Playing On-The-Go – Connecting Bluetooth Headphones to Switch

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Can you Connect Bluetooth Headphones to Switch?

A survey published in January 2020 suggested that since its launch in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch sold over 44 million units up till November, 2019. Over the years, Nintendo has released numerous updates to enhance its functions to improve user experience and increase its market share. One such update, the 4.0.0 update, allowed users to connect Bluetooth headphones to switch consoles.

Before the update, users were only allowed to use wired headphones if they were to play on-the-go.  This was more than a nuisance for users, since they’d have to invest in a wired headset to get the audio quality they desired.

It is safe to say that the update came when it was needed the most, since it was a put off for many, especially teenagers and young adults. This is because since the launch of Apple’s AirPods, wireless headphones have seen a rapid increase in demand. In 2019, the total sale of headphones in the U.S was forecasted to be $1.42 billion, out of which, $1.25 billion could be attributed to wireless headphones.

So, can you connect Bluetooth headphones to the Nintendo Switch?

Yes.

How? Well, that part is slightly tricky.

After opening up the Nintendo Switch, we didn’t see any Bluetooth adapters for headphones, nor do the settings reflect the ability to use Bluetooth for anything other than connecting the controllers. Following is a guide to how you can use your favorite Bluetooth headphones on your Switch.

Connecting Bluetooth Headphones to Switch

Handheld

Users have complimented the overall sound quality of a Nintendo Switch when in a closed room however, the same cannot be said when out in public. Not only does the sound quality get compromised, it also becomes a nuisance for others around.

You wouldn’t want to hear someone playing Breath of the Wild on full volume on your way back from work, do you?

People often used wired headphones for that, but what of people who prefer wireless headphones?

Using A USB Bluetooth Dongle

With updates 4.0.0 and above, you can connect a USB dongle to your switch by simply converting the USB-C ports to USB 3.0 and plugging in the dongle. Then, it’s as simple as connecting your headphones to it. To connect;

  • Hold the pairing button on the dongle for a few seconds. You might see a flashing light on most dongles
  • Hold the pairing button on your headphones to let the dongle find it, and you’re done!

There is no need to fiddle in the settings of your Switch for that.

Using a 3.5mm Jack Bluetooth Dongle

Instead of investing in a USB port converter as well as the dongle, there are several Bluetooth dongles that connect with the Nintendo Switch via a 3.5mm headphone jack. A prime example of that is the TROND 2-in-1 Bluetooth transmitter/receiver and TaoTronics transmitter/receiver.

You can connect your Bluetooth headphones to Switch with this using the same steps mentioned above.

Docked

The problem most users face when trying to connect their wireless headphones to switch when docked is that both USB connectors at the back of the switch get used up to ensure a seamless flow of information.

A docked Switch gives users more options to allow for wireless headphone connection; you can either choose to use a Bluetooth Dongle on the USB-A port on the sides, or simply connect your headphones to your TV if it is supported.

Still Having Trouble?

Make Sure your Headphones are Compatible

If, despite having a Bluetooth Dongle connected, you are having trouble you should consider sifting through the list below. Following is a list of wireless headphones supported by the Nintendo Switch.

If you are looking to buy a new pair of wireless headphones for your Nintendo Switch, you should consider buying one of these. Apart from the ones mentioned above, following are some headphones that can work with a few other bits of equipment;

To connect these wireless headphones, you will also need an optical cable connected to your dongle.

This list, is by far, not extensive. Other brands and headphones might work for some, while they might not work for some. However, following is a list of headphones that are confirmed not to work on a Nintendo Switch.

You can connect this headphone with your Switch with a 3.5mm 3-pole cable. This cable isn’t included in the headset by default, though. This is a typical AUX cable with only two ‘rings’ around its contacts. The two-rings or the three poles mean that the jack has stereo output capabilities but not input.

If you are still having trouble connecting your wireless headphones, you might want to check your headphones and the Bluetooth dongle are working properly. Following are some common slip-ups people make when using wireless headphones on Switch.

  • Headphones not properly charged
  • Check that the headphones are working properly on another system or via an AUX cable if the headphones allow
  • If trying to connect when docked, change the USB-A port to see if it works there. There might be a power surge in one of the USB ports because of being docked and on charge. This is fairly common and harmless, so don’t be alarmed when this happens.

Surprisingly, Nintendo went very low-key with this update, not mentioning anywhere in their changelog that Bluetooth headphones could now be connected with their devices. Users only found this feature via trial and error (mostly Reddit, though).

If you’re having trouble connecting Bluetooth headphones to Switch, follow the above-mentioned steps to enjoy your favorite games without having to worry about tangling wires!

 

For more great reviews and product insights, make sure you visit us at Red Diamond Audio or connect with us on social media!

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