Girl bringing carry-on luggage on a plane

Can You Bring a Bluetooth Speaker on a Plane? (Comparing Airlines)

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While I’m traveling I need to carry a few electronic devices with me. It includes my laptop, my phone, electric shaver, Bluetooth headphones, and Bluetooth speaker. However, things get complicated during air travel. Most people including me are confused about the restrictions with electronic devices. That’s why I had to figure out if I could bring my Bluetooth speaker on a plane. 

If your Bluetooth speaker is a wired speaker you can carry it without any restrictions as long as it fits in your baggage. On the other hand, if it’s a Bluetooth speaker that uses a lithium battery, you’re better off carrying one with less than a 100Wh battery. 

Let’s dive deeper into the topic to clear all confusion and gain some clarity on the ambiguous rules. 

Battery Restrictions on Airplanes

As mentioned above, if your Bluetooth speaker needs a wired connection for power, you can carry it as long as it fits in the baggage. However, most people including me carry compact and portable Bluetooth speakers that use lithium batteries. That’s where things get complicated. 

The FAA has regulations for Personal Electronic Devices(PED) with Lithium Batteries since they are at risk of catching fire if they get damaged or if the battery terminals get short-circuited. Usually, you need to carry such devices in the carry-on baggage. However, that doesn’t mean you are prohibited from packing them in the check-in baggage. 

If you decide to pack them in the checked-in baggage, you need to deactivate them completely and also prevent them from accidental activation. You also need to pack them with enough protection against bumps and other impacts that may cause accidental damage. If you decide to pack your Bluetooth speaker in the checked-in baggage it’s best to keep it in a padded hard case. 

However, that’s not all. While the FAA doesn’t restrict you from packing your Bluetooth speaker in the checked-in baggage, certain airlines might. That’s why it’s best to check with the airline. When your checked-in baggage goes through screening and these speakers show up on the scan, security might go through your baggage. So, if you want to avoid that unnecessary hassle, it’s best to pack your Bluetooth speaker in the checked-in baggage. 

Check out the following table to know about battery restrictions for some of the most common domestic and international airlines:

AirlineBattery Capacity LimitBaggage TypeTotal Number of PED/Spare BatteriesOther Restrictions
United, American, and Delta100Wh for PED, 160Wh for spare batteriesCheck-In and Carry-On2 spare batteriesNo Spare batteries are allowed in Check-in baggage and their terminals need to be protected with electrical tape
Southwest Airlines160WhCarry-On20 spare batteriesSpare batteries include power banks and external chargers for laptops and phones; Terminals need to be protected for spare batteries
Air Canada160WhCarry-On15 spare batteriesSpare batteries include power banks and external chargers for laptops and phones; Terminals need to be protected for spare batteries
British Airways100WhCarry-On15 PED and 4 spare batteriesSpare batteries including power banks and terminals need to be protected; Carrying recalled devices may cause problems
Emirates Airlines100WhCarry-On15 PED and 4 spare batteriesSpare battery terminals need to be protected

Bluetooth Speaker in Carry-On Baggage

The table above should have made it evident that most airlines allow you to bring Bluetooth speakers only in the Carry-On baggage. This is mainly done so that flight staff can mitigate the risk if your battery-powered Bluetooth speaker accidentally catches on fire. 

While you’re allowed to bring a Bluetooth speaker in the carry-on baggage, you need to make sure that it fits. The standard size of carry-on baggage allowed by most airlines is 22 x 14 x 9 inches. You may run into a few problems if the baggage size exceeds this specification. 

You need a Bluetooth speaker that fits in this baggage along with other PED, power banks, and other items. That leaves little room for the Bluetooth speaker and it’s the reason I prefer to carry the Bose SoundLink Micro during air travel even when I have other Bluetooth speakers that sound better and are louder. 

Can I use Bluetooth speakers on the plane?

No, you can’t use Bluetooth speakers on an airplane. Many airlines need you to keep your Bluetooth speakers turned off and not hooked up to a charger while you’re on the plane. Apart from the safety angle, it’s also a nuisance in a closed space with so many people.   

Apart from Bluetooth speakers I wasn’t even allowed to use Bluetooth headphones on the airplane a few years ago. Until the later part of 2019, the FAA had strict restrictions on Bluetooth devices. That’s why many airlines were banning the use of Bluetooth devices including headphones in aircraft. However, that changed after 2019.  

Airlines and the FAA had some strict and ridiculous restrictions on PEDs for a while. However, high use of PEDs, excessive pressure from the public, and innovations in radio transmission technology have forced airlines and the FAA to update their regulations. 

It’s important to note that regulations keep changing with new innovations in technology and in the future airlines could restrict or permit the use of certain PEDs on the plane. Things may also change due to significant national or international events like the 9/11 attacks in the US. 

That’s why it’s important to keep yourself updated with the latest regulations of the FAA and rules set by the airline you’re traveling with. Both the FAA and the individual airlines update their rules on their website and you can easily get this information with a quick search. 


The bottom line is to carry compact Bluetooth speakers while you’re traveling by air and keep them in the carry-on baggage instead of the checked-in baggage. It’s also important to cover the terminals of any spare batteries and not carry anything that’s too large for the carry-on baggage. I hope this article was able to help you.

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