UAE-based Etihad Airways has become the first airline to implement new magnetic headphone jacks, which are manufactured by Phitek and have been adopted by Panasonic as a remote jack unit in their latest IFE offering. When used in combination with passenger headphones equipped with magnetic plugs, if a passenger gets up with their headphones still attached, the force exerted separates the magnetic combination, releasing the headphones without any mechanical pin breakage.
The jack unit is reverse-compatible with most ARINC headphone types and all headphones equipped with magnetic plugs. Before accepting the Phitek magnetic jacks, Etihad conducted flight trials using their existing Yes-Hope headphones fitted with ‘MJ-Plugs’ magnetic plugs.
Etihad Airways’ manager for BFE programs and projects, Quentin Couturier, said: “The results of our 60-day trial were encouraging, with no defects logged and no magnetic jack replacements required. Our survey also revealed a positive response from our guests, with a majority expressing their overall satisfaction.”