New iPhone can’t support two pairs of wireless headphones

If you’ve traveled with someone who makes you feel tingly, you may have used a splitter to share a movie or music. Unfortunately, those days are over. Apple’s ended the headphone-sharing party.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the new iOS does not support Bluetooth streaming to multiple AirPods, the company’s new wireless earbud that it wants you to use with its new iPhone, which eschews the traditional 3.5-millimeter headphone port.

A software tweak could likely enable the virtual equivalent of a headphone splitter, but for now the only recourse for sharing a movie on a plane is either annoying the heck out of your fellow passengers with the new iPhone 7’s improved speakers, using plain old wired headphones with a splitter and Apple’s Lightning to 3.5-millimeter dongle, or trying notoriously finicky Bluetooth splitters.

The source also noted that Belkin’s new Lightning splitter only works for charging while listening, meaning you could not listen to two pairs of wired Lightning earphones at the same time.

Not everyone shares headphones on bus or plane rides with a splitter, and in that respect the experience is improved. With wired earbuds, the person with the left one would be physically tethered close to the person with the right one, making sharing more cumbersome. The AirPods have no requirements of physical intimacy, with their working range of around 10 meters.

This means a person in seat 13F could share one with someone in 25C, paving the way for a whole new set of bad romantic comedies. And to that end, let’s hope some wireless signals will cross once in a blue moon to keep things interesting.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance focusing on personal finance and tech. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.

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