A FREE pair of headphones is just one of the perks of flying with some airlines.
However, that could soon become a thing of the past due to a newly developed system that would remove the need for headphones on planes entirely.
A French audio technology company called Devialet has teamed up with aeroplane interiors company Safran to make what they believe will be the next big thing in on-board entertainment.
The plan is to provide each individual passenger with “bespoke loudspeakers” built directly into their headrest.
According to Safran this will let people “enjoy high quality sound in every position of the seat, enabling them to make the most of the entertainment content provided by the airline free from headsets and cables”.
With each individual passenger having their own speakers, it remains to be seen how much noise, if any, will spill out into the rest of the cabins.
However, Safran state that Devialet’s “patented acoustic technologies and acoustic tuning expertise” mean that the seats will offer “an optimum listening experience without affecting other passengers on board”.
The seats will also be able to “adjust in real-time to the audio content and the ambient cabin noise” to make up for natural changes in volume during the flight.
The plan is to initially launch the seats in business and first class, and they will be seen on some planes from 2023.
Devialet boss Franck Lebouchard said: “We are incredibly excited about our partnership with Safran Seats, bringing Devialet’s world-class technology to aircraft through this unique innovation.
“We believe great sound should be available at every moment, whether on the ground or in the sky, and with Safran Seats we are one step closer to that goal.”
With seats in first and business class spread out, it is not difficult to envisage the systems working well in that environment.
However, with passengers sat much closer together in economy class, making sure the noise does not affect other people there might be more difficult.
This isn’t the first time new technology has been used to try and improve aeroplane seats, with these designs put forward to make flying more comfortable.
Meanwhile, other passengers have tried to create their own in-flight entertainment systems using clever hacks.