For people who love portable gaming devices, the Nintendo Switch is the most popular one. Its latest firmware update allows users to pair the system with Bluetooth headsets. So, how do you connect a Bluetooth audio device to your Nintendo Switch?
First, set your headphones to pairing mode and check for available Bluetooth audio devices on your Switch. After you find your headphones, pair them with your Nintendo Switch. It’s also important to know that you can’t pair your headphones if more than two controllers are connected at once.
Let’s check out the process of connecting a Bluetooth device to your Switch and the changes it will bring to your overall setup.
Can You Connect Bluetooth Headphones to Switch?
Before now, you actually couldn’t do this. However, there was a new update in September 2021 that made it possible. This update included support for Bluetooth audio connectivity in Nintendo Switches.
Now, users can connect their favorite Bluetooth headsets without paying extra for any third-party devices like adapters. That said, let’s take a look at the major stages of development that lead to this new update.
The Nintendo Switch – Initial Phase
In the beginning, almost four years back, the Switch could not connect with Bluetooth audio devices. However, it did have Bluetooth connectivity.
It turns out, this feature was completely reserved for connecting wireless controllers. This is why, for a long time, Nintendo could not allow users to use their Bluetooth headphones with the Switch.
The 4.0 Firmware Update
After the 4.0 system update was released on Switch, users were able to connect their Bluetooth audio devices. But the process wasn’t simple and required an additional device, the Bluetooth adapters.
This forced users to spend extra money on Bluetooth audio dongles. They also had to learn complex tweaking with the settings of the devices to pair audio devices with their Switches.
What’s surprising is that the company never officially announced this process of connecting Switch with Bluetooth headphones using adapters.
It was only after the Reddit users found out about the new feature accidentally that the news went viral.
The update brought others changes too. After the 4.0 firmware release, users were able to capture video on selected games.
It was also possible to transfer user and related data to another system. Plus, a few more minor changes were made to the menu and looks of the news feed.
Latest Update – 13.0 Firmware Version
After receiving many concerns from the Switch community, Nintendo updated the Bluetooth connectivity feature with its 13.0 firmware version. This update eliminated the need for any third-party adapters to access the console’s Bluetooth.
With the 13.0 firmware release, users can easily use their favorite Bluetooth audio devices while playing with the Switch.
Bluetooth Headphones Issues on Nintendo Switch
While it’s the most awaited update, the support for Bluetooth headsets on Nintendo Switch does come with a few limitations.
Here are some of the flaws you must know about the latest update:
Supports a Maximum of Two Controllers Along With Bluetooth Headsets
Unfortunately, when you pair the audio device to the Switch, you can only connect a maximum of two wireless controllers at once. To link any other controllers, you must turn off the Bluetooth audio feature on Nintendo Switch.
One Pair of Headphones at a Time
Once again, when it comes to Bluetooth audio devices, you can connect only one headset at a time. In addition, the total count for saved Bluetooth devices on the Switch System is limited to 10.
This means that any time you wish to add a new headset or a controller, you must remove one of the other 10 Bluetooth devices saved on the Switch.
Bluetooth Audio Unavailable with Local Multiplayer Games
This is another daunting limitation that comes with Bluetooth audio support. The Bluetooth headset won’t work if local wireless communication is active.
In other words, you can’t use your headset while linking two Switch systems together during local multiplayer games.
Users Can’t Use Bluetooth Mic with Headsets
While the new update helps users connect their Bluetooth headsets to the Switch, it does not include the support for Bluetooth mic.
Therefore, by default, the users cannot connect with one another via voice chat during multiplayer games.
In case you still want to use the feature, you can get a dongle with a built-in mic. However, this contradicts the ease of use the latest firmware release is trying to achieve.
Consistent Lag Reported Between Audio and Video
There have been reports of audio delays on some Bluetooth audio devices. The unsynchronized audio and video patterns make it difficult for users to play games.
The major reason for the flaw is the use of an old version of Bluetooth 4.1 in Nintendo Switch instead of Bluetooth 5.
To make the matters worse, the Bluetooth audio used in Nintendo only supports the most common, SBC codec.
This audio codec is highly susceptible to lag and reportedly has various connection issues.
Unable to Track Lost Controllers
Unexpectedly, you won’t be able to access the Controller menu when using a Bluetooth headset. This way, it is impossible to track lost controllers when connected to a wireless audio device. Plus, you won’t be able to change the grip or the order.
How to Connect Bluetooth Headphones to Nintendo Switch (Step by Step Guide)
Luckily, it is pretty simple to connect your Bluetooth headphones to the Switch’s console. However, before you proceed, update the Nintendo Switch’s firmware to the latest version.
After that, all you need to do is follow these steps to complete the connection.
1. Set the Bluetooth Headphones to Pairing Mode
You must start by setting your Bluetooth headset to pairing mode. Depending on which model of headphones you have, the process will vary. If you aren’t sure, please refer to the help guide that often comes along inside the headset box.
Before you go any further, confirm that the Nintendo Switch is not paired to more than two controllers. Otherwise, the headset won’t pair with the Switch.
2. Check for Available Bluetooth Devices on Switch Console
On Nintendo Switch, use the ‘Home’ menu to navigate to the System settings. From the drop-down menu under System settings, locate ‘Bluetooth Audio’.
Once you select ‘Pair’, the system will start looking for all the Bluetooth devices within the range.
3. Connect the Headphones
The search results will provide you with the names of all the discoverable Bluetooth devices within the range of the console. Try locating the name of your headset. Then, click on it to complete the pairing.
In any case, if your Bluetooth audio device doesn’t connect, try restarting the console. In the meantime, ensure that the pairing mode is properly turned on for your device.
Once the Switch kicks back, repeat the steps described above.