Speakers and Airplanes: Everything You Need to Know

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There always comes a time when travelers are unsure whether some items and gadgets they own can be carried along with them when traveling by air. One of such items can be speakers. Can you go along with any speaker you own when traveling by air? Well, read along, and let’s delve into this.

Are Speakers Allowed On Airplanes?

Yes, speakers are allowed on airplanes. Speakers are not on the restricted list of items when it comes to air travel. When traveling with speakers on planes, the only thing that matters is ensuring that your speakers’ size and weight meet the specifications of the airline you are traveling with.

According to the United States’ Transport Security and Administration (TSA), there is no problem with carrying your speakers along when traveling on an airplane. Depending on their components, speakers can either be part of your hand luggage or your checked luggage.

Speakers that are handy and portable are allowed on airplanes. These speakers can be brought on board as part of your hand luggage and not added to your check-in luggage. You can take them on the flight with you, but you are not allowed to use them while you are on board.

However, speakers that are relatively larger and cumbersome can be added to your check-in luggage.

Even though speakers are allowed on planes, the final decision to allow an item or speaker through the checkpoint rests with the transport security and administration officer.

Can I Put Portable Speakers In Checked Luggage?

No, portable speakers cannot be put in checked luggage. This is because the rechargeable batteries used in most portable speakers are hazardous and hence not allowed in checked luggage. The batteries of most portable speakers are made of lithium ions. Under extreme conditions, lithium ions are known to smolder and even catch fire, which can pose a danger to the aircraft.

Lithium-ion batteries are known to be a relatively stable source of power. However, when lithium-ion batteries overheat or get punctured, they can burst into flames. In a scenario where a lithium battery catches fire inside checked luggage, it can set the rest of the plane on fire.

All checked luggage is placed in the cargo hold. Unfortunately, all speakers containing lithium-ion batteries are banned from being placed in the cargo space of airplanes. 

Aside from portable speakers, other devices that contain lithium batteries such as cell phones, laptops, and cameras are all electronics that are not allowed in checked luggage as well. 

Due to the safety risk, lithium-ion batteries pose for airplanes, the United States Department of transport has banned lithium-ion batteries from the cargo area of all passenger flights. The US government banned lithium-ion batteries from checked bags in the year 2019.

So basically, whenever you are traveling with your portable speaker or any other device that runs on lithium batteries, they need to be put in the hand luggage instead of your checked luggage.

Aside from the ban and risk posed by lithium-ion batteries, electronics are usually safer in your hand luggage anyway. The way checked luggage is handled can even cause your electronics to break. And if you are unlucky, someone might even steal your gadget along the way.

Are Speakers Allowed In Hand Luggage?

Yes, speakers are allowed in hand luggage. For speakers you wish to carry on as hand luggage, you need to ensure that they will fit underneath the seat of the airplane or in the overhead bin. As long as the speaker you carry meets the restrictions for hand luggage size, you should not have a problem.

Hand luggage can also be referred to as “Carry-on” luggage. All portable speakers are allowed in hand luggage. Most consumer personal electronic devices like smartphones, electronic games, etc. that contain lithium-ion batteries are also allowed in hand luggage. 

Portable speakers also fall under personal electronic devices. Big speakers can also be allowed in hand luggage, provided they meet the size and weight requirements for hand luggage.

As I mentioned earlier, portable speakers have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery inside them. These batteries are allowed in hand luggage. All devices that contain lithium metal or lithium-ion batteries must be carried in hand luggage and not checked luggage.

In fact, you can bring along as many lithium-ion batteries containing speakers and electronics along with you when traveling, provided they all fit into your hand luggage. You can carry anything you want in your hand luggage as long as what you are carrying will not be hazardous on the airplane.

Are Speakers Allowed In Checked Luggage?

Yes, speakers are allowed in checked luggage, provided they do not contain any lithium metal ions or lithium batteries. Simply put, any speakers aside, rechargeable speakers are allowed in checked luggage.

Checked luggage is placed in the cargo hold of planes. It is okay to add your speakers to your checked luggage as long as you don’t have a bunch of wiring in there that might make it look questionable.

The only big issue is getting it past the security checkpoint. You might need to give the Transport Security Administration (TSA) more information as to what is in your bag. They might pull the bag to investigate, but that should not be a problem.

However, there’s no guarantee that your speakers won’t be damaged as a result of the scanning and luggage handling process that comes with air travel. If your speakers are not small in size, you might end up paying a fortune for air freight.

Are Subwoofers Allowed On a Plane?

Yes, subwoofers are allowed on a plane. As long as your subwoofer is within the size and weight allowance for your airline, you should have no problems bringing it along with you. Depending on the size of the subwoofer, it can fit as either hand luggage or check-in luggage.

Subwoofers are basically speakers. For subwoofers to fall underhand luggage, they will need to be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin. This means the dimension of your luggage has to be according to the specifications of the cabin limits and the weight of the plane you are traveling on.

If not, you would have to check them in as checked luggage. Subwoofers do not contain lithium batteries, so they are allowed into the cargo hold of planes. However, wiring and magnets inside your subwoofers may lead the TSA to open your subwoofers for closer inspection.

Due to the risk of damage that can occur when subwoofers are added to checked luggage, I would suggest you pack your subwoofers well and mark them as fragile.

Can I Take a Soundbar On a Plane?

Yes, you can take a soundbar onto a plane. Soundbars do not pose any risk to passengers or the aircraft; hence are allowed on a plane. They only have to meet the dimension requirements of the airline you are traveling with.

Some soundbars are quite long. Sometimes too long to fit inside your luggage or the overhead compartment of your airplane, thereby making soundbars cumbersome to transport. 

However, if you are taking this on the plane with you, it’s best to contact the airline directly to obtain more information about the size and weight specifications.

Though soundbars are allowed on airplanes, I wouldn’t advise you to take your soundbar along when traveling on a plane. 

Due to the shape and length of your soundbar, if the luggage kickers do not destroy it, the loading and unloading process can end up destroying your soundbar. Hence there is a real possibility of your soundbar getting crushed when checked in as checked luggage.


Before taking your speakers along with you on a trip or journey, it is best if you seek information from your airline first. Some airlines might have different restrictions regarding speakers. I suggest you check with your airline before you travel if you are not sure about what you can take as either hand or checked luggage.

Check the airline sites and other relevant sites for more information about allowable items and where to keep them. For speakers and items you wish to carry on board, you should verify with the airline to ensure that the item will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the airplane seat.

Therefore, before you book your flight, contact your airline to make the necessary arrangements first.

However, if you are having challenges transporting your speakers through passenger flights, air freights are a great option. It is actually simpler and convenient to use a parcel service like FedEx, DHL, and UPS since their flights do not carry passengers and are not put through rigid security measures.