Can You Bring Speakers on Airplanes? (ANSWERED!)

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  • Find out if you can fly with portable speakers
  • Learn which airlines share the same rules
  • All your questions — answered.

Can you bring speakers on airplanes? Yes, you can, but it’s really not the speaker itself that’s the issue here. It turns out that the speaker batteries have all the say in this.

Both the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) encourage airline passengers to keep speakers in their carry-on luggage. This is because of the presence of lithium-ion batteries and their risk of exploding.

There are many other conditions to this rule, so keep reading to learn more.

Can You Bring Speakers On Airplanes: An In-Depth Answer

You can travel with your speakers but must abide by the safety rules. These rules may vary by airline or country, but here are the most common ones:

Common Airline Restrictions on Battery-Powered Portable Speakers

Airlines in the United States follow TSA’s and FAA’s air travel safety rules. They all share the same stand on flying with battery-powered speakers.

Portable speakers usually come with lithium-ion batteries. Some are built-in, while some are removable.

So, when is it okay to put the speakers in with the checked luggage? See the table below.

Speaker battery type Carry-on luggage Checked luggage
Built-in/chargeable Yes No
Removable Yes Yes, but without the batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are a fire risk, which is why airlines prefer these to be in carry-on luggage. This way, they will be easier for the cabin crew to manage in case of trouble.

Besides, gadgets like portable Bluetooth speakers are much safer with you than with checked luggage. You never know how they handle those, anyway!

Different Countries and Airlines

We looked up some top airlines for 2022 to know if they share the same views on speakers and air travel as the United States. This is what we found out: the rules on battery-powered devices, such as portable speakers, are pretty much the same. 

Most airlines allow portable electronic devices (PED) that run on lithium-ion batteries as carry-on or checked baggage. The only condition, though, if you check them in, is to switch off the device and not just put them on hibernate or standby mode.

Aviation authorities also advise travelers to refrain PEDs from unintentionally activating mid-flight. Also, they allow a maximum of 15 PEDs for every person on a single flight.

They also mustn’t exceed 160 watts/hour. More than that, you’ll require management approval before flying with your speakers.

In addition, it’s important to ensure that your speaker dimensions don’t exceed the minimum size requirements to fit the overhead compartment or the space under the seats.

Examples of airline companies that follow similar regulations are:

  • Qatar Airways
  • Air New Zealand
  • Etihad Airways
  • Korean Air
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Virgin Australia

Speaker Size Limit

If you’re traveling with prominent speakers instead of portable ones, ensure you don’t exceed the limit. This may vary by flight, so it’s best to verify with your airline before booking your flight.

Carry-on Luggage

There is no limit to the weight of carry-on bags, but there are considerations as to bulk.

The maximum dimensions are 22 inches long, 14 inches wide, and nine inches thick, including wheels and handles. This is the maximum allowable size in the overhead compartment.

Additionally, bags with lengths, widths, and heights of 17, ten, and nine inches can fit under the seats.

Checked Baggage

To give you an idea of whether your speakers qualify for checked luggage, here’s some information from the top airlines in the U.S.

Delta Airlines

The limit on Delta Airlines checked baggage is 50 lbs per checked bag or speaker. Also, if one speaker set has a total length, width, and height of 62 inches, then you’re all good.

Airlines may allow an additional 20 lbs per bag or speaker for business and first-class accommodations. 

Other airlines that implement the same rules are:

  • United Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines allows up to a total length, width, and height of 62 inches but only 40 lbs maximum per bag or speaker. 

The same goes for flights with Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines.

FAQs

What If My Speakers Exceed 160 Watts/Hour?

Portable speakers within the allowable size for carry-on and check-in luggage are usually around 25 watts/hour capacity. 

Speakers with batteries over 160 watts/hour probably won’t qualify for air travel baggage, anyway, so you may have to ship them as freight instead.

Generally, we recommend shipping speaker systems that are too bulky for carry-on. It’s also understandable if you aren’t too comfortable throwing them into the checked luggage and risk damaging or losing your stuff altogether.

Shipping them through a trusted courier might be the safer route, mainly because couriers offer package insurance.

Do I Need To Declare That I’m Carrying A Portable Speaker?

That would be best. Also, security may ask you to take the speaker out of your bag to be checked individually.

If they do, place them on the provided tray to be scanned through the security conveyor.

If I Can Bring My Speaker As Carry-on Luggage, Can I Use It On The Plane?

The TSA doesn’t restrict such an act, but as a courtesy to the other passengers, it’s best not to use your speakers on the plane. Consider wearing headphones if you must listen to your favorite playlist to keep you calm or entertained.

The same applies to when you’re at the airport, or any public place for that matter. It’s not entirely restricted, but it’s the socially responsible thing to do.

Wrapping Up

Speakers aren’t among the restrictions for air travel. So, can you bring speakers on airplanes? 

You may bring speakers that run on batteries, especially portable ones, in your carry-on luggage. Most flights, whether domestic or international, follow similar rules and restrictions. 

Before you go, check out our guide to the 7 Loudest Bluetooth Speakers!