When I'm driving my car, I almost always put some music on. It's really relaxing for me.

I know that piloting a plane is nothing like driving a car, but it would be great, at least for me, to listen to some music while piloting.

So here is my question:

  • Is it allowed to listen to music while piloting a plane? Maybe with some device that mutes the music when someone is speaking in the radio?
  • 14
    $\begingroup$ Maybe it's just me, but this just feels wrong. At least in helicopters, listening to the machine is another set of inputs which are as valuable as the instruments and what my behind is telling me. I also wonder if relaxing is what''s needed and by how much you want to relax. I find that being alert is a key part of the act of committing aviation. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Jun 26, 2015 at 13:46
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @Simon There is, sadly, a difference between "legal" and "good idea". $\endgroup$
    – Jae Carr
    Jun 26, 2015 at 14:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @JayCarr I don't agree that it is sad that the difference exists in general. A state that does not allow individuals to define what a good or a bad idea is, is in its very fundamentals a totalitarian state. I cherish my freedom to have bad ideas and fail. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Jun 26, 2015 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Do you guys think that music would take your attention from the flight instruments? $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2015 at 16:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DeltaLima - I think you've mistaken an attempt at humility (and a general effort to not appear preachy), for some sort of political statement. Good for you though, I would totally agree with your point, personally. With the small caveat that sometimes safety measures are required to stop one persons "bad idea" from harming someone else. What side of the fence this particular point falls on... Eh, not sure. $\endgroup$
    – Jae Carr
    Jun 26, 2015 at 17:02

2 Answers 2


Many aviation headsets either have an Aux-jack or a bluetooth connection, and listening to music is specifically mentioned as a feature.

(Link to headset)
(Link to adapter)

Some headsets even have a feature that detects radio-communications, and immediately silences the music.

The FAA has no problem with pilots listening to music provided its not distracting. Individual company policies may differ.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ If your plane has an old ADF receiver, you can also tune it to find nearby AM radio stations. It doesn't sound very good, but you can hear 'em. $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Mar 20, 2018 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ The Link to headset doesn't work. SprotsYS shows an ERR 404 page for the link $\endgroup$
    – Super
    Jul 22, 2018 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ Fixed the link. $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Jul 22, 2018 at 21:41

Yes you can listen to music while piloting a plane. Many areas of the country have wide stretches where there is little to no traffic, or air traffic control, to listen to. Other areas are quite congested and auto-muting music would be really annoying. Boston, NYC, Albany areas as an example. West of Albany it gets quieter, until getting close to Rochester and then Buffalo. I prefer no music myself, especially in areas new to me, so I can hear any directions from ATC that may come up. My passengers (up to the 3 I can carry) are free to listen to music if they want to, tho I will ask all to listen and watch in the takeoff or landing environment.


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