Over the years, I've started accumulating some earphone accessories to travel comfortably among airlines of varying prices and different kinds of aircraft.

Still, as indicated in this answer and in this (somewhat unrelated) answer, there are still possibilities I have not considered.

What would be a full travel kit for earphone accessories, assuming one wants to use the in-flight system?

At some point it will be simpler and cheaper to simply carry your own earphones + tablet, but still, it may be worth putting all of it together (e.g. if the in-flight system has access to movies you don't have in your device).

Here are the accessories I currently carry:

Stereo to mono adapter

Stereo-to-mono adapter

Some aircraft have 2 holes for stereo sound, so connecting earphones to only one of them may lead to sound being played to only one of your ears. This adapter will duplicate the sound to both ears (losing the stereo in the process, but at least improving comfort).

Analog in-line volume control (to lower minimum volume)

Analog in-line volume control

Sometimes the minimum volume is too loud (especially if your earphone has a difference impedance than the ones given/sold by the airline), so this analog volume control allows fine-grained volume reduction. It cannot amplify the sound, however.

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    What's the question ? – Max Nov 8 '18 at 16:17
  • It's written in bold, before my examples: What would be a full travel kit for earphone accessories, assuming one wants to use the in-flight system? Maybe full is not the right term, foolproof or reliable or something else might work better. – anol Nov 8 '18 at 17:00
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    @anol The way you have phrased it makes it impossible to answer in the SE format. It is impossible to account for every variable of every flight on every route aboard every aircraft with every airline. You could bring every adapter and connector made and it won't do you a lick of good if the IFE is broken at your seat, so the smart traveler invests in his or her own entertainment, not the airlines'. – choster Nov 8 '18 at 17:08
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    When asking the question I had the impression a useful answer might consist in taking my accessories, adding one about volume amplification, eventually something else, and calling it a day. If there is a rephrasing that you think would better suit the SE format (e.g. replacing "full" with "backup plan"?), please consider editing or suggesting it to me, otherwise please vote to close; if the general consensus is that the question is ill-suited, I prefer to have it closed than pollute TSE. On a personal note, I do prefer enjoying the airlines' selection of movies than bringing mine. – anol Nov 8 '18 at 17:24


You only need a couple of adapters,

  • Old school mono-mono to 3.5mm adapter.
  • 1/4" inch to 3.5mm adapter if your headphones have 1/4" plug.
  • Lightning to 3.5mm adapter if you have Apple Earpods with lightning plug.

I've never been in a situation where I would need a volume limiter so I cannot comment on its usefulness.

I'm not certain you need much more than that;

I've not seen anything else in my 30+ years of travel (mostly between western Europe and America).

Personally, I only carry a mono-mono adapter and a cheap pair of earphones (3.5mm) to connect to the plane entertainment system and a pair of Bluetooth in-ear headphones to use with my phone.

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