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Can the Switch use Bluetooth headphones?

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

The Nintendo Switch has had Bluetooth capacity since its inception. You can already connect a variety of accessories, like controllers, using the console´s built-in Bluetooth capacity. However, headphones and earpieces were always an exception until now.

13.0.0 Firmware Update

With the updated 13.0.0 firmware version of the Nintendo Switch, connecting a Bluetooth headset became much simpler and you no longer need the adapters described in the rest of the article below.

Nintendo published instructions on how to connect Bluetooth headsets on their page, but the gist of it is that you have to turn on the headset´s pairing mode, go to the settings of your Switch and select the headset from the options. Just like that, you can start using your wireless headphones.

There are some limitations to this update, however. For starters, you can´t use your headset´s mic to talk online while playing, the Nintendo Switch will only stream audio to your earpieces, nothing more.

You can also only connect one Bluetooth headset at a time, so if you are with friends, they might be out of luck and unable to hear the game. Finally, you may experience some lag between the game and your audio depending on the headset that you use.

So, while not a perfect solution, it is now possible to natively connect a Bluetooth headset into your Nintendo Switch.

Can the Nintendo Switch support Bluetooth headphones?

As of the 12.00 firmware update, the Nintendo Switch is now capable of connecting to Bluetooth headsets, headphones, and earpieces... in theory. In practice, no company has gone ahead and used this feature, it´s doubtful that Nintendo has even unlocked it for third parties. You can´t connect your Bluetooth headphones to the console just yet on their own.

So, if you want to connect a Nintendo Switch to a wireless headset, you will need an adapter, like this one. These two adapters also work on the Nintendo Switch Lite, if you were wondering, but not all adapters do. So very careful if you buy another one and make sure that it´s compatible with your Switch and your headphone.

How to connect Bluetooth headphones to a Nintendo Switch

Different dongles have different instructions and ways to use them, but they can usually be boiled down to:

  • Connect the adapter to the USB-C port at the bottom of your Switch.

  • Press the button on the dongle to start wireless pairing mode.

  • Turn your headphones into Bluetooth pairing mode.

The two devices should find each other, connect, and you´ll be ready to go.

The sounds coming from your Nintendo Switch should automatically be streamed into your earpieces as long as the dongle is connected. The obvious drawback here is that you can´t use the adapters while in docked mode. But for some headphones, there is a workaround to that limitation.

Until Nintendo unlocks the Bluetooth capacity of the Switch, you will need to find adapters to connect your headsets. But there are also workarounds, in the case of wireless headsets, we can try the same trick we used to connect keyboards to the Nintendo Switch.

For this workaround, you will need to dock your Switch.

You might not even need to buy a dongle if your headset already comes with a USB cable or adapter. To try and see if your earpiece is compatible with Nintendo´s console, you´ll need to dock it first (sorry Lite users, this won´t work on your console).

With the Switch in place, open the back of the Dock, where the HDMI cable comes from. You should be able to see a classic USB port. Plug-in the USB adapter or cable to this port while the console is docked and, if the Switch is compatible, it will detect the headset and you´ll be able to use it.

Not all headsets work with this trick, but there is a thread on Reddit with a pretty inclusive list of compatible headphones, so check it out. You might not need to buy an adapter after all. A couple of standout options in that list are the Logitech G993 and the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450.

The main drawback of this method is that the Switch has to be docked to work. If you were planning to use your headphones only while in docked mode in the first place, you might find it easier to connect your earpiece to the TV directly if you have a smart TV capable of doing so.

Or, if you have wired headphones and are looking for a way to play, you can try buying one of the Pro Controllers that come with a headphone jack. We already talked about them in our article here. You can also learn how to connect your Nintendo Switch to a PC monitor in our article here.


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