not help either.

Raising the volume to the maximum on in-flight entertainment systems introduced terrible distortion, while making dialogue barely audible.

Raising the volume to the maximum on my Nintendo Switch makes the audio barely audible on public transport and takes away any immersion in games that I was playing.

I reached out to Twelve South and it seems like there is no ETA for this fix. I’ll update this review when it eventually does.

3 comments

  1. I’m glad I found this article. However, I already bought them and now have the same issue. It’s April 2020 now… any idea if there is a "fix" yet?

    1. Hey Scott, I haven’t seen any firmware updates for the AirPods Pro recently, so I would assume that there are no fixes yet. I’ve switched to "Gulikit Route Air" for my Nintendo Switch and have not watched anything on an IFE for the past few months.

  2. Hello there,
    I’m James Dory, from South of Vietnam. I’ve bought the Airfly Pro recently I have totally agree with Madi that “People do not buy this product”. I got a different problem.
    – My output: PS4 dualshock controller, Nitendo Switch, iPad Mini 4, iMac, Sony Vaio and, Presonus Soundcard.
    – My wireless headphone; Sennheiser Momentum 2 True Wireless, Airpods Pro, Airpod 2, Noble Falcon (very strong test true wireless).
    1/ Playing Breath of the Wild with Nitendo Switch Lite: the Airfly Pro was loss sounds. I mean the music background was randomly dropped down and loss the music. When we pause to the menu screen the music background totally disable (It will not happen with any wired headphone directly plugging to the Nitendo).
    2/ Spending time with the PS4 dualshock controller: Playing PES2020, You will not hear the stadium ambience sounds or the yelling sounds.. The background music in menu screen was ok.
    I have contacted to Twelve sounth and they said they would review on it. I’m a casual music composer working in filed sounding for Movies. I’ve worked on too many wireless transmit devices. I guess there was a fail decoding process on the Airfly Pro. The analog sounds comes out from Nitendo or else will go throught the Airfly Pro and Airfly Pro must decode/translate this analogs into digital before send the signal to wireless devices. And because the decoding process is such bad so the sounds/voice was missing. I do believe the issue Volume that Madi rised is exactly decoding (properly old codec, outdate technology).
    And last but not least, there is no way to upgrade firmware for Airfly Pro so they will not solve the problem. So people if you are professional listener please do not buy this. I refer the RHA Wireless Flight Adapter which is decode perfectly all sounds from output analog to your wireless headphone.
    James Dory
    from Vietnam.

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